By Pete Pistone
Dale Earnhardt Jr. may be 43 points out of the Chase lead but he's not ready to roll over and allow any other driver including teammate Jimmie Johnson to gain points racing for position.
Earnhardt says he's still focused on trying to win races and will of that at any cost, even if it means racing Johnson for the top spot despite the fact the 48 team is shooting for a sixth straight title.
“If I am racing for the win, he is going to have to race me pretty hard," Earnhardt said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We are pretty thirsty right now for a win. You just handle it when the situation comes up and I feel like I am a pretty smart driver and I know what is on the line for some of these guys and I just think I’m a smart guy and I can make a smart decision and make the right decision when the time comes and I won’t need any help from (crew chief) Steve (Letarte) or anyone else to know when the time is right, I like to race, I like to race from every position, but at the same time, you do what you think is right and what you think is the right decision at the time.
However Earnhardt did add that some circumstances could dictate providing a little help for Johnson if need be.
"It is just a case by case scenario," Earnhardt said. "If you are running in the back, and he needs a point, that might be reasonable to give him 24<sup>th</sup>, when it is all said and done. We race out of the same shop and I got the same guys as he does putting my cars together so we work as a group and as a team in several aspects of the sport, but when it comes to racing in the top ten and top five I think you have to race hard and for those positions.”
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