Dale Earnahrdt Jr. is not worried about potential changes to the NASCAR Chase. The yet unannounced changes would again place emphasis on winning a regular season race to qualify for a 16 field Chase, additional drivers could make it in via points. Eliminations throughout the final ten events would lead up to a winner take all race before four drivers at Homestead.
“At the end of the day, my focus is on what is best for our sport and we all know that change needs to happen,’’ Earnhardt said during the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Media Tour. “I felt that there were changes in some areas, maybe procedural changes to the weekend that were going to be the first ideas that came along and we’re seeing that in qualifying.
“I was shocked to hear what was being proposed. If that’s the bullet that we need, then I’m for it. We need our grandstands full, we need our viewership numbers to be through the roof, we need our sponsors getting the best return on investments.’’
Earnhardt compared the new format to the Chase which was announced for the 2004 season.
“This next change they’re talking about making is extreme, but I think all the things we’ve done … all the things we’ve changed in the last five years have prepared me for that type of change. I feel pretty comfortable to go as far as (NASCAR Chairman) Brian (France) and … those guys want to go. I feel confident in supporting them, whereas when we first made the change, I wasn’t that supportive and didn’t see why we needed to change anything. Now it seems like the timing is right. Just like the (No.) 3 coming back. It just seems like the timing is right.’’