Don’t let the pressure get to you

For a guy whose father is legend in the stock car racing business, Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows about pressure. But for some reason this season, the pressure seems to be really controlling his driving. Stupid pit road mistakes. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time on the track. Engine trouble. Communication miscues with his crew chief. Some are saying that Junior may just be putting too much pressure on himself in this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup racing series. In 2007, he left his family team for Hendrick Motorsports, one of the top teams in the industry and one with an incredible championship track record. Hopes have been high for Earnhardt Jr. to finally marry his driving talents with those in a top-notch garage. But since his signing, we have yet to see him excel fully and consistently. Pressure can be a terrible thing. It can either drive you to excellence or drive you to mistakes. In a tough economy, pressure can drive you to try different marketing ideas and programs and take risks. But it can also make you second guess yourself. Sitting 19th in points with just two top 10 finishes (10th and 8th) so far this season, analysts are saying Junior is probably driving “too hard” because he is so desperate for a win and a championship. Pushing hard is important. But knowing when to let up on the pedal can be just as beneficial.

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