CONCORD, N.C. -- With only two races remaining in the regular season, the time to tinker before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is dwindling.
All four Hendrick Motorsports are facing different circumstances when it comes to the Chase, so naturally all four have different goals for the remainder of the regular season.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is locked into the Chase, and he can feel the difference when he hits the track.
"It's a lot less pressure," he said. "I imagine (crew chief) Greg (Ives) and those guys just trying some things that they had on their schedule for a long time. Myself, I’d just like to win some more races, try to be competitive and have fun."
Like Earnhardt, Jimmie Johnson has clinched his postseason spot. In fact, he holds the top spot in the Chase Grid. However, despite a top-five finish at Bristol, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS wants to improve as the regular season comes to a close.
"We haven’t had the best summer, and that’s kind of been the 48 thing over the years, unfortunately," he said. "We want to look at the summer and the good and the bad and figure out what applies to the 10 tracks in the Chase."
Johnson pointed to the 10 tracks in the Chase as "strong" ones for the No. 48 team, and he said that the goal is to leave the final two races of the regular season "with a little spring in our step."
"Although we haven’t had the consistency and the finishes that we want, we’ve tried a lot of things over the summer," he said, "and we really need to pare that stuff down and take our best stuff and close out these final few races."
Jeff Gordon's goal for the next two weeks? To join his two teammates that have locked up their places in the playoffs.
"I think we need to be at our best," he said. "We certainly know that we’re capable of performing and getting results better than what we have. We’ve run into a few glitches that have cost us a lot of points. We’ve got to control the things we can control and go out and execute and just be at our best. If we do that, I think we’re in this thing solid.”
Like Gordon, Kasey Kahne has his eyes set on the Chase. But he has said that he believes he needs to find Victory Lane to accomplish that goal, as he is currently on the outside of the Chase Grid looking in.
"I think the (No.) 5 team is in a good spot," he said. "Darlington, we've been close since 2004 at that track and just haven't pulled it off. So eventually I will. And Richmond, we ran really well in the spring there, so we can come back with that and hopefully even be better than what we were then.
"So, it's all tracks that we can perform, we can get points and have an opportunity to hopefully win."