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Junior's confidence is rising

Updated: March 20, 2011, 7:27 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- You can learn a lot about where a team is mentally by listening to the radio communication between driver and crew chief at the end of a race.

Take Dale Earnhardt Jr., for example.

He was apologizing to crew chief Steve Letarte and the rest of his No. 88 team for a pit road speeding penalty as soon he crossed the finish line 11th in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

"We were better than them guys [directly] in front of ...

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