Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dale Jr. – Final Restart Proved Costly

Dale Earnhardt Jr.leads Carl Edwards during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver had high hopes of turning his season around at the Tricky Triangle. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

Frankly, despite very limited practice time, he didn’t do badly. However, the top rung of the podium eluded him once more, when his battle with Kurt Busch netted him just a second place finish in Monday’s rain-delayed Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400 at Pocono Raceway.

“The drivers have been asking NASCAR to take away the morning practice and add a little bit to the second one to make that Saturday practice an hour and a half, and we didn't – it was just an hour,” Earnhardt said after Monday’s race.

“It takes you a minute to run around this track. You can't get but thirteen damned laps in practice. I don’t know how you're supposed to figure out what your cars are doing. So, we came into this race with no idea.”

Crew Chief, Greg Ives, made numerous changes to his No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet Sunday night after the race was postponed.

“We basically put in an old set-up that worked in the past, and it started off missing the mark pretty bad, but we worked on it and got it better, and we’ll take the points,” he said. “We’ve had a rough month, so this is a decent finish for us.” Earnhardt explained.

Race Winner Kurt Busch with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in pursuit. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains without a win this season, but is now eleventh in the series standings after gaining two spots with his runner-up finish. Remarkably, this was his fourth runner-up result of the season.

After the race, Jr. took to Twitter, announcing responsibility for not winning.

When asked about the next few races, Earnhardt replied, "I felt like we could come in here and run good, and I think we learned a lot that we can understand how to get better for the next race here," he said. "I'm looking forward to Michigan, and obviously it's going to be a different package, but I think we'll run good on that track, too, and anticipate having a good run at Kentucky." 

Photo Credit by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

No comments: