One week after breaking the longest winless streak of his NASCAR career, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was looking to have a good day on the road course at Sonoma on Sunday.
He didn’t get it.
Earnhardt found himself mired in the middle of the pack for most of the race, and didn’t enjoy the view.
“I’m just mad because we didn’t run better. We were better than this. I’ve run better here. We weren’t good all weekend,” Earnhardt said. “We just I think, we’ve got to put a better car on the race track. I mean I ain’t the best road course racer out there, but I can damn sure do better than that. So we’ve got to pick up the race car a little bit. That’s on my shoulders and (crew chief) Steve’s (Letarte) shoulders and our engineers and our whole team and we’ve just got to do a better job.”
The team did improve its lot as the race wore down, standing 13th for the green-white-checkered restart at the end of the race, but Earnhardt’s #88 Chevrolet got shoved off the road at the top of the hill and suffered a few hits that left him to finish 23rd.
“Well, we were all restarting there and we went through Turn 3 and we came over 3A and I just got hit in the back and spun around,” lamented the Michigan winner. “I don’t think it was anything intentional; it was just the way green-white-checkers are here. We see it every year. We had new tires and we were running good and restarted 13th. So, if it had been somebody else getting wrecked at the end (instead of him) maybe we would have finished in the Top-10. With the green-white-checkered there is going to be some victims on that deal and I was one today.”