Earnhardt admits that Hendrick Motorsports has some work to do

Hendrick Motorsports has struggled to perform well across the board over the past few races.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn’t sounding any alarms over Hendrick Motorsports’ recent performance in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series but he admits there has been some frustration of late.

None of the four Hendrick drivers - Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne or Jimmie Johnson – finished in the Top 10 of last Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The last time that occurred was last fall at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

We definitely aren’t where we want to be. But I’ve seen it before. These guys are working on it every single day trying to find that speed and make that difference back up

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

In addition, Gordon is the only Hendrick driver to lead any laps in the past three races (he led two at New Hampshire).

“We definitely understand when we don’t perform well. Last week was frustrating. I don’t think we have been too thrilled over the last month about how things have gone for us,” Earnhardt said Friday at Pocono Raceway. 

'Things need to be better'

“From Rick (Hendrick) on down you get the impression that things need to be better and everybody needs to work harder. I mean there are always improvements to make even when things are going good you see areas where you’ve got to keep working because you know it cycles in this sport.”

Earnhardt, who struggled through several issues on pit road last weekend, said it’s evident the Joe Gibbs Racing teams have found some speed in recent weeks as driver Kyle Busch has won four of the past five races.

“They were struggling last year, maybe at the start of the season, but they look really good now. They worked hard to get there,” Earnhardt said of JGR. “We’ve got to continue to work hard. I know that they team and the company knows this and they will. 

'Second is not good enough'

“We feel like we should show up with the resources we have and be the best team here every week. If we are second, that is not good enough. If we are 20th that is not good enough, we are going to work hard.”

Sunday’s Windows 10 400 should provide a good opportunity for the Hendrick group to post strong performances, or even a victory.

Earnhardt won both Pocono races in 2014 and Johnson finished third in the June race here, which was won by Martin Truex Jr. Truex’s Furniture Row Racing team.

“We definitely aren’t where we want to be. But I’ve seen it before,” Earnhardt said. “These guys are working on it every single day trying to find that speed and make that difference back up and put ourselves back to having the advantage on the straightaways and in the corners.

“I’m not too worried about it. We’ve got the best resources. We’ve got the best boss man and he doesn’t quit and he doesn’t settle for second and he’s in there pushing everybody every day.”

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Article type Press conference