A season of sheer frustration has in many ways ended for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. After a disastrous run at California Speedway all hopes of Earnhardt making the chase for the championship are officially over. Earnhardt led a lap at 202 and gained...
A season of sheer frustration has in many ways ended for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. After a disastrous run at California Speedway all hopes of Earnhardt making the chase for the championship are officially over.
Earnhardt led a lap at 202 and gained five bonus points putting him back into mathematical eligibility for the chase. But, a blown motor at lap 211 ended all hope.
"We ran like crap," said Earnhardt. "We struggled all day and all night down the straightaway. I don't know if something was wrong with it from the start of the race. We ran hot in qualifying - I did - and might have burned something up in the motor and it just finally broke.
"But it's real disappointing.there was no warning the motor blew up. If it hadn't blown up it would have gone to hell."
Earnhardt had just five top-5's including one win coming into California. His season has been a disaster. After switching crews in the off season with the No. 15 team - the No. 8 team never seemed to hit their stride.
When asked if he was dejected that he had not made the field for the chase this year, Earnhardt was reticent, "It's been over for at least 80 laps, our car was horrible. Glad it's over with."
Crew chief and additional personnel changes did not help matters as Earnhardt continued to slide down the points chart. Seven finishes of 32nd or worse this season spelled the death knell for a Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated car making the playoff field.
"I don't want to run any worse than I am already running," Earnhardt said of his season. "You've got to get in the car and get no worse and try to do good.I promise my fans that next year we will be back in Victory Lane and give them something to cheer about."