Dale Earnhardt Jr. had an exciting victory at the Daytona 500 last weekend. However, he was not able to repeat his performance today during the The Profit on CNBC 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway. He fell a little short, landing him in second place behind Kevin Harvick, who led most of the race with 224 of 312 laps.
“This solidifies so many things, so many decisions,” Harvick, who made the decision to join SHR this year after 13 seasons with the team owner Richard Childress, said. “What a race car,” he said.
Despite the loss, Earnhardt Jr. feels like he is on top of his game, and is continuing to improve from his winless season last year. He said that he was a “little disappointed to come that close,” but he is glad that his team is performing well.
“I would have loved to have won the race, am a little disappointed to have come that close. But our team is performing so well. Got a lot of great chemistry and good communication going back and forth. Everybody’s confidence is very high. Everybody’s mood and morale is really high. Hopefully we can maintain that and not have any bad luck or make any mistakes and continue to keep working towards winning more races.”
Earnhardt Jr. was not a sore loser, and took the time to congratulate Harvick on his win.
“Well, got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were.2 seconds faster (per lap) than anybody all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal. To be able to run with them as we did all day was a big confidence builder for us. Even at the end of the race I thought our laps we put together coming up to the checkered were faster than him.”
Dale is not letting the second place loss get him down. “If we run second enough, we’re bound to at least trip into one or two (victories),” said Earnhardt Jr. “We ran second quite a few races in the last 10 or so races we run. I feel really good. I feel like we’re coming around the corner, peaking at the right time this season to try to run for the championship.”
Both Kevin and Dale have qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Earnhardt Jr. is still leading the score board for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points.
Top 10 Winners of The Profit on CNBC 500:
1. (13) Kevin Harvick
2. (5) Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3. (1) Brad Keselowski
4. (2) Joey Logano
5. (17) Jeff Gordon
6. (4) Jimmie Johnson
7. (15) Ryan Newman
8. (23) Carl Edwards
9. (7) Kyle Busch
10. (3) Jamie McMurray
[Image via DaleJr.com]