After snapping his 143-race winless streak last weekend at Michigan International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had high hopes coming into the race this past weekend at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma, California, but ended up concluding the weekend with a disappointing 23rd place finish.
Earnhardt, who started the race 19th, felt comfortable coming in as he had confidence coming in from last week and his car was handling well, but it was the traffic jam in turn 3 in the last two laps on the tough road course that cost Jr. a top-10 finish.
“I ain’t the best road-course racer out there, but I can damn sure do better than that. I’ve got to pick up the race car a little bit. That’s on my shoulders (and) this whole team to do that. We just have to do a better job” says Earnhardt.
“I’m this mad because we didn’t run better,” he continued.
“We’re better than this. I’ve run better here. We weren’t good all weekend. We’ve got to put a better car on the racetrack.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. spoke with USA Today about what happened in turn 3 that damaged his front and rear ends and changed the entire race for him.
“We got run into coming over (Turn) 3,” Earnhardt said.
“(Burton) got into me, but I think he had people pushing him. Everybody just runs into each other on them deals. Me and Jeff ran around each other all day. I’ve raced him before, he’s a good driver as far as respect,” adding,
“We didn’t have real good speed in the race. We hung around and were going to finish in the top 15, and the green-white checkered, there’s going to be some victims on that deal. I was the one today.”
The top 3 at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 consisted of Kurt Busch finishing 3rd, Tony Stewart finishing 2nd and Clint Bowyer taking 1st place.
What do you think of Dale Earnhardt’s reaction to his performance in last weekends race at Sonoma?