With a battle roaring around him, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took 3rd place in the Duck Commander 500 Saturday at the Sprint Cup Series in Texas. Earnhardt was hoping to use this race to build on a bond with crew chief Greg Ives. Earnhardt said he needs a good relationship like the one he had with his former crew chief, Steve Letarte. So how is he doing? Read the article down below…
Following rough outings at two of the previous three races, Dale Earnhardt Jr. rebounded Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway with a hard-fought third-place finish in the Duck Commander 500.
And it could have even been better had Earnhardt not been passed by Kevin Harvick for second place as the two came to the checkered flag.
Still, Earnhardt posted his fourth top-five finish and his third third-place finish in just seven races this year. That’s certainly respectable given that he and his first-year Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Greg Ives are still getting to know each other.
Earnhardt’s evening started off poorly, as he had to make an extra visit down pit road because of problems with two lug nuts on his left rear wheel during the first pit stop for the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. But from there, he was able to move methodically through the field to contend at the end.
“Once we finally got the track position, I thought we were a top-5 car for sure,” Earnhardt said. “We didn’t have quite enough for the 4 (Harvick) or the 48 (race-winner Jimmie Johnson) until right at the end. I think from 20 (laps) to go to 10 to go we were the best car. If I had been able to get in front of the 4, I had him cleared off of (Turn) 2, but he was right on my corner and I really didn’t know for sure whether he was there or not. I passed him on the bottom and I didn’t like the top early in the run, so I wanted the bottom in 3 and 4, so I stayed down there, and he beat me around 3 and 4.”
All things considered, Earnhardt was pleased with how the evening went.