Dale Earnhardrt Jr. rebounded from a last place finish at Texas Motor Speedway last week to take home second place in Saturday night’s Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington.
With a little strategy Earnharadt nearly took home the win but said in a post race press conference that the No. 4 of Kevin Harvivk was simply too good.
“Yeah, that was — we really weren’t a top-two car, we were probably the third best car, fourth best car, depending on where Jimmie and Jeff Gordon were. They were pretty good, a little better than us most of the time. But the 4 was the best car I thought. Jeff was pretty good.”
A restart near the end of the race allowed Earnhardt Jr. to get ahead of teammate Jimmie Johnson Harvick blew past him with two laps to go.
“The outside line was real bad about spinning the tires, and Jimmie hadn’t been up there and didn’t really know that, so he chose the outside on them restarts and I knew I had a great shot at getting the lead from him. We got going, he spun his tires real bad, the 4 got to pushing me a little bit and we got the lead, and that felt pretty good leading the race.”
“But the 4 just had new tires. We had 30-something laps on our left, and it just wasn’t going to get the job done with him right there on us.”
If Earnhardt could have done anything different it would have been the line he choose heading into Turn 3 with two laps to go saying, “I’m going to probably wished I would have run the top in 3 and 4 coming to the white and made him try to pass us on the bottom, but I’m pretty sure he was going to get around us somehow.”
Earnhardt Jr. is one of seven drivers who have already found victory lane this season. In two weeks he will head to Richmond International Raceway.