Despite early struggles to date in the 2010 NASCAR season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and crew chief Lance McGrew continue to persevere.
Of the last three races, the No.88 car has tabbed two finishes outside of the top 30. As a result emotions got the best of both driver and the crew chief as would be expected with any competitive team that has struggled to win.
“I definitely feel it’s working,” McGrew said of the issue “Dale deserves a shot to work with somebody for a long period of time and to keep everybody together.”
“We’re leaps and bounds better than we were last year. We’ve just had a little bit of weirdness the last couple of races.”
Earnhardt finished in 30th place this past weekend at Dover International Speedway. Earnhardt cited problems with his car that did not allow him to turn fully. The No.88 car made a pit stop and was there for four minutes. After the search, nothing could be found wrong with the car.
McGrew and Earnhardt spent a long time discussing that issue.
“I told him I was going to eat lunch with him tomorrow and get him out of the crew chief business,” McGrew said with a laugh.
None of the Hendrick Motorsports drivers finished high at Dover, with Jeff Gordon tabbing at 16th place finish to lead the way.
“One of the things Dale and I talked about today, I’m like, ‘Dude, the engineers and myself put a lot into this during the week, a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff … to try to prepare the car to go to the racetrack. When it doesn’t perform like we expect it to perform we’re disappointed,’ ” McGrew stated. “You wear that on your sleeve. It’s hard to hide that. I’m competitive. I don’t like to feel stupid.”
Earnhardt began 2010 with four consecutive finished inside the top-15.
“They can say that all they want,” remarked McGrew. “Everybody’s got an opinion. … With the changes we made in the offseason we’ve shown a lot of improvement as a team.”
McGrew stated that the heated discussions between himself and Earnhardt do not worry him, as both are trying as hard as possible to win.
“I want to know what he’s thinking,” McGrew said. “You’ve got to know what he’s thinking. When we’re at the racetrack on any given weekend that’s all you have to go by. I’m not driving the car. I’m looking at data we accumulated three years ago when we could actually pass.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Showdown this Saturday features Carl Edwards and Jeff Burton as the betting favorites at 4/1 on Online Sportsbooks.