Dale Earnhardt Jr. Is 'Lost' When It Comes To Answers About No. 88 Team

If you're a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, Sunday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

There was nothing to cheer about all weekend at Dover. The No. 88 car wasn't good in practice, it qualified poorly (27th) and finished even worse (30th).

Earnhardt Jr.'s brief return to the top 12 ended unceremoniously, the primary culprit being when the driver pitted under the green flag for a problem he thought was a broken part in the steering.

As it turned out, there was no problem at all.

"There's a bunch of marbles on the racetrack down there and I was on the inside," Earnhardt Jr. said. "We got the green and I hit those (marbles) and the car went straight. We'd been dragging the splitter all day in the corner coming off of (Turn) 4, and the car just went straight like it had a flat tire.

"We'd been so loose before that, I figured something must be fucked up and broke on it. That thing drove like it was fucking broke in half."

Indeed, prior to the mistaken pit stop, the No. 88 car wasn't ever a contender. Or even close.

Earnhardt Jr. was expected to run better at Dover, since this was his one-year anniversary with crew chief Lance McGrew atop the pit box.

Was it frustrating for the No. 88 to be so far off at Dover?

"Well, I mean, we've been running like this for two years now," he said.

‘Running like this' meaning at Dover or everywhere?

"Everywhere," he said. "You kind of get used to it."

Now 16th in points (43 markers behind a Chase spot), Earnhardt Jr. was asked where the No. 88 team goes from here. How does it rebound?

"Well..." Earnhardt Jr. said, pausing for a long seven or eight seconds. "There ain't no answer for that. I don't know. What do you think? I'm lost."

As he walked up the stairs out of the garage and toward the motorcoach, his voice took on a discouraged tone.

"I don't know, man," he said. "Oh well. What the fuck am I supposed to do? I know I'm a better race car driver than that. My shit ain't that good. It wasn't good today."

McGrew looked steamed, and gave only two short answers.

In regard to the car's problems, McGrew said, "Nothing was wrong."

And in response to the question of how the No. 88 team rebounds, McGrew said simply, "I have no idea" and walked away.

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