Dale Earnhardt Jr. remained in solid position to clinch a NASCAR Chase spot at Richmond next week, but his 19th-place result at Atlanta Motor Speedway wasn't the way he wanted to do it.
And even if he makes the Chase next week, running around 20th place won't do much for him in the championship battle, he said.
"We will just try to go in there (to Richmond) and run better and do better and I am not really worried about it," he said. "I don't have room to worry about it, as bad as we have been running. We need to get our crap together and get to running good, or it doesn't matter where we are in the Chase and doesn't matter if we are in or not."
Earnhardt Jr. said his race at Atlanta "was not a good day." He didn't have a good car, he said, and fought it all day long but was unable to do anything with it.
He lost ground in his quest to remain in the Chase, but still has a 25-point margin over 11th-place Brad Keselowski.
"It's a little bit tighter going into Richmond, but we still feel pretty good," he said. "But it doesn't matter if we can't figure out how to make the car run...it don't matter where we are."
Earnhardt Jr. said he was "not happy and not satisfied" to be running 20th. He noted that Hendrick Motorsports has two cars running well – race winner Jeff Gordon and runner-up Jimmie Johnson – and too cars struggling a bit – himself and Mark Martin.
"We have to get four cars running good," he said. "That is the job we got, so we will try. I feel confident and you don't stop trying until it's over."
The good news for Earnhardt Jr. fans, though, is a Chase berth is likely on the horizon.
"We should be able to go in there (to Richmond) and make that happen," he said.