Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been an active participant on Twitter since joining after his February victory in the Daytona 500. This week, however, NASCAR's most popular driver has maintained a bit of a lower profile.
Earnhardt made a costly mistake during Monday's rain-delayed race at Texas Motor Speedway. Just three laps after going green he drove through the infield grass and then crashed hard into the wall causing a fire to engulf the rear of his Chevrolet. The resulting damage ended his day and saw him finish last for the first time since November 2007 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Earnhardt immediately took blame for the incident, which also saw teammate Jimmie Johnson suffer significant damage. But not wanting people to think he was taking what happened lightly and being occupied with other activities is why Earnhardt limited his interaction on Twitter.
"Twitter is a bit of a playground and I don't want to horse around if we are not doing good," Earnhardt said Friday at Darlington Raceway. "I don't want to be on there goofing off and making light of the situation because it was a frustrating mistake. It was something I don't take very lightly".
What's helped Earnhardt move past Texas was getting back behind the wheel rather quickly. He was one of six drivers who took part in a midweek tire test at Michigan International Speedway, and has already turned his attention towards Saturday's Southern 500.
"Just being able to get back in the car and test at Michigan was a big help for me to get past it and to get focused on the next race," Earnhardt said. "I'm just glad to be back at the track. Go ahead and get a race or two in the bank and put it behind us."
While it's been a tough week, Earnhardt did find solace in the numerous messages of support his fans posted on Twitter.
"I guess Twitter can be a help in a situation like that," Earnhardt said. "I mean my fans certainly have my back and tell you to brush it off, don't worry about it. I'm sure there are some people on there saying the opposite, but I didn't see many of those or any of those."