Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Racing on repaved Kentucky Speedway was ‘not fun’
Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway was no walk in the park for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
After his fair share of struggles like many other drivers faced throughout the night, Earnhardt Jr. only managed to finish where he started in 13th.
Fuel milage also played a role after he started running out of gas on the final lap, as did race winner Brad Keselowski and runner-up Carl Edwards.
And he voiced his concerns about the tire Goodyear brought to Kentucky, saying it made for a bad mixture with the lower downforce package and repaved track.
"They had some blistering in the test (at Kentucky) that scared them (Goodyear), so they went really conservative on the tire," said Earnhardt Jr. after the race. "Personally, I believe they can make that right-side tire as hard as they want, go as safe as you want there so you don’t have the blistering, but soften the left up some. The racing will be better."
"The drivers all want low downforce. I don’t know if all that stuff is a great combination. It’s just a bad combination for the new surface and how conservative that tire is," he added.
Junior also felt like he couldn’t drive his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to its full potential because of the tire’s sensitivity.
"You couldn’t hustle the car at all," Earnhardt Jr. said. "You were just on pins and needles all the time on restarts. And if I had a big slip, I was going to lose all kinds of track position, which happened over and over to a bunch of guys, myself included. It sucks to race that way."
With eight races remaining before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins, Earnhardt Jr. finds himself 13th in the points standings and still winless so far this season.
Needless to say, he’s looking forward to putting this race behind him and move on to New Hampshire Motor Speedway after testing there earlier this year.
Ran out of gas with a lap to go. Happy/LUCKY to get 13th. Great car at times. Tested @NHMS so looking forward to next weekend.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) July 10, 2016