Dale Jr. laments qualifying woes: 'It's been a real frustrating thing'
Despite having a fast race car on the majority of weekends since the Sprint Cup season commenced, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has made no bones about his desire to qualify better.
In the 15 races so far in 2015, NASCAR's most popular driver has started inside the top 10 just four times.
So even with all the positive results coming from the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 camp, Earnhardt wants to be faster on Fridays.
His 14th-place starting spot for this past Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway was his best in five events.
"The whole weekend we worked real hard to try to find that consistency in the car and get the balance of the car," Earnhardt, who went on to finish second to Kurt Busch in a rain-shortened race, said on his weekly podcast, The Dale Jr. Download. "We didn't qualify well, again. We should be qualifying in the top 10. Certainly we should be making that last (qualifying) round, and on a regular basis we're struggling just to get into the top 24, so it's been a real frustrating thing, because we have the speed in the races.
"It's obvious to everyone that we've got good, fast cars on Sunday."
As for how to improve his qualifying performance, Earnhardt didn't offer any immediate solutions while speaking on his podcast.
"I'm either just not a hot-lapper or we just can't find something that makes me comfortable," he said. "We've had a couple races this year where I thought we were turning things around, coming out of the gate pretty strong qualifying well, but it's sort of reverted back to our old standard."