Dale Earnhardt Jr. “sick to his stomach” despite career best finish at Sonoma

SONOMA, CA - JUNE 22: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 22, 2014 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
SONOMA, CA - JUNE 22:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 22, 2014 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
SONOMA, CA – JUNE 22: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 22, 2014 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

Sonoma has never been on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s “favorites” list. In fact he once said he would “blow it up”, if he could. After Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Save-Mart 350 however he may want to hold off lighting the fuse.

Prior to Sunday the best career finish Earnhardt had scored at the California road course once known as Sears Point  was 11th three times.  Sunday it was almost as if a different driver was behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevy.  Earnhardt started 17th but unlike years past he was soon charging forward and running inside the top five.  His move forward however was not without incident.

On lap 75 Earnhardt was racing up through the field shortly after a restart when he made contact with Matt Kenseth at turn 8. Kesneth’s Toyota was sent hard into a tire barrier. Kenseth was uninjured but his day was done.  Kenseth said he knew Earnhardt was near.

“On the restart we were side-by-side and I got him going into (turn) seven and left him plenty of room when we were racing side-by-side,” Kenseth said. MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.