Earnhardt backs Stewart’s comments

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 11, 2012 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 11, 2012 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)

DARLINGTON, S.C. — After catching a piece of a late wreck and finishing 24th last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, Tony Stewart was at his dead-pan, sarcastic best in a post-race question-and-answer session with reporters.

With a straight face, Stewart suggested that Sprint Cup drivers needed to wreck more cars, that part of the race could be run backward and that Talladega should consider reconfiguring the track as a figure eight to guarantee a demolition derby.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. understood the tone of Stewart’s comments and agreed with their underlying premise.

“What he said isn’t really how he feels — it was kind of a parody on the day,” Earnhardt said. “He feels strongly that it’s not good, and he thinks it should be better and could be better and thinks things should be changed and we should do the things differently as far as the plate package is concerned and the style of racing that we have there.

“I was disappointed in how the racing went myself, as far as how difficult it was to get the outside lane to move. There was just not as much passing as I anticipated. I like the pack racing, but we weren’t really able to challenge and make moves on each other like I anticipated happening.”

Earnhardt, who finished ninth, refrained from commenting on the racing after the event, primarily because his attitude was tempered by the performance of his racecar.

“I sort of side with Tony and the fact that I was disappointed in the style of racing, but I also didn’t have that great of a racecar, so I was holding back a little of my judgment due to the fact that my car just wasn’t competitive enough to do the things I wanted it to do,” Earnhardt said.

“Had it been more competitive, maybe I would have enjoyed the racing better. I wasn’t vocal at all about the racing, because I didn’t have the car to take out of the equation and say it was just the racing.”

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.