Earnhardt Jr. embarrassed after Talladega, looking for redemption at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 03: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 03: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 03: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

You would think Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be focused on the race at hand: Saturday night’s  Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. After all the last time the NASCAR Sprint Cup series was at the iconic 2.5 mile speedway, Earnhardt basked was basking in the glow of his second win in NASCAR’s biggest race, the season opening Daytona 500.

You’d be wrong.

Instead, Earnhardt’s thoughts Thursday were on the season’s second restrictor plate race at Talladega Superspeedway. In that race Earnhardt hung back late in the going. As a result, he came home an unexpected 26th.

“It was embarrassing man,” Earnhardt said Thursday.  “I hate to talk about it.  The way we ran and what I chose to do at the end of that race is just really uncharacteristic of anybody that is in the field and trying to compete.  I just got really frustrated with the way things were working out for us.  I lost sight of the overall big picture, what you are out there trying to do, who all is out there depending on you to do it, and what you need to do.  I learned some lessons and you are never too old to learn them.  You are never too old to be taught a lesson either.  I definitely experienced that in Talladega this year. “

That lesson according to Earnhardt was one of selfishness. 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.