By: Kate Moss @KateMossRadio
He finished 20th in June after sweeping both Pocono NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2014. Sure, his fans were disappointed, but no one was more disappointed than the No. 88.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. explained his relationship with Microsoft in the Windows 10 400 as “an awesome sponsor for Hendrick Motorsports. They are really excited about the potential to work with them as far as improving our (simulation) programs; and trying to find a way to incorporate the technology and experience into what we are doing to help our performance.”
Earnhardt Jr. agrees that there have been several issues facing the No. 88 recently. He spoke about evaluating their overall program as far as where he needs to be when the Chase starts.
“You’ve got to be on it with yourself. The Gibbs guys have found more speed. They look like, over the last couple of weeks, to be a lot stronger and that we’re not on top of the mountain any more, by ourselves anymore, at least. So, they’ve found some speed and we need to combat that with speed of our own. I’ve seen it before where we get some competition or somebody gets a leg-up on us and our guys go to work and find out where that speed is and where that improvement comes from and they do a lot of hard work to find it either in the engines or the bodies or what have you.”
“But yeah, we had a bit of an advantage last year, particularly on the engines and it looks like a lot of things have changed. We can say it’s partly because of the rules, but you’ve got to give some of these manufactures credit. I think they actually have gotten better and are building better motors. And that’s just one piece of it.”
Earnhardt Jr. also mentioned that everyone is not only thinking of this week, but thinking ahead about the Chase. He admits that the No. 88 camp has to work “a little harder to get a little more and be ready” for when the Chase begins.
He also admits that the competition is fierce, but has confidence that his team will figure it all out because they’re “working every single day trying to find speed and make that difference back up.”
The bottom line is this – every team has work to do, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. realizes this. He also has confidence in his team, and their ability to take advantage to show everyone just how good they are. Look for the No, 88 team to be a major factor in the Chase.