Dale Earnhardt Jr. managed an 11th-place finish despite riding the struggle bus all day at Dover International Speedway.
After taking off 11th in Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism, Earnhardt was able to climb back up to break even by finishing where he started.
Earnhardt avoided a huge multi-car pile-up on the backstretch coming to the white-flag lap. The incident allowed Earnhardt’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, to cruise to his 83rd career victory while tying Cale Yarborough on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series all-time wins list.
“I don’t know what happened at the end there were just cars crashing everywhere,” Earnhardt said. “Our car really wasn’t very good all day.”
The task of clawing his way to a decent result was made even harder after Earnhardt was nailed with a pit-road speeding penalty.
“We ran around 15th to 20th, we got lucky on staying out on a green flag run there and got some track position and I sped on pit road some freaking how,” Earnhardt added.
Between the speeding penalty, which has posed a problem for the No. 88 team this season, and an ill-handling race car, Earnhardt didn’t have an enjoyable time in his second-to-last race at the Monster Mile.
“We have had a lot of speeding penalties this year, so I don’t know what is going on with that, but it was a long day,” Earnhardt said. “Not any fun at all.”
gallery: Best photos from thrilling AAA 400 at the Monster Mile