Dale Earnhardt Jr. Prepared For ‘Disappointing’ Race At Watkins Glen

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Luck has eluded Dale Earnhardt Jr. so far this year, and he isn’t expecting that trend to reverse itself in Sunday’s I Love New York 355 at The Glen.

Earnhardt tweeted Sunday that he hasn’t been happy with the setup of his No. 88 throughout the weekend. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series veteran claimed the car has been a handful around Watkins Glen International.

Because Watkins Glen is the second of just two road courses on the NASCAR schedule, teams have very little data to help them set up their cars. Unfortunately for Earnhardt, the knowledge his team acquired at Sonoma Raceway hasn’t helped him much.

With the 41-year-old aware that his final road race as a full-time Cup driver will be difficult, he’s hoping for some inclement weather so he at least can have some fun. NASCAR doesn’t race in the rain at oval tracks, but Goodyear provides teams with a wet-weather tire at road courses, just in case.

The low levels of grip in the rain essentially negate any advantage a certain team’s equipment might provide, placing more importance on driver skill. Given that Earnhardt’s car has been a handful in dry conditions, though, it likely would be even more difficult to drive in wet conditions.

Although that might not matter, as the soon-to-be-retired Earnhardt seemingly just wants to experience an aspect of the sport that he never got the chance to during his nearly 18-year-long career.

Earnhardt will start Sunday in 28th, having qualified slower than every other Chevrolet driver save Boris Said. That could actually work in his favor, as it will be difficult for him not to at least make up some positions throughout the race.

Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images

 

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