User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Difficult day for Earnhardt Jr. at Indy

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - It was a difficult day for Dale Earnhardt Jr. - on and off the track.

Advertisement
His uncle, Randy Earnhardt, died Sunday morning. Randy was important to Dale in his early racing days and played a role in Dale Earnhardt Inc., which was founded by Dale Sr. and his wife, Teresa, and existed from 1980 to 2009.

Dale Jr., who drove for DEI, respected Randy both for his work in racing and his dedication to the family.

``It is just very, very sad, but I am glad his suffering is over with,'' Dale Jr. said. ``He is going to be missed. He was awesome, such an awesome guy.''

Later, during the Brickyard 400, a loose wheel forced Dale Jr. into the pits on the 12th lap, and he fell back to last place before rallying to finish sixth. Crew chief Steve Letarte was disappointed that something simple made it unlikely that his driver would win.

``I would say looking at it right now, it just wasn't tight,'' Letarte said. ``We have a good group of guys. They do a great job. Stuff like this is unfortunate, but it's auto racing. It's mechanics. People make mistakes.''

Earnhardt said he put his confidence in Letarte and just kept driving.

``We had to change the strategy to get an opportunity to get back up and run,'' Dale, Jr., said. ``Steve is a great strategist on pit road. I was pretty calm. I knew we could do something to get it right.''

The team adjusted and Earnhardt climbed quickly. He was in last place at Lap 20, but up to 13th by Lap 30. He was in third place on Lap 120.

``I thought we had the third-best car at times, the fifth, sixth-best car at times,'' Letarte said. ``I think our strategy worked, and I think the cars that beat us were faster than us, other than the 20. (Matt Kenseth).'' Other than the early mishap, Earnhardt said there were few things he would have changed.

``We were a little tight off the wall into the center. That cost us a spot, I think, at the end of the race. All in all, I had good speed. Real happy with the way the car ran.''

Letarte said the team will learn from the situation and move forward to next Sunday's race at Pocono.

``I mean, it's rare, but mistakes happen,'' he said. ``It's unfortunate. Things like that are costly, but it's a long year. We've seen it before, we'll see it again.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Ricciardo fastest in rainy China practice
Ferrari introduces new team principal
Hamilton sets pace in Chinese practice
Fuel-careful F1 less of a guilty pleasure
Rosberg expects another tight race
Sponsorship woes put Swan in doubt
IndyCar drivers calmer after tempers
Wallace showing improvement in Trucks
Safety Highway to sponsor Nationwide
MORE HEADLINES
 
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!