Shortly before the start of today’s knockout qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a colorful way of setting the stage for the proceedings on Twitter.
Things didn’t go ‘terribly wrong’ as Earnhardt was able to keep his car in one piece after riding in the draft in a bid to set a fast time.
But things didn’t go very well for him either, as he was unable to advance from the first round of qualifying for tomorrow’s Aaron’s 499.
Earnhardt, a five-time ‘Dega winner in Sprint Cup, will start 31st on the grid. After his qualifying run, he seemed to be suffering from a case of ennui.
“It just wasn’t much fun,” he told MRN Radio. “We’re out there in the draft running along. I don’t know, we just didn’t run a fast enough lap with Bowyer around.
“It wasn’t a whole lot of fun to be honest with you. I’d like to do some heat races [on restrictor plate tracks] or something. It’d be a little bit funner than this.”
When Fox TV caught up with him, he didn’t deviate much from his radio comments, adding that he found today’s exercise “pretty boring.” He later went back to Twitter and shook off his sub-par Saturday.
Earnhardt was one of several past Talladega winners that failed to get out of Round 1 in today’s qualifying, including the two victors from last year’s ‘Dega events, David Ragan (spring) and Jamie McMurray (fall); McMurray will roll off 33rd tomorrow and Ragan shall start 41st.
Others in this particular group included Michael Waltrip and Clint Bowyer, whose qualifying fortunes were only slightly better. They’ll start 28th and 29th respectively.
“It’s kind of luck of the draw on getting the right run and when you get the right run [it’s about] those guys continuing the entire lap, and we were just unable to do that,” McMurray told MRN of his experience.
“Fortunately, it’s at a place where qualifying is not as critical. We’ll just fight from where we are, and I think our McDonald’s Chevy is really good. It’s disappointing not to make it in, but I don’t think it will matter at Lap 5.”