Dale Earnhardt Jr. saw his chances of advancing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup take a huge hit on Sunday in Charlotte after contact with Carl Edwards. However, the Hendrick Motorsports driver does not have any plans to retaliate against Edwards, who is also hoping to move to the next round of the Chase.
Earnhardt made his plans clear before heading to Kansas Speedway for the second race in the Contender Round.
“A lot of people want me to go wreck Carl,” Earnhardt said. “I’m not going to do that because if I’m trying to wreck Carl, I’m not winning Kansas, I’m not winning Talladega. You can’t go chase after a guy, put him out of the race and accomplish what your goals are. Our goals are to go to them races and win. That’s what we’re going to do.
“We’re not going to worry about Carl or start some s*** show between me and him. It’s over and done. Move on, try to go to Kansas and try to win the race there. I think we can run great.”
Junior’s troubles started with Edwards, but ended with oil on the track slamming him into the wall later in the race. It wasn’t a great race for Earnhardt, who wound up 28th place and now has to rely on Kansas and Talladega to get to the next round.
Luckily, he has no issues reaching the top five in either race. Earlier this year, Earnhardt finished third at Kansas and won at Talladega. He’s only won two races this season, and both were at restrictor-plate tracks in Daytona and Talladega. His worst finish at a superspeedway was the Daytona 500, finishing third after a late-race setback.
“We can go to Talladega without worrying about protecting ourselves or protecting our position in the Chase,” Earnhardt said. “We can go there and be aggressive. I promise you all these guys that are sitting there in the top 10 in this Chase, you watch how they race at Talladega, they’re not going to be very aggressive. That’s going to leave opportunities for guys like me.”