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That hole Dale Earnhardt Jr. is stuck in just got a little deeper


NASCAR don't race in the rain, and it was a soggy Friday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern

   Dale Earnhardt Jr. is feeling the heat, and that's not a good feeling in this league.
   Show some effects from pressure and these guys may eat your lunch.
   What to make of Earnhardt's continued lack of success since joining Rick Hendrick?
   Well, with Friday's rain Earnhardt – who thus has to start deep in the field, with the starting lineup set by the point standings – is even a deeper hole. This is not an easy track to rally on.
   Earnhardt and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. and the rest of the gang just had a big sit-down with boss Hendrick.
   To hear Hendrick talk about it, it was more him trying to pump the guys up.
   Earnhardt's take?
   "When you need to do better, you get down, and you sit down and get all the collective experience you can around you and try to feed off of it," Earnhardt said. "We're just trying to hear out everybody's opinions on some things we can do differently, and if it will help.
    "We're just working hard to get better, and we don't sit on our tails hoping it will turn around on its own.
    "It was a good, constructive meeting. Rick has a lot of experience, and talent in his organization…and I tried to get a few of those guys together that have watched us at the track, to  give those guys an opportunity to voice their opinions on the situation and take what they say and try to understand it and make our team better."
    It's not just Earnhardt's struggles (and it's not that he's running that bad, just not running that good), but that Kyle Busch is upstaging him nearly every week, for more than a year now.
   But Earnhardt, who is certainly realistic about this sport and his place in it, and who has a good work ethic, and plenty of drive, concedes Busch's continued success is hard to overlook.
   "Well, he has been….and he has every right to brag as much as he wants, I guess," Earnhardt says.
   "I wouldn't trade positions with him, though. I like where I'm at, and I like my owner, and I like my position, and I like my opportunity.
   "But right now he has every right to say what he wants -- and he's been able to back it up on the race track."
   And Earnhardt says he understands exactly where Busch is coming from in all this, and he understands that Busch, in an awkward way, perhaps, is sympathetic.
   "Kyle has a heart, down in there somewhere," Earnhardt says. "He's a good guy. He just has a funny way of wording things sometimes.
   "But I know he would understand what we're going through. Anybody in this business has probably been through similar situations."
Martinsville 500 starting lineup


Dale Jr only got where he is

Dale Jr only got where he is because of his daddy! He needs to go back to the Nationwide Series!! he needs to man up and realize these drivers have ego's as big or bigger than his!!! Rick Hendrick should be kicking himself for getting rid of Kyle!!!! Go Kyle Busch!!!!! The next Champion in NASCAR!!!!!

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