CONCORD, N.C. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not satisfied with the performance he and his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team have shown this season.
And that shouldn't surprise anyone, he said.
"I don't know what to tell people other than, as a driver I'm putting forth my best effort and I feel like (crew chief) Lance (McGrew) does the same," Earnhardt said after qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"The team all gets behind Lance and gets behind me. We're just working really hard. We aren't leaving any stones unturned to find where the competitiveness has gone.
"We have a lot of great resources. As we continue to get outpaced by our teammates, we have been getting more honest about what we feel our weaknesses are and what we need to work on."
Earnhardt is 16th in the series standings with one top-five and three top-10 finishes in 12 races this season. His most recent Sprint Cup win came June 15, 2008, at Michigan – almost two years ago.
"I definitely am not satisfied with running poorly, and I don't think a driver in the garage is and I'm no different than those other guys," he said. "I want to run better and it beats me up pretty bad not to run good."
Asked if he thought others questioned his effort, he said, "Oh, I'm sure a lot of people do. Ain't nothing I can do about that.
"I'm not going to argue with them. It ain't going to change some people's feelings about you."