After starting the day 12 Earnhardt never quite had the speed in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevy to contend for the win.
“We ran a little bit better than where we finished,” Earnhardt said. “But just needed a little track position at the end.”
When the day was over, Earnhardt was scored seventh; his best run at Vegas since the second of his runner-up finishes in 2008.
“Couldn’t really get going, just didn’t,” he said. “I don’t know, the car was pretty good, not exceptional.”
However, Earnhardt now has two top fives and the top ten finish Sunday to start the season and finds himself third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.
“We got a pretty good little start to the season,” Earnhardt said. “We are working on it trying to improve and we are running up front. So, real happy with that, real happy with our performance.”
Another thing Earnhardt was happy about was racing the new Gen 6 cars at the 1.5 mile in Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday.
“I loved it. It was so much fun,” Earnhardt said. “We were moving all over the race track. Just aside from the bumps, I’m not a big fan of all them bumps down in turn one. The surface and race ability here is just what all tracks ought to strive for. There are a few just like it on the circuit like Atlanta, but all the tracks ought to shoot for something like this.”