Earnhardt: 'We want to do better than this'

November, 10, 2012

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- There were a few must-share moments from Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s behind-the-hauler media availability Friday at Phoenix International Raceway.

First, to those who still question Earnhardt's drive and desire to be a champion, I offer this:

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesDale Earnhardt Jr. on the fast-approaching offseason: "I'm ready to go testing. I'm not ready to sit down."

"I wish we could race on into February and start back over, if it was up to me," said Earnhardt, who is 12th in points after missing two races with a concussion. "It's been a good year, but this should be like par for the course. It's been a good year, but we want to do better than this.

"I'm not ready to stop trying to be better."

Earnhardt hasn't always wanted the season to continue. There have been years when, with two races remaining, he couldn't wait for the offseason. There have been times when he dreaded even testing during the offseason.

He admitted that maybe only 30 percent of the time since 2000, when he began driving in the Sprint Cup Series full time, has he wanted the season to keep going this late.

"I'm excited about next year, excited about the opportunities with a new car, working on the new car," Earnhardt said. "I'm ready to go testing. I'm not ready to sit down."

That was enlightening.

Listening to Earnhardt respond to what Brad Keselowski said Tuesday about having to sign a clause in his previous contract at JR Motorsports never to write a book about the experiences he had with NASCAR's most popular driver was downright funny.

"I don't have anything that I would rather him not write about," Earnhardt said with a laugh. "I think he was telling a lie, to be honest with you. We've had some fun times together, and he grew up a whole lot when he was around us."

Such as?

"He hadn't been exposed to a whole lot when we got ahold of him," Earnhardt said. "All he had ever done was race cars. We took him to town and got him some clothes and dressed him up and showed him what was going on.

"It wasn't too crazy."

Now who's lying?

David Newton | email

ESPN Staff Writer



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