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NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Jr. wants to like Sonoma track

June 24, 2011 |  3:25 pm

It's no secret that Dale Earnhardt Jr. and curvy road courses don't mix well, but the popular NASCAR driver wants to change that.Dale

Amid a resurgence in Earnhardt's performance this season -- he's third in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series championship point standings -- Earnhardt said he wants that improvement to extend even to the 10-turn Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, site of Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Asked Friday what his hopes were for this weekend, Earnhardt replied, “To make it my favorite place and go out there and be fast and competitive.

"We want to go out there and be a factor all day and look forward to coming back next year," said Earnhardt, who has never finished in the top 10 in 11 starts at Infineon.

Earnhardt, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports, has gone three years without a win but so far this season has eight top-10 finishes.

Earnhardt also said he'd patched things up with teammate Mark Martin after contact with Martin's car sent Earnhardt into the wall at last Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway.

"It's good," Earnhardt said. "We handled it after the race and talked a little bit and texted each other back and forth. Everything's cool."


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Photo: Dale Earnhardt Jr. during practice Friday for the NASCAR race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on Sunday. Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images