Season Review: Dale Earnhardt Jr

Turns out missing the "Chase" in 2005 was a positive step for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and DEI.

After coming up short in making the championship season a year ago, Earnhardt, Jr. and company went to work on 2006. Reuniting Earnhardt, Jr. and crew chief Tony Eury, Jr. proved to be a key decision that resulted in the No. 8 team finding the chemistry that seemed lost in 2005.

Earnhardt, Jr. made the "Chase" and was in the title hunt until the very end before winding up fifth in the final standings.

"I can't express how proud I am of this team," Earnhardt said. "I just have a tremendous team behind me. They just never gave up all year. We battled back when we [were] down race after race."

On the strength of ten top-five finishes, including a win at Richmond in May, Earnhardt, Jr. and company rebounded from what Junior called a dismal year in 2005.

"We had a great team all year long, and we've got so much to look forward to," Earnhardt, Jr. said. "We have to maintain great positive attitudes through the offseason, get some work done and get some great cars built and put it to them next year."

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