With the front end of the No. 88 Chevrolet shredded and its left rear mangled, Dale Earnhardt Jr. stopped in the garage and tossed his steering wheel on the dashboard.

A crash with two laps left in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 cost NASCAR’s most popular driver a shot at his first top-10 finish on the Sonoma road course, but that wasn’t the only reason for Earnhardt’s frustration.

“I’m this mad because we didn’t run better,” said Earnhardt, who finished 23rd after starting 19th. “We’re better than this. I’ve run better here. We weren’t good all weekend. We’ve got to put a better car on the racetrack.