Dale Earnhardt Jr. declared himself happy with his first weekend with new crew chief Lance McGrew, following his split with Tony Eury Jr.
McGrew was initially scheduled to work with Brad Keselowski during the weekend at Dover, but the Talladega race winner didn't qualify his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for the Sprint Cup race, allowing McGrew to get on with his new role beside Earnhardt a week earlier than planned.
During the race, Earnhardt ran as high as third and looked set for a top five finish but an out of sequence stop for adjustments in the second half of the race lost him track position. Although he only managed to recover to finish 12th, the result is by far his best in the past four events.
"I'm happier. I would like to have run better than 12th," Earnhardt said. "We had the car really good there for most of the race. We got it a little too loose, then got real tight trying to fix it. Track position was real important and we didn't have it at the end of the race.
"We had good communication and we made the car a little better, I was pretty happy and pleased. We need to keep doing that."
Despite speaking about their good communication, Earnhardt admitted that sometimes it was hard for him to understand McGrew on the radio and get the right interpretation of what he was saying.
He says this was just their first race and expects they can keep running consistently like they did on Sunday.
"A lot of times they have to repeat stuff to me but I thought the communication was easy to understand," said Earnhardt. "I thought that he knew when I said the car was about a two or a four or a five tight, I think he has a real good idea of what just about that area is.
"Man, this is just one race. We've got to do this a lot. I don't want to give ourselves any credit yet until we can perform at this level more consistently but I'm really proud of my guys."
Team owner Rick Hendrick was equally pleased with the way McGrew and Earnhardt worked in their first race together.
"I thought it was a really good effort," said Hendrick. "I thought the communication was really good. The car, we got to the front. We were one adjustment off that we had to take out of the car. But overall, I'd give it a really good grade. I think had we not had that adjustment we have a top six or a top five car.
"For the guys to work that well together that quick, I was really pleased. I listened to them all day and the communication was extremely good."
McGrew himself was also satisfied with the team's result on his debut beside NASCAR's most popular driver.
"You can't go from where we were to first - it's not going to happen," said McGrew. "This week we were 12th today keep will moving forward. We had fantastic communication all day and great communication with the team.
"We fell off a little in the center of the race and I'm not 100 percent why but we rebounded and came home with a decent finish."
Earnhardt Jr. moved up one place in the driver standing but he's still 215 points off from getting inside the top 12 in the championship.