Atlanta II: Earnhardt Jr - GM Top-10 interview

Behind the hauler chat with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS: ON MISSING A DAY OF PRACTICE: "No, it was just qualifying practice, so it is kind of nice actually to just get it in race trim, and get going." ON POSITION IN ...

Behind the hauler chat with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS:

ON MISSING A DAY OF PRACTICE: "No, it was just qualifying practice, so it is kind of nice actually to just get it in race trim, and get going."

ON POSITION IN POINTS RIGHT NOW: "We have to run really, really good this weekend, and go to Texas and Phoenix and do the same thing. We have to try and put ourselves in a great position."

ON MAKING UP SOME POINTS THIS WEEKEND IN ATLANTA: "We will just go out there and do what we can do. Just go out there and just do what we are capable of doing."

ON WHY HE RUNS WELL AND LIKES THE ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY: "I like it because of the top groove and you can really move around on the race track. It is a really wide race track, and you can pretty much run anywhere in the corners."

ON THE RETURN OF THE CHEVROLET IMPALA TO THE NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES: "It makes no difference to me. I think the Impala is a great car, it is pretty cool. I bought one for my mom a couple of years ago, and my grandmother drives an Impala. It is a great car for the market of Chevrolet, as far as publicly, and I think it is a wise choice."

ON THE MARKETING SLOGAN "MY GRANDMOTHER DRIVES AN IMPALA": "My point was that I bought a few myself." (Laughs)

ON BEING "CAUTIOUSLY AGGRESSIVE" IN REMAINING RACES IN THE CHASE: "We just have to go out there, and be a little more aggressive out there, I think. In the situation we were in last week, we had a great opportunity to get some points, and I got over-aggressive. That put us in a situation now that I have no choice but to be aggressive to get the gains we need, so I will try to be smart at the same time, we have to run good."

ON WHETHER THE CHASE HAS BEEN SLOPPY: "We have all sort of been here or there. We could have, as a team, had a little more cut and dry, but you are only human, and are a bunch of guys just trying to make it happen, you can't expect everything to go smoothly all the time."

ON WHETHER THE CHASE IS HARD ON HIM AS A PERSON: "It's not that hard on you; you beat yourself up a little bit, but it sure is exciting and is great to be a part of it and I am just thankful to be so competitive in a sport that I love so much to be challenging and be up there and be doing it. You have to realize that every once in a while you get a little greedy and forget that it's quite a privilege to be here in the first place and to be lucky to be in a car that is competitive enough and to be around guys that are really, really talented on your team. It is something that is rare and I am really thankful to have a chance to be in the Chase, and to be racing in the Chase, but we have a great chance. Like I said, we just have to work real hard the next couple weeks to make some gains back."

ON APOLOGIZING FOR LEADING THE CHASE: "Apologize for being in the lead? Heck, I wouldn't." (Laughs)

ON RACING IN TEXAS NEXT WEEK: "I am looking forward to it. Martin Truex Jr. (DEI teammate, #1 Bass Pro Shops Monte Carlo SS) has been running a little bit better over the last several months and his test at Homestead was very promising for DEI. Those guys are going to be a big bonus for us as far as helping us out on our setups and stuff, and produce some ideas and whatnot. I am feeling really good; we have a great setup, great cars, plus Martin is going to be able to add to that."

ON 1.5 MILE PROGRAM AT DEI: "Absolutely. Really, really happy with it. We have some cars that we really like to run at these tracks and the setups are really comfortable."

ON GETTING OFF TURN 4 SO WELL: "It is just running at the top; the top has a ton of momentum on the long runs, the track gets slick on the bottom and it's hard to get full-throttle on the bottom, and you can beat guys down the straightaway by running at the top. "

ON DIFFERENCE OF RUNNING ATLANTA AS A ROOKIE COMPARED TO NOW: "A little bit. It gets older, and it has turned into quite a mature race track. It is a lot of fun to race on, and I think you have to look at the other mile and a half tracks and see them going in the same direction. These tracks are cookie-cutter when they are first built, but I think the older they get, they get to have their own little personalities and their own little tricks and trades, and things that you can do on them that are different than the others. They become a lot of fun."

-credit: gm racing

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Series NASCAR-CUP