DALE EARNHARDT JR. NO. 88 AMP ENERGY / NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS WILL START 3RD. HOW DID PRACTICE GO TODAY? "I am pretty excited about the race. It will be fun to race here under the lights. It is always fun when you go to tracks and get to...
DALE EARNHARDT JR. NO. 88 AMP ENERGY / NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS WILL START 3RD.
HOW DID PRACTICE GO TODAY?
"I am pretty excited about the race. It will be fun to race here under the lights. It is always fun when you go to tracks and get to run under the lights for the first. I think it is a little more energetic of an atmosphere for the drivers, the fans and the crews. Everybody is pretty excited about having Sunday to make some plans of their own.
"As far as practice, we started off pretty good, we weren't quite as fast as a couple of guys. We made some changes and got the cars much quicker and I was real happy with it at the end of practice. Unfortunately we won't be able to really see what we could have done with it in qualifying, we still have a great starting spot. Hopefully we will have some good weather tomorrow to work on the race setup, we didn't make any race runs."
DID YOU HAVE TIME TO NOTICE ANY DIFFERENCE IN TIRE WEAR TODAY? DO YOU THINK TIRE WEAR WILL BE AN ISSUE?
"I don't think tire wear will be an issue. Cooler temperatures will help. I like I said, I only ran qualifying runs so we weren't looking at a lot of wear by doing that. I didn't notice any difference in the tire and how it felt grip wise from one year to the next. This track seems to be aging really well and producing a lot of different grooves to run on. It should be a real fun race. It looked like the Nationwide cars had already worked up in to the second groove. I saw some guys even running it in the Cup practice."
WHAT DO YOU DO DURING A DAY TIME PRACTICE TO ANTICIPATE WHERE THE TRACK IS GOING TO BE AT NIGHT?
"I guess it is not really as extreme as it is at Charlotte and other places. You work on getting the front end to work really really good. If the car gets a little bit too free, you don't get too worried too about that because the later starting time will allow for more grip. We've been setting our cars up pretty loose at the mile-and-a-half tracks and it seems to be pretty good for us. I think we got a little bit too far in to that at Michigan, so Tony, Jr. (Eury) is going to tone it down a little bit. Having no laps prior to today with the new car, we really had to work on the front end where we needed it for the bump stops and the splitter to be where it needs to be. When we first went out there, we had too much of this and not enough of that and we adjusted on a lot of that stuff to get the car to driving better. I don't know what it is going to do on the long runs. Hopefully tomorrow we will get some laps. These cars have a tendency to do different things. Sometimes they get looser the longer you run, sometimes they get tighter. The mile-and-a-halves, we have been pretty fortunate and had some really good setups and have a really good baseline we that we seem to take everywhere that works really well. I expect that to be the same thing this weekend."