Darlington II: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Earnhardt Jr. Budweiser race preview Dale Jr. Quotes for Darlington "The momentum is back on our side, and we're really working well as a team right now. I think we all have stepped up and it's paying off. Two good runs in a row is something we...

Earnhardt Jr. Budweiser race preview

Dale Jr. Quotes for Darlington
"The momentum is back on our side, and we're really working well as a team right now. I think we all have stepped up and it's paying off. Two good runs in a row is something we haven't had since early in the season. With the way Tony Jr. (Eury, car chief) and the guys are working, it should stay that way the rest of the season. The points have gotten away from us for this year, but we're going to end strong and work toward living up to the championship expectations in 2003

"I used to dread going to Darlington - the people at the track even gave me a trophy for saying the surface is full of nothing but shells and garbage (it still is, by the way) -- but we have really concentrated on making the car behave the way we want it to for more than a few laps. Your tires lose grip just by rolling them across the pit lane, so the challenge is to not burn 'em up on the first lap or two after a pit stop when you feel like a superhero zooming past cars on old tires. You have to make the tires last for a full run or you can fall so far back you have no shot to win. The spring race here (4th place finish) was our best run ever, and we were in the hunt for the win from the start to the finish. I think we learned a lot, and we'll apply that this weekend"

The Numbers Say 100
Beginning in 1999 with five starts in the Budweiser No. 8, Dale Jr's Winston Cup career reaches 100 starts this weekend at Darlington. Here's how the numbers stack up following his first 99 races in the Dale Earnhardt Inc. entry. <pre> Career 1999 2000 2001 2002 Starts: 99 5 34 36 24 Wins: 6 0 2 3 1 Non-Pts. Wins 1 0 1 0 0 Top Three: 13 0 2 8 3 Top Five: 18 0 3 9 6 Top Ten: 29 1 4 15 9 Bud Pole Positions: 5 0 2 2 1 Races Led: 40 1 10 16 15 Laps Led: 1918 1 427 765 725 Career Earnings: $11,122,998 $162,095 2,583,075 5,827,542 2,550,290 </pre> Winston Cup Victories:
Texas Motor Speedway, April 2, 2000
Richmond Intl. Raceway, May 6, 2000
Daytona International Speedway, July 7, 2001
Dover Downs Raceway, September 23, 2001
Talladega Superspeedway, October 21, 2001
Talladega Superspeedway, April 21, 2002

Dale Jr's six career wins place him 27th on the victories list in the "modern" (1972-present) era of Winston Cup racing. He is the only driver to have six. (He will need to win two more races to tie Kyle Petty, who currently has eight career victories.)

Non-Points "All-Star" Victories: Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 20, 2000 (The Winston)

Bud Pole Positions:
Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 24, 2000
Michigan Intl. Speedway, August 18, 2000
Texas Motor Speedway, March 30, 2001
Atlanta Motor Speedway, November 16, 2001
Michigan International Speedway, August 16, 2002

After struggling for several seasons at the odd-shaped Darlington track, Dale Jr. and the team found a new set-up and successful approach for the spring race here in March. The red Budweiser car was out in front for 10 laps late in the race on the way to a career-best-at-Darlington finish of fourth place.

-dei/budweiser-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Kyle Petty