Chevrolet Impala SS and R07 Engine Start 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season in Winning Fashion Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Scores Exciting Victory in Budweiser Shootout at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, FL, February 10, 2008 - Picking up exactly where they...
Chevrolet Impala SS and R07 Engine Start 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season in Winning Fashion
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Scores Exciting Victory in Budweiser Shootout at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, FL, February 10, 2008 - Picking up exactly where they left off at the end of the 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season (NSCS), Chevrolet Impala SS and the innovative, award-winning R07 engine powered Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (Junior) to victory lane in the Budweiser Shootout to kick off the 2008 racing season.
Behind the wheel of the No. 88 Amp Energy/National Guard Impala SS, Junior scored an exciting and dramatic win in his debut with Hendrick Motorsports. It was his second Shootout victory in eight career starts.
It was the 17th Team Chevy Shootout victory, more than any other manufacturer.
In fact, it is the fourth consecutive year and seventh time in the last 10 events a Bowtie driver has made the coveted trip to victory lane.
"Dale, Jr.'s win in the Shootout is an exciting way for Team Chevy to start the 2008 season," said Pat Suhy, NASCAR Group Manager for GM Racing. "It was a short off-season and everyone at GM Racing has been working hard with our teams to maintain the momentum from last season's record-breaking 26 wins.
"We know that it is going to be very competitive season in the Cup season, but the engineering group at GM Racing has been working very closely with all of our teams on every level. This continuing level of teamwork has been the hallmark of our success. Starting Speedweeks with a trip to victory lane not only carries the momentum forward, but builds enthusiasm and fuels our determination as we approach the Daytona 500 next Sunday."
For Junior, the trip to victory lane was as sweet as it gets.
"That was fun. The Shootout is a neat race. I had a blast those last few laps," exclaimed Earnhardt, Jr. bI got some great help from my teammates. Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Impala SS) gave me a push there at the end and it helped me a lot. He and Casey (Mears, No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Impala SS) were lined up there on the outside and that was great for us. I've got to thank those guys for the help. I've got to thank my team for building a beautiful Chevrolet race car and they did such a good job all winter and everybody back at Hendrick has worked so hard. This is great for us, man. This is exactly what we needed coming out of the gate. I hope the fans enjoyed that race. It was fun for me. And I'm just so proud of my team, National Guard, AMP, Sony, Adidas, Chevy and everybody that's helped us. We've had such a long off-season. This makes it all worth it."
Johnson crossed the finish line in third with HMS teammate Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Impala SS following in fourth. Mears finished sixth. Team Chevy driver Mark Martin, No. 8 U.S. Army Impala SS fielded by Dale Earnhardt, Inc., (DEI) finished eighth.
Clint Bowyer, No. 07 Jack Daniel's Impala SS from the Richard Childress Racing stable, came home 14th. DEI's Martin Truex, Jr., No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Impala SS, finished 21st after being sidelined in a multi-car accident on lap 47 of the 70 lap race.
-credit: gm racing