Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- driver, No. 8 Budweiser team: What was it like having Tony Eury Jr. (joined the Bud team as crew chief last week) back on the pit box again? "It was a lot of fun. I think everybody saw it coming, and I'm glad he's back.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- driver, No. 8 Budweiser team:
What was it like having Tony Eury Jr. (joined the Bud team as crew chief last week) back on the pit box again?
"It was a lot of fun. I think everybody saw it coming, and I'm glad he's back. Last weekend was a good start for us. I was real proud of my team. People assumed that we'd just go through the motions in these final 10 races, but honestly, Tony Jr. coming back has kind of put a jolt in our enthusiasm. He's bound and determined to win some of these races and remind everybody what they've got to deal with next year. It's kind of funny actually, because I think his real motivation comes from the bonuses in his contract for wins and top-fives. He said he hasn't gotten as many bonuses this year as he did last year, so he has 10 races to try to make up the difference. I thought that was pretty funny."
Last year you scored a couple of top-10s at Dover. What are your thoughts heading toward this weekend?
"It's a place where we've won, so there's always that confidence there. Last year we raced our guts out for a couple of top-10s, especially the first one. We were two laps down with about 50 to go and ended up finishing third. That was one of the craziest races I'd ever seen. I'm a big fan of the place, enjoy going there, and hopefully we'll have a good car. We're taking a brand new car Tony Jr. built. It's no secret he builds great cars, and I'm looking forward to driving one of 'em again."
BUDWEISER QUICK NOTES: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team enter the Dover race weekend after their sixth top-five finish of the season and first since winning at Chicagoland Speedway (July 9). With a fifth-place finish at New Hampshire International Speedway on Sunday, Junior improved two spots to 15th in the Nextel Cup point standings. He is 100 points out of 11th position and the $1 million season-ending payout. In 2005, the Brew Crew has one win, six top fives and 11 top-10s through 27 races.
DIALING IN DOVER: Dale Jr. has one win, three top-5s and five top-10s in 11 starts at the 1-mile Dover International Speedway. His victory came in September 2001, notable as the first NASCAR race following 9/11. Junior led 193 laps that day. He has led seven of 10 races at Dover for 365 laps.
MILE HIGHS: The Budweiser team has scored top-10 finishes in six of its last seven races on tracks one mile in length, including one win (Phoenix on Nov. 7, 2004) and four top-fives. Since 2003, Junior has averaged 152.7 points per race on the one-milers.