Quotes from: DALE EARNHARDT JR. / Driver, ...
Quotes from: DALE EARNHARDT JR. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet:
"We've been hit-or-miss at Dover -- sometimes we're great, sometimes we're not. But we've won there, so there's always confidence we can do it again. I'm looking forward to going back with Tony (crew chief Eury) Jr. and seeing how much better we can be. We qualified fourth and were strong there last year, but a loose wheel at the beginning of the race ruined our chances to win. We had to make a green-flag pit stop, lost a couple laps, and that was all she wrote. But the car was good, so I know we've got good notes to go off of. If we can keep the car turning, we'll be fast. We'll be good."
On being 7th in points one race into the Chase:
"We're fine. It's still early in the Chase, and anyone who's already counting out Jimmie (Johnson) and Kyle (Busch) is a little foolish. Everybody is so quick to want to cross people off the list, but you can't do that. There are a lot of points to be distributed in nine races. I was frustrated (Sunday after the New Hampshire race) about finishing 13th when I knew we were so much better. I was disappointed, but let me tell you, if that's our one bad race, then we'll contending for the championship. I've got a great team, and I have a lot of confidence in them. They want to win this championship as bad as I do."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team enter race 2 of 10 in the Chase for the Championship seventh in the Nextel Cup point standings, 81 points out of the lead. Junior is coming off a 13th-place finish at New Hampshire on Sunday, his 19th top-15 of the season. He also has one win (Richmond), eight top-fives and 12 top-10s in 2006. He has led in 12 races for 209 laps.
DOVER NOTEBOOK ON THE BUD TEAM:
Dale Jr. scored one of his 17 career victories at Dover (Sept. 23, 2001), notable for being the first NASCAR race following 9/11. Junior led 193 laps that day.
In 13 starts, Junior has one win, three top-fives and six top-10s at DIS.
The Bud team has led eight races at Dover for 366 laps.
Earnhardt has a 15.923 finishing average at Dover.
Junior has won three times on one-mile tracks (twice at Phoenix, once at Dover). In the last 20 "one-mile" races, Dale has scored eight top-fives and 12 top-10s.
Budweiser No. 8 Team CHASE for the Championship SYNOPSIS: A look at the remaining nine tracks in the Chase, and how the Bud team has historically fared at each of them:
DOVER / Dover Downs Raceway
History: Won Sept. 2001 / 3 top-fives / 6 top-10s / led 7 races
Most Recent: 10th place / one lap led
KANSAS / Kansas Speedway
History: Bud Pole: 2002 / 2 top-10s in five races / led 3 races
Most Recent: (2005) 34th place / crash on lap 15 with lapped car
CHARLOTTE / Lowe's Motor Speedway
History: Won the All-Star race, 2000 / three top-5s / Six top-10s / six races led
Most Recent: finished 11th / made up lap after two pit-lane penalties
TALLADEGA / Talladega Superspeedway
History: Track-record four victories in a row / five victories total / 7 top-two finishes / 8 top-10s / 11 races led
Most Recent: 31st place / spun, then blown engine / led 8 laps
MARTINSVILLE / Martinsville Speedway
History: 6 top-fives / 4 races led
Most Recent: Finished fourth / made 15 pit stops after two multi-car crashes
ATLANTA / Atlanta Motor Speedway
History: Won March, 2004 / Eight top-10s / has finished 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 / led 9 races
Most Recent: Finished third, regained a lap after flat tire
TEXAS / Texas Motor Speedway
History: First career victory, 2000 / six top-10s in 8 career starts / Led 5 races / Bud Pole-2001
Most Recent: 12th place / no laps led
PHOENIX / Phoenix International Raceway
History: Two consecutive victories: 2003/2004 / five top-five finishes/ 3 races led
Most Recent: finished 23rd/ running top-three until two multi-car crashes
HOMESTEAD / Homestead-Miami Speedway
History: No top-10s / led 46 laps in 2002
Most Recent: (2005) finished 19th / -1 lap after flat tire then separate pit lane penalty