Dale Jr.: "Going into the Phoenix race, there couldn't be more of a difference for the Bud team between this year and last year. I mean, it's the same guys, the same team, but we are now a championship-type group. Last year, it was at a point of...
Dale Jr.: "Going into the Phoenix race, there couldn't be more of a difference for the Bud team between this year and last year. I mean, it's the same guys, the same team, but we are now a championship-type group. Last year, it was at a point of the season where we were burnt out, really struggling and just hoping the year would end as soon as possible. Now, we're coming off of a huge win, we've got momentum and we're doing all we can to finish the season in the top five in points. There is a confidence growing that is almost like when we won two Busch Series championships together."
Dale Jr. and the No. 8 Bud Team at Phoenix
Winston Cup Starts: 1
Best Start: 18th (Nov., 2000)
Best Finish: 27th (Nov., 2000)
Dale Earnhardt Inc. Response to NASCAR Penalty
Response from Ty Norris, Executive Vice President at Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) regarding the $25,000 fine assessed to crew chief Tony Eury for the car being 1/8-inch below minimum height following the EA Sports 500.
"We respect NASCAR's decision to remain consistent in the penalty for this particular infraction. The Budweiser Chevrolet had no problem passing the height stick during pre-race inspection, but we carry such tremendous speeds for 500 miles over a very rough race track that it causes these soft springs to coil bind just about every lap. Anyone watching on television can see how much these cars bounce around. Just like every other Winston Cup team, we are right on the edge at these restrictor plate events, and if the springs give up rate during the event, it is understandable how the roof height could lose 1/8 of an inch.
"We completely understand NASCAR has a "no tolerance" rule as it pertains to roof height and we must respect that. However, this incident, along with the other three documented incidents earlier this year, NASCAR may review its 'no tolerance' stance in the future."
Bud Pole Qualifying:
Bud Pole qualifying is scheduled to take place Friday at 4:00 pm, and can be seen live on the CNN/SI sports cable network or on radio with the Motor Racing Network (MRN).
What to Watch
The Phoenix track is a unique 1-mile oval with a dogleg along the backstretch and long, flat turns. This makes passing difficult and track position critical. Look for teams really going for quick laps in Bud Pole qualifying in order to start at or near the front for Sunday's race.