Fontana: Dale Earnhardt Jr. preview

AMP ENERGY JUICE: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Chevrolet will showcase an orange-and-white paint scheme this weekend at Auto Club Speedway to feature AMP Energy's new product -- AMP Energy Juice. AMP Energy Juice comes in orange and mixed berry ...

AMP ENERGY JUICE: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Chevrolet will showcase an orange-and-white paint scheme this weekend at Auto Club Speedway to feature AMP Energy's new product -- AMP Energy Juice. AMP Energy Juice comes in orange and mixed berry flavors and is 100 percent juice with all the energy of AMP Energy drinks.

AT FONTANA: In 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Auto Club Speedway, Earnhardt has scored three top-five finishes and four top-10s and led 25 laps. He recorded a career-best runner-up finish at the California racetrack in September 2006.

POINTS REPORT: Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy Juice/National Guard Chevrolet, currently ranks second in the Sprint Cup Series championship standings. He trails leader Jamie McMurray by 15 points.

CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-578 for this weekend's 500-mile event at Auto Club Speedway. This is a brand new chassis that has not been raced or tested.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Team transporter drivers Dave Radney and Rich Pickrell will log almost 5,000 miles this week traveling round-trip from Concord, N.C., to Fontana, Calif. A second transporter will head west on Friday to swap the Auto Club Speedway cars with the ones the team will run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. At the conclusion of Sunday's 500-mile event at ACS, Radney, Pickrell and crew members will switch the cars. The transporter drivers will stay through the Las Vegas race before beginning the roughly 33-hour trip back to Hendrick Motorsports' North Carolina headquarters.

HENDRICK AT CALIFORNIA: Hendrick Motorsports has tallied eight wins, 25 top-five finishes and 34 top-10s in 19 races (74 starts) at Auto Club Speedway. Hendrick has posted at least one top-five finish in all but three events, including the last 10 straight.

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 AMP ENERGY JUICE/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON RACING AT CALIFORNIA.): "I haven't typically been good at California, but it's easier to go there after we ran good at Daytona (Fla.). I'm looking forward to seeing how we are as a team. The entire team had an awesome showing these past two weeks. I want to go to Fontana and be competitive. I think how we run the next few weeks will be a little more validation of where we are. Lance (McGrew, crew chief) and the guys are working hard so hopefully we will have a good run in Fontana."

EARNHARDT (ON THE AMP JUICE PAINT SCHEME.) "The car looks awesome and the orange is going to look good on the track. I think everyone pretty much knows I'm not a morning person so AMP Juice is a good wakeup call on mornings when I have to be up early."

LANCE McGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 AMP ENERGY JUICE/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON HEADING TO CALIFORNIA AFTER A STRONG RUN AT DAYTONA.): "I definitely think it makes it easier to go to the racetrack when you come off of a good run. I don't think it translates much more than that because the speedway program and the downforce program are two different entities. Definitely adds a little confidence and a little momentum for the guys that have worked on the car."

McGREW (ON THE NEW GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED FLAG RULE.): "I definitely think it adds a level of excitement. I think we need to do everything we can do as a sport to keep people in the stands. It doesn't bother me if we benefited from it or not. I feel like it is exciting, and I think that ultimately we are an entertainment sport and we need to give the fans the most for their money."

McGREW (ON THE CHALLENGES OF RACING AT CALIFORNIA.): "The track is slick generally. It just doesn't have a lot of grip. We have struggled there in qualifying, and we are going to make a pretty concerted effort this season to improve our qualifying effort. It is so much easier to start up front and stay up front than work your way to the front. We had a real good race car there last fall. We were good in practice but didn't qualify well. We wound up with a really good car at the end of the race, but ended up cutting a tire and getting in a wreck. So we didn't get the finish that we should have gotten. We are really focusing on our qualifying effort, and I think it will take us a few weeks to get a better handle on that but we should continue to get better and better."

-source: hm

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jamie McMurray
Teams Hendrick Motorsports