Homestead: Dale Earnhardt preview

AT HOMESTEAD: In nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has led 93 laps and has recorded two top-15 finishes and four top-20s at the 1.5-mile oval. He scored his best finish -- 13th -- at Homestead ...

AT HOMESTEAD: In nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has led 93 laps and has recorded two top-15 finishes and four top-20s at the 1.5-mile oval. He scored his best finish -- 13th -- at Homestead during his rookie season in November 2000.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-559. Earnhardt last raced this chassis at Auto Club Speedway in October. He spent 70 percent of the race inside the top 15 and was running 11th when he was involved in an accident with five laps remaining. He finished 25th.

INTERMEDIATE TRACK STATS: In 174 Cup starts on intermediate (one- to two-mile) tracks, Earnhardt has recorded six wins, five pole positions, 37 top-five finishes and 67 top-10s. On 1.5-mile tracks, such as Homestead, he is sixth overall among active, full-time drivers in the laps led category (1,169 laps) and seventh overall in top-10 finishes (27 total).

HENDRICK AT HOMESTEAD: Homestead-Miami Speedway is the only racetrack on the current Sprint Cup schedule where Hendrick Motorsports has not won a race. The organization, which will wrap up its 25th anniversary season this weekend, has recorded eight top-five finishes and 16 top-10s in 10 Cup events (39 starts) there.

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON HOMESTEAD.): "I haven't had the best results at Homestead since they reconfigured the track, but hopefully with Lance (McGrew, crew chief) we can improve on that. You really have to hunt for the best line there. The corners are real tight, and the car doesn't want to turn and roll through the center like you would expect it to. We always seem to get tight through the center there. We've had some good runs here lately, and hopefully we can end the season on a positive note."

LANCE McGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON GOALS FOR FINAL RACE OF THE SEASON.): "Just a good, consistent run. It doesn't have to be first or third. It could be that we qualified in the top 10, we ran in the top 10 all day and we finished sixth. I would like to see the race start and end the same way, just to show that we can do it. I would like to see some consistency throughout the event."

McGREW (ON CHALLENGES AT HOMESTEAD.): "It's just a different type of racetrack. The progressive banking, even in qualifying it seemed like the high line was faster than the low line. It's just different. It's very unique as far as racetracks go."

McGREW (ON HIS OFFSEASON GOALS.): "I think the first thing that you have to do is try to put your pieces in place for next year as quick as you can. Because the longer the teams work together, the guys get more familiar with each other and everybody knows their role and position. Just like any other job, with repetition comes speed in how you do things. We need to put those guys in place as quick as we can so all of the positions are set up. Then when we have a chance to do a little bit of offseason testing -- a little bit of this, a little bit of that -- we can evaluate all of our people."

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Teams Hendrick Motorsports