Indianapolis: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Budweiser Race Preview: Indianapolis Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still recovering from burns sustained in a sports-car accident two weeks ago. Dale Jr. intends to practice, qualify and complete the Brickyard 400 in the No. 8 Budweiser car. As of 1...

Budweiser Race Preview: Indianapolis

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still recovering from burns sustained in a sports-car accident two weeks ago. Dale Jr. intends to practice, qualify and complete the Brickyard 400 in the No. 8 Budweiser car. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dale Earnhardt Inc. had not made any decisions regarding the availability of a back-up driver if needed during the race.

Dale Jr. and the No. 8 Budweiser team have finished 14th or better in three of four races at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with their best finish a 10th-place effort in 2001. Dale Jr. has finished on the lead lap in all of his races at the Brickyard. In last year's Brickyard 400, the Bud team climbed to as high as third position before making an extra pit stop to replace a loose wheel. Dale Jr. dropped to 23rd but clipped off nine positions in the final 20 laps to finish 14th.

With six races to go before the "Chase for the Championship" begins, Dale Jr. is in third place in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings (-267 behind leader Jimmie Johnson and -35 behind Jeff Gordon) after a 25th-place finish at Pocono. For the second straight week, Dale Jr. split driving duties with another driver, this time completing 53 of 200 laps before handing the Bud Chevy over to relief driver John Andretti. Dale Jr. is still nursing painful burns suffered in an American LeMans Series crash on July 18, but it was numbness in his legs - not the burns - that led to the decision to get out of the car.

On the season the Brew Crew has three wins, nine top-fives and 12 top-10s. Dale Jr. has finished seventh or better in nine of his last 11 races at tracks 2.5 miles in length or longer.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson