Indianapolis: Dale Earnhardt Jr. preview

POINTS AFTER CHICAGO: Earnhardt holds the 13th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship standings. He trails 12th-place Clint Bowyer by a mere 15 points with seven races remaining until the 12-car field is set for the Chase for the ...

POINTS AFTER CHICAGO: Earnhardt holds the 13th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship standings. He trails 12th-place Clint Bowyer by a mere 15 points with seven races remaining until the 12-car field is set for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

APPROACHING 500: Earnhardt will make his 498th start in a NASCAR national series race Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 35-year-old driver made his NASCAR debut in the Nationwide Series on June 22, 1996, at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway. Earnhardt, who never has competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has 115 career Nationwide Series starts and will make his 383rd Sprint Cup Series start at Indy. His 500th NASCAR national series start will come Aug. 8 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

LAST YEAR AT THE BRICKYARD: A year ago, Earnhardt qualified his No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet third at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, tying his career-best starting position there. Earnhardt ran no lower than ninth for 127 of 160 laps before engine failure sidelined him on Lap 127. He finished 36th.

AT INDY: In 10 Sprint Cup starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has recorded two top-10 finishes and led 54 laps. In five of those races, Earnhardt has lined up sixth or better for the historic event. He scored his best finish -- sixth-place -- at the 2.5-mile oval in 2006.

SPEEDWAY SUCCESS: Earnhardt has scored eight of his 18 career Sprint Cup wins on tracks that are two miles or longer: five at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, two at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and his most recent victory at Michigan International Speedway in 2008. He also has tallied three pole positions, 28 top-five finishes, 44 top-10s and 1,408 laps led at tracks more than two miles in length.

INDIANAPOLIS CHASSIS: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-612. This is a new chassis that has not been raced or tested.

CHEVY DAY: On Sunday at 10 a.m. local time, Earnhardt will participate in a fan question-and-answer session at the Team Chevy stage adjacent to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum inside the track. The Chevy display will be open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday.

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON WHAT A WIN AT INDIANAPOLIS WOULD MEAN.) "When somebody asks me what it would feel like to win here, I think about the open-wheel history of this track, and I think about drivers like (Mario) Andretti and (A.J.) Foyt and the guys even before them. I think about the history of this track and how it's survived the war and closed down and opened back up and everything that it's been through. When they first brought stock cars here to practice, it was a realization for a lot of people, including myself, being an aspiring driver at the time, that I may have a chance one day to race at Indianapolis that I otherwise didn't think that I would have unless I was to go in the open-wheel series."   LANCE McGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON RUNNING LAST YEAR'S SETUP AT INDIANAPOLIS.): "I think you always look at your past setups. There are some places we go where you will carbon copy it. But you continue to evolve. I think some of the stuff we ran at Indy last year, we now have better stuff. Sometimes we will try our old packages and then may migrate more toward what we've been racing lately. I think that Indy race was a good one for us. We had a car capable of finishing in the top five but didn't end up with the finish. This season we've managed to run up front and stay up front when we've had cars capable of doing so and doing it pretty consistently."

McGREW (ON WHAT A WIN AT INDIANAPOLIS WOULD MEAN.): "There's a level of excitement that is pretty surreal there, and there is such a history with that track. I remember sitting on the couch when I was a kid watching that race (Indianapolis 500) every year. I can't imagine what it would be like to win there. I think that would be the ultimate. It's a track that Dale really loves, and he is such a historian when it comes to NASCAR and racing in general that kissing the bricks would have to be pretty incredible. I've been lucky enough to win at O'Reilly Raceway Park couple of times (laughs) and we've kissed the start-finish line, but it's not quite the same. Winning at Indianapolis would be pretty incredible."

-source: hendrick motorsport

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Teams Hendrick Motorsports