Dale Earnhardt Jr. - driver, No. 8 Budweiser team: "We've been really testing hard at some places that have given us some trouble, and Kansas is one of them. We tested there last week and it went really well, and I was happy with the car. Matt...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - driver, No. 8 Budweiser team:
"We've been really testing hard at some places that have given us some trouble, and Kansas is one of them. We tested there last week and it went really well, and I was happy with the car. Matt (Kenseth) was there and a bunch of other guys. Nobody said their car was really handling great. We were all kind of struggling with the same things. The cars didn't seem to want to turn, or they were too loose. But we were happy at the end of two days. We ran really good there the first race and ended up blowing a right-front tire. I guess there's a real fine line in having everything just right. We might not be out in the front, but at least we'll be closer."
On being the point-leader after three races in the Chase for the Nextel Cup:
"I'm real excited about the points lead. There's a lot of racing left. We've put some distance between us and the fifth-place guy, so we keep on narrowing it down a little bit. It's still anybody's race, I think, but we've started with three top-10 finishes and I don't see a reason we can't keep that pace for the rest of the season. That's what it's going to take to win it."
Race #4 of the Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship takes the No. 8 Budweiser team to Kansas Speedway, where Dale Jr. has one top-10 in three starts. Despite being a track pinpointed as a potential problem track for Dale Jr., he is the only driver that has led in all three races at Kansas. Dale Jr. enters the Kansas race weekend on the wave of four consecutive top-10 finishes, including a win Sunday at Talladega.
Dale Jr.'s Talladega victory was the 14th of his career and fifth this season (tying him with Jeff Gordon for the series lead.) With seven races to go in the Chase for the Nextel Cup championship, Dale Jr. holds a 13-point edge over Kurt Busch in the standings and 61-point advantage on Jeff Gordon. Dale Jr. and Busch are the only drivers to record three top-10 finishes in the first three "Chase" races. With his five wins, Dale Jr. also has 14 top-5s and 18 top-10s this season.