Michigan: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- driver, No. 8 Budweiser team: You've been fast at Michigan in the past with a couple of Bud Poles, but haven't had a lot of great finishes. What are your thoughts heading into this weekend? "I think we're up for the ...

Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- driver, No. 8 Budweiser team:

You've been fast at Michigan in the past with a couple of Bud Poles, but haven't had a lot of great finishes. What are your thoughts heading into this weekend?

"I think we're up for the challenge. We tested (at Michigan) last week, because we've struggled there and at similar tracks. We seem to have a hard time getting our cars to turn in the corners on these big flat speedways. We did everything we could to get our car to turn in the middle of the corners at both races there last year. Hopefully we'll be better this week."

How satisfied are you with the information sharing between the No. 8 Budweiser and No. 15 NAPA Dale Earnhardt Inc. teams?

"I'm happy with the way the two teams are communicating right now. It's better than I ever remember it being. We want both DEI teams in the Chase. That's the long-term goal, so we're doing what we can to make that happen. We'd like to be a closer to the top-10, but we're certainly within striking distance. There's a long way to go before the Chase begins. Michael (Waltrip) and the (number) 15 guys are running pretty good right now. I was really happy to see them win the Bud Pole (at Pocono last Saturday) and get a top-five in the race. We're struggling, but I know how hard we're working, and seeing the 15 team have success gives me confidence that we'll be able to pull out of this rut. We know we've got to run better if we're going to give ourselves a chance. We need some top-fives, some good finishes, to climb back up in the standings. We'll never give up."

2005 SEASON OVERVIEW: The #8 Budweiser team with Dale Earnhardt Jr. enters the 15th race of the season tied for 16th in the Nextel Cup point standings (1,558 points / 104 points out of Chase eligibility and 124 points out of the top-10). Dale Jr. has scored three top-fives and five top-10s in 14 races.

AT MICHIGAN: Michigan is the only track where Dale Jr. has earned multiple Bud Pole Awards. Junior's best finish at Michigan is seventh, in June, 2003. He has led five races (in 11 starts) at MIS, the most coming in August 2003 when he held the point for 37 laps en route to a 10th-place finish.

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Series NASCAR-CUP