Phoenix: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - driver, No. 8 Budweiser team: "Phoenix is a track we can approach with confidence. That's the attitude it's going to take the rest of the season. We've been really good there the past three years - should've probably had...

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

"Phoenix is a track we can approach with confidence. That's the attitude it's going to take the rest of the season. We've been really good there the past three years - should've probably had three wins rather than just last year's race. I've got a lot of good memories at that place between winning last year and clinching a Busch Series championship there in '99. Every time we go to Phoenix, we expect to do well because it's a helluva long flight home if we don't.

"We were racing for the win at Atlanta and we'll do the same each week. We can't control what the other guys in the Chase do, so we'll try to lead every lap and win every race."

In four career starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 8 Budweiser team have scored one victory and two top-five finishes. Dale Jr. led the final 51 laps (87 total) to take the win last season. In 2002, despite running out of fuel while leading (he led 105 laps total), he recovered to a fifth-place finish.

Dale Jr. cut into Kurt Busch's points lead at Atlanta (now trails by 98 points) after a 33rd-place finish, but dropped two positions in the standings to fifth place. On the season, the Budweiser team has five wins, 15 top-fives and 20 top-10s. They have led 18 races for 1,015 laps.

On one-mile tracks this year, Dale Jr. has three top-10s and a pair of third-places finishes (June 6 at Dover and Sept. 19 at New Hampshire). On tracks one mile in length or less this year, the Bud team has four top-10s in its last five races and seven top-10s in 10 races overall, leading a total of 701 laps.

-dei-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Kurt Busch