Phoenix: Dale Earnhardt Jr. preview

AT PHOENIX: In 15 Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Earnhardt has scored two wins, four top-five finishes and seven top-10s and has led 460 laps. POINTS REPORT: Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP ...

AT PHOENIX: In 15 Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Earnhardt has scored two wins, four top-five finishes and seven top-10s and has led 460 laps.

POINTS REPORT: Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, currently sits 10th in the Sprint Cup driver standings after finishing 15th at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on March 28. After six races in the 2010 season, he is 159 points behind leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson and 46 back of fifth-place Jeff Burton.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-586. This is a brand new chassis that never has been tested or raced.

AFTER THE FIRST SIX: In the season's first six Sprint Cup races, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets have earned three wins, eight top-five finishes,10 top-10s and led 27.6 percent of the laps driven (572 laps of 2,074 total).

HENDRICK AT PHOENIX: Hendrick Motorsports, which has the most Cup wins all-time at Phoenix, has swept the last six Cup events at the one-mile oval on the strength of Jimmie Johnson (three wins), Jeff Gordon (two) and Mark Martin (one). Overall, Hendrick Motorsports has scored eight wins, 25 top-five finishes and 47 top-10s in 27 events (95 starts) at PIR.

***

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON PHOENIX.): "Phoenix is a cool track. It's challenging because both ends of the track are completely different. It's tough to make a car work good there but whoever can get through the corners is going to have a good night."

LANCE McGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON NIGHT RACING.): "I like it. It kind of gives you an old-school feel. We all grew up racing short tracks and racing on Saturday nights. I think the cars look good at night, especially if they have the reflective decals. But night racing offers some different challenges with the pits, especially on the right side of the cars. It's harder to see lugnuts so they have gotten pretty inventive with LED lights on their helmets. It's a whole different set of challenges, but the good thing about it is that the balance of the car doesn't change a whole lot from the beginning of the race to the end."

McGREW (ON THE SPOILER AT PHOENIX.): "We are going to have to see. We did the Charlotte (N.C.) test, and we still saw some of the aero tightness behind other cars. It is definitely going to have more of an effect at Phoenix than it did at Martinsville (Va.) but we are going to see even more of a difference next week at Texas. I think we are still trying to figure out how the spoiler is going to affect the car and what we need to do to balance the cars back out. It's going to take a little time to figure it out."

McGREW (ON THE NO. 88 TEAM AFTER SIX RACES.): "There are some things we still need to work on. We haven't been as fast at some tracks as we needed to be. We've been able to get decent finishes out of a bad day, which we couldn't do last year. I'm not really sure if it's sheer will. Short of the axle problem we had in California, it's been relatively seamless but I think that is a stepping stone of where we need to be."

-source: hm

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports