Pocono II: Dale Earnhardt Jr. preview

AT POCONO: In 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has recorded one pole position, five top-five finishes and six top-10s. He has completed 96.8 percent of all the laps he's attempted (3,957 laps of 4,089 total).

AT POCONO: In 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has recorded one pole position, five top-five finishes and six top-10s. He has completed 96.8 percent of all the laps he's attempted (3,957 laps of 4,089 total). The 35-year-old driver has led a total of 98 laps there.

POCONO POLE POSITION: Earnhardt has one Sprint Cup pole position at Pocono, which he earned in August 2007 when he led eight laps and finished second. The runner-up effort matched his best performance at the Long Pond, Pa., track. Earnhardt also finished second there on July 29, 2001, after leading 31 laps.

POINTS AFTER THE BRICKYARD: Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, holds the 14th position in the championship standings. He trails 12th-place Clint Bowyer by 93 points with six races remaining until the 12-car field is set for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-584. Earnhardt picked up the pole position at Atlanta Motor Speedway and went on to score a 15th-place finish with this chassis in March. Earnhardt last raced this chassis at Pocono in June where he notched a 19th-place finish after qualifying third.

BOY SCOUT JAMBOREE: Before heading to Pocono Raceway, Earnhardt will attend the Boy Scouts of America's National Scout Jamboree on behalf of the National Guard on Thursday. Earnhardt and teammate Jeff Gordon will attend the event in Fort A.P. Hill, Va., and participate in a question-and-answer session with the scouts in several Boy Scout/driver challenges. Immediately following this event, both drivers will participate in the Advance Riffle Marksmanship with National Guard soldiers, where they'll practice shooting guns at a range on site.

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON POCONO.): "I think the difference between a good finish and a bad finish at Pocono is getting the car to turn through the center and really being able to get down into Turn 1. The car wants to go straight into that corner so bad. Getting comfortable enough to be able to be fast through the tunnel (Turn 2) all day long is important. The corners are so different it's so easy to try to improve one thing and just screw up something that wasn't even a problem. So when we've run good, we've had awesome race cars. Hopefully we'll have another one."

LANCE McGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON ABILITY TO TEST BETWEEN TWO POCONO RACES.): "We test before we go to every single racetrack whether it's the wind tunnel, seven-post or some other type of simulation. Track testing is ultimately what we would like to get but don't have that opportunity with NASCAR. What we normally do when we repeat a track is we look at what we think went right the last time we were there and we do simulation runs off of that. We try to build files with the data we have collected over the years. We do simulation runs and seven-post runs. We try to build grip. It's not testing the traditional way where you go to the track and runs laps there. It's more a lot of really smart engineers figuring out how to make your car faster without having a driver, tires, fuel and travel expenses. You make time to do what you have to do to perform than you did the time before -- every single time.

McGREW (ON USING THE SETUP FROM THE JUNE RACE.): "Usually the track loses a fair bit of grip so if you were a little bit loose before then you are going to be a lot loose now. We did fight that a little bit during the course of the June race so we are making some adjustments for that. It's just track surface temperature more than anything. Our setup for qualifying was really good. If we had a better qualifying draw then I think we would have been on the pole. Our qualifying setup is going to be very similar and our race setup is going to be very similar."

McGREW (ON PIT STRATEGY AT POCONO.): "It's definitely a different kind of racetrack. A lot of our races seem to come down to short runs at the end. So whether you pit or don't pit, it's a gamblers kind of place. You can be up to 13 to 14 seconds behind the leader and pit and stay on the lead lap because the track is so long. So you run that place a lot like a road course where you figure your fuel. Over the years, fuel mileage has won that race quite a few times. Track position is everything. A lot of the tracks seem to be coming down to pit strategy. We had a strong race car the last time we were there and hopefully we can repeat that."

-source: hendrick motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Clint Bowyer
Teams Hendrick Motorsports