Pocono II: Earnhardt Jr - Friday media visit

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media and discussed his race car this weekend, Andy Pilgrim driving for his team in Montreal, on racing at Pocono, his vision for JR Motorsports, his visit to the...

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS, met with members of the media and discussed his race car this weekend, Andy Pilgrim driving for his team in Montreal, on racing at Pocono, his vision for JR Motorsports, his visit to the Hendrick Motorsports shop, his plans for his team next year, his position in the points standings, what he expects for this weekend, his finish at Indianapolis and going to Tennessee and his activities there.

Select quotes from driver interview:

ON ANDY PILGRIM RACING IN YOUR BUSCH CAR THIS WEEKEND: "I wouldn't say that fulfilling a promise would be the correct explanation. The thing about it, there was only mere rumblings and talks between him and my father about it. My dad had said it would be cool, just joking around 'we've got to get you in one of these stock cars - you've got to check them out'. Because me and dad both looked at driving the Corvette with Andy as kind of borrowing Andy's car. He could have had better teammates and had a better shot of winning that race - the 24 Hours of Daytona - but he was happy with us and we tried to do the best that we could. So dad was slowly wanting to erase that guilt of taking a proven road racer's position in that race by maybe getting Andy a couple laps in a stock car but there was no promise or anything. That sort of got blown out of the water and I didn't want to make Andy uncomfortable and making him feel like he had to play along with the media when the media took that and ran with it.

"I'm glad that we had a window to put Andy in the car. He said 'I had 15 voicemails from Steve Crisp at JR Motorsports yesterday'. He was in Montreal and I wanted to hear what was going on every five minutes. I wanted to feel like I was there because I hated not being able to be a witness to it. I just wanted to watch Andy enjoy himself. He's a great friend of mine. We ran those Corvettes together in 2001. We haven't raced together since. We've only seen each other personally three times probably in five years but he's stayed in touch with me via email and phone calls and stuff and Steve Crisp. He emails me twice a month, for five years, just staying in touch, 'how's the racing going, I watched you race, I ran here in my Cadillac and this happened'. He's just that kind of a guy and I really appreciate his friendship.

"I'm glad the window was open for us to do this and I'm glad the Navy was excited enough about it and understood the situation because we have mutual agreement on our drivers. So I'm glad that they were happy enough to do it and let us enjoy this. Hopefully they will get as excited about Brad Kesolowski as they are about this so we can get Brad in the car the rest of the year and work on putting together a deal for next year. That will really seal the deal for me. I'll be pretty happy."

WHAT DID YOU DO OVER AT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS WHEN YOU VISITED? "I went over and looked at the carbon fiber seats they use. Whether or not I want to use them or not. I like the seats that I have. ISV I think is the manufacturer. I like the seats that I got but they would like me to use the carbon fiber so I went over there and we talked about that and we're working with those guys on that stuff. We're on ground a little bit in the offices. I've got business to take care of here and I'm focusing on this No. 8 car. I'm not going to be wandering around Rick's place every day of the week because there's plenty of time to do that down the road. I got to stay focused on trying to run every lap I can run here and be fast, trying to do a good job for my guys. I don't want to get over there and get too caught up in planning and working on what's happening next year. We've got time for that. There's no rush.

"Obviously there's a rush behind the scenes with Kelley and Rick and all them guys. They're doing all those things that they've got to do for sponsors and numbers and all that but me as the driver, I can go over there all season and do everything I need to do to get ready for the year. I'm not really looking in that direction quite yet. Still got things to do here. I've got my integrity and my team's integrity on the line to be able to run hard all year long and finish well."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Andy Pilgrim
Teams Hendrick Motorsports , JR Motorsports