DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (18th in Happy Hour): HOW ARE THINGS LOOKING FOR TOMORROW? "Everybody's a little bit more competitive than we saw here before, but our car is still just as good. A lot more passing, for...
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (18th in Happy Hour):
HOW ARE THINGS LOOKING FOR TOMORROW? "Everybody's a little bit more competitive than we saw here before, but our car is still just as good. A lot more passing, for me anyways. To be able to start 13th, me and Michael (Waltrip) will try to work our way up to the front and get there just as soon as we can and just hang around there. There's a lot of pit stops, so just have to be careful getting on and off pit road so you can stay up in the lead pack."
WILL THE SMALL FUEL CELL WORK, OR IS THERE SOMETHING ELSE NASCAR CAN DO TO MAKE THE RACING SAFER? "It's not going to spread us out. Making the fuel cell smaller is really not going to change how competitive the pack is. Just more pit stops, is all. Just have to be careful getting on and off pit road, (make sure) you don't tear the transmissions up or break an axle. These things are really difficult to get going because of the gears we run; it's real hard to get it off the line, get it out of the pit box. So you just got to be real careful."
WHAT AT DEI DO YOU GUYS DO AT THESE RESTRICTOR PLATE RACES THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS DONE? "I wish I knew what we did ^Ìcause we'd do more of it. We just concentrate real hard on the cars and aero and try to build good motors too. It's difficult staying competitive in the motor business because everybody kind of learns something as the year goes by. And everybody is a little better or a little worse each year, a little more competitive, a little less competitive each year. You can really tune on these bodies and get these bodies to cut the air really good."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR DAD ABOUT RESTRICTOR-PLATE TRACKS: "I had the same opportunity everybody else has as far as learning from him. A lot of these guys raced against him for a long time and know quite a bit about his style and probably picked up on a lot of things that he did. I think he had a lot of confidence, I guess, (and maybe there's a hint) that I have the ability to carry that out on the race track. It just seems to have an effect on the rest of the field. I don't know. There are a lot of guys that seem to want to work with me. And when you get a lot of help out there it really makes it really good."
IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE A RESTRICTOR-PLATE SPECIALIST? "Yes, but the gauge is quite wide and large. The cars are such an important factor in restrictor-plate racing that it's difficult to tell whether somebody is better than any other guy. I feel like I definitely know what I'm doing out there."
ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: "It's really interesting. It's a great opportunity for Jimmie to really do something that's not been done in a long time. I really look forward to it winding down to the last race and hopefully it will still be a good tight battle. You've got Jimmie, a good friend of mine. I'd like to see him win it. You've got Mark Martin who's had an opportunity just came not quite close enough on several occasions. It would be good to see him win it too."