Talladega II: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - driver, No. 8 Budweiser team: "Talladega is so much fun. It's not at all physically tough to race there, but the mental strain, the mental part of it is extremely exhausting. You have to be aware at all times about where ...

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

"Talladega is so much fun. It's not at all physically tough to race there, but the mental strain, the mental part of it is extremely exhausting. You have to be aware at all times about where you're at, and where everyone else is. I can't think of many things more fun than running three-wide at Talladega. You're using every bit of your peripheral vision, while trying to watch the guys behind you in the mirror and not running into the guy in front of you. You can really use the air to your advantage. I always have fun there."

On avoiding 'The Big One':

"Just stay out front all day."

Race #3 of the Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship takes the No. 8 Budweiser team to Talladega Superspeedway, where Dale Jr. has finished first or second in his last six races. In nine career starts at Talladega, Dale Jr. has four wins (a record-setting streak that dated from Oct. 21, 2001 to April 6, 2003) and seven top-10s. Only once has Dale Jr. gone an entire race at Talladega without leading a lap - his very first start there on April 16, 2000. He has since led in eight consecutive races for a total of 411 laps.

On the heels of a ninth-place finish at Dover - his fourth top-10 in his last five races - Dale Jr. enters the weekend third in the championship standings, only 18 points behind leader Jeff Gordon. In 2004, the Budweiser team four wins, 13 top-5s, and 17 top-10s.

In three restrictor-plate races this year, the Bud team has finishes of first, second and third ... The victory came in the season-opening Daytona 500 ... Dale Jr. has finished seventh or better in his last six restrictor-plate races, and no worse than eighth in 13 of his last 15. All told, Dale Jr. has claimed victory in six of his 19 career restrictor-plate races ... The Chevrolet Monte Carlo that Dale Jr. will be driving this weekend is the same one he drove to a third-place finish at Daytona in July.

TESTING CONTINUES: The Bud team will participate in two very important days of testing Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 28-29) at Kansas Speedway. That will leave the team with two official tests remaining, most likely to be used at Martinsville and Homestead-Miami.

DALE JR. ON 60 MINUTES: Dale Jr. will be featured Wednesday on the season premiere of the weekday edition of 60 Minutes. The episode begins at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Dale Jr. is the first NASCAR driver to be featured on the prestigious news magazine show in nearly 20 years. He was interviewed by legendary correspondent Mike Wallace, who sat shotgun in a 2005 Corvette C6 as the two turned laps around Daytona International Speedway. Wallace also interviewed Dale Jr. at his home near Mooresville, N.C. The segment in Mooresville is the first in-depth interview Dale Jr. has given since his fiery sports-car crash in July.

WAKE UP WITH JUNIOR: Dale Jr. will be the guest at the Nextel Morning Breakfast Saturday at the Talladega infield media center. The half-hour news conference is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. (CST).

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL: An avid fan of the Washington Redskins, Dale Jr. will get to watch his team up close and in person tonight at FedEx Field in Washington D.C., as the Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys in a Monday Night Football clash. Dale Jr. and car chief Tony Eury Jr. will be on hand as personal guests of Joe Gibbs.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Mike Wallace , Tony Eury Jr.