Atlanta has southern charm for Earnhardt, Jr. HAMPTON, Ga. (March 11, 1999) Dale Earnhardt Jr. led 126 of the 195 laps run last year at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The original race date in March was postponed until November due to a rainout.
Atlanta has southern charm for Earnhardt, Jr.
HAMPTON, Ga. (March 11, 1999) Dale Earnhardt Jr. led 126 of the 195 laps run last year at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The original race date in March was postponed until November due to a rainout. Earnhardt Jr. started sixth and drove a smart race by leading when he could and protecting his race space. The No. 3 ACDelco team was leading the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division point standings and only had one race to go to decide the championship.
Late in the race, after a close call during a wreck, Earnhardt Jr. sustained some minor front-end damage. It was enough to effect the aerodynamics of his car; Mark Martin took the lead and Earnhardt Jr. finished second. His second-place finish put him in the position to only have to start the race in Homestead, Fla., to clinch his first Busch Series championship.
"I am looking forward to racing at Atlanta again," Earnhardt Jr. remarked. "It is a track that challenges me. From what we learned in last year's race I think this ACDelco team has got a pretty good handle on it. Last year we were trying to race to win the championship, this year I can let it hang out a little more."
Tony Eury Sr. (crew chief) likes the chances of winning the Yellow Freight 300.
"We really seemed to get a handle on what Dale Jr. needed last year," stated Eury Jr. "We had some front-end damage last year and it slowed the car down late in the race but we still held onto second. I'm looking forward to seeing how we come back this year without the pressure of the championship on us."
Last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 3 ACDelco team qualified 13th. The 200-lap race started well for Earnhardt Jr. By lap 27 he had moved to fourth. He fought a loose handling car for most of the day. The team adjusted the car throughout the day and finished a strong sixth.
"I guess all the fans want to know how I feel about the first time me and Jeff (Gordon) have run in the Busch Series together, and I really enjoyed it," said Earnhardt. "To run second to that guy it not a bad day. We had him beat a couple of times, but we got to run side-by-side. I'd think about it. He's the best. Everyone wants to be where he's at right now. I have a lot of admiration for him. He's good at what he does, and that's were we all want to be.
Earnhardt Jr. is currently seventh in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings.
"We are a right on track," Earnhardt Jr. remarked. "This is the way we started last year. I am looking forward to the things to come."
Source: NASCAR Online