* DEI Goes For Five Straight at Talladega * Two Juniors Look To Follow In Fathers Footsteps DEI Seeks Five Straight, Truex Jr. Seeks Four Straight DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 23, 2007) -- Dale Earnhardt Inc. employees head to Alabama this week...
* DEI Goes For Five Straight at Talladega
* Two Juniors Look To Follow In Fathers Footsteps
DEI Seeks Five Straight, Truex Jr. Seeks Four Straight
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 23, 2007) -- Dale Earnhardt Inc. employees head to Alabama this week with a smile on their faces because in the past four Aaron's 312 races at Talladega Superspeedway, no one but DEI drivers have tasted victory. The team heads into Talladega to see if it can make it five straight wins.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Menards Chevrolet), a two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion, won the Aaron's 312 event in 2003. Ever since no one has matched two-time series champion Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) who has racked up three consecutive victories here. Currently Truex Jr. has a perfect score there, starting only three series races at Talladega, and winning all three.
The big question is can DEI and Martin Truex Jr. do it again? Truex Jr. has started only one series event this season, Daytona, where he finished sixth. Earnhardt Jr. has started two series events this season, finishing seventh at Daytona and sixth at Bristol. Earnhardt Jr. hasn't raced at Talladega in the NASCAR Busch Series since 2004, where he finished second to Truex Jr.
No other team has gone for five consecutive wins at Talladega in NASCAR Busch Series competition. Truex Jr. will be going for four consecutive victories, and would be the first driver ever to do so in the series. DEI has a total of 16 victories at restrictor-plate tracks in the NASCAR Busch Series, 11 at Daytona and five at Talladega. The experience DEI drivers have accumulated will help them this weekend.
"When you finish a race at Talladega, you're almost never physically tired like if you had just raced at Bristol or Martinsville," Earnhardt said. "But the mental strain and the concentration needed will wear you out mentally and emotionally. It's fun, but it's tough."
Two Juniors Looking To Make Fathers Proud
The last NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victories earned by 7-time series champion Dale Earnhardt Sr. and 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton Sr. both were at Talladega Superspeedway. This weekend, sons Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 35 McDonald's Ford) are entered in the Aaron's 312, and look to make their fathers proud by taking home the checkered flag.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. won at Talladega in the fall of 2000 and holds the record for most wins there with 11 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and one in the NASCAR Busch Series. Bobby Hamilton Sr. followed up Earnhardt's performance that next spring in 2001 with his final victory in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won at Talladega, once in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2004, and five times in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, four of which were consecutive (a track record). Earnhardt Jr. also has followed in his father's footsteps in becoming a car owner in the series. He started JR Motorsports in 2005, which fields Shane Huffman (No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet) in the NASCAR Busch Series.
Bobby Hamilton Jr. has never won at Talladega, but has posted a top-five finish in 2000. Hamilton Jr. returned to NASCAR Busch Series competition this season and heads into Talladega ninth in the series standings, with a Driver Rating of 64.9, and an Average Running Position of 22.1.