Charlotte: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

A KLONDIKE FIRST - The No. 5 Chevrolet will be sporting the blue and gray colors of Klondike this weekend. Klondike has been on board the No. 88 twice this season, but this is the first and only Klondike scheme for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 5...

A KLONDIKE FIRST - The No. 5 Chevrolet will be sporting the blue and gray colors of Klondike this weekend. Klondike has been on board the No. 88 twice this season, but this is the first and only Klondike scheme for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 5 team this year.

JUNIOR IN THE 5 CAR: Saturday's Carquest Auto Parts 300 is the fifth of seven scheduled races for Earnhardt Jr. in the Nationwide Series this year. In his first four races, he has scored a pair of top-five finishes (fourth at Talladega and fifth at Las Vegas) and an additional top-10 (seventh at Daytona). He is slated to drive the No. 5 Chevrolet two more times after this weekend - Daytona for Fastenal (July 3) and Atlanta for Degree (Sept. 5).

HOME-TRACKIN' - Earnhardt Jr. has nine starts at LMS, with five top-five and five top-10 finishes. He has led 131 laps and his best finish was a second place in the spring of 1999. The past two starts for Earnhardt Jr. at LMS have resulted in two top-five finishes. The 34-year-old has only one start under the JRM banner there, which resulted in a fourth-place outing.

TAR HEEL BOYS - Alongside Earnhardt Jr., there are five North Carolina natives on the No. 5 Klondike team. Car chief, Cam Strader, hails from Wilson, N.C., shock specialist, James Bowser, Jr., calls Fayetteville, N.C. home, Howard Shipwash, engine tuner, is from Winston-Salem, N.C., hauler driver, "Bubba" Mace hails from Hickory, N.C. and Ryan Buscaglio, front-tire carrier is from Salisbury, N.C.

TOP-10 MAN - Earnhardt Jr. is ranked inside the top-10 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the following NASCAR loop data statistics: average running position (ninth), driver rating (seventh), fastest early in run (10th), fastest late in run (fifth), fastest lap run (seventh) and green flag speed (seventh).

VETERAN OF THE NNS - Earnhardt Jr. will make his 111th start in the Nationwide Series this weekend. His career average start is 11.5 with an average finish of 11.4.

CHASSIS INFO - The No. 5 Klondike team will run chassis 402. The JR Motorsports team built a brand new body for this chassis.

EARNHARDT JR. (what makes racing at LMS so special?) - "It's home, and you always like to be at home as much as possible. There's a lot of pride in racing at this track. It's been around a long time, and there are a lot of good memories there. One of my best moments as a race car driver came right there at Lowe's Motor Speedway when we won the All-Star race in 2000. It sure would be cool to win there in my own car. That'd be nice."

EARNHARDT JR. (what will it take to put the No. 5 Klondike team in the winner's circle this weekend?) - "This team is strong. This car has a chance to win any time it's on the track, no matter who the driver is. We were real close to a win at Talladega, which was the last time I drove the car. Mark (Martin) and Scott (Wimmer) gave us good efforts at Richmond and Darlington, so I think everything is clicking with this 5 team. We just need to put it all together."

EARNHARDT JR. (on his schedule for Charlotte Race Weeks) - "It's a typical Charlotte schedule, but not too bad. We had Dee Snider of the band Twisted Sister here at JRM (on Wednesday). The Dale Jr. Foundation is donating a custom chopper to his charity, the March of Dimes ‘Bikers For Babies', which is a cool deal for him. Obviously there is a lot of activity going on at JR Motorsports this week with displays and attractions. On Friday I'll be at Whisky River doing a live QVC show. It's a busy week, but not too bad."

EARNHARDT JR. (on the success of The Dale Jr. Foundation All-Star line-up last week) - "It was a great week for the Foundation and I have to thank everybody involved with that, and everyone who donated money during All-Star week. Having the logo on the hood for the All-Star race was something I had wanted to do for some time, and both AMP and National Guard gave me the opportunity to do it. We had a good turn-out in the All-Star suite, and it was fun visiting with everyone up there. I think just raising awareness for the Foundation was a big gain, and hopefully everyone continues to support it well after the Charlotte races are over. Our website isn't going anywhere. It's www.TheDaleJrFoundation.org. We're doing things all the time."

-credit: jrm

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Cam Strader
Teams JRM Racing , JR Motorsports