Drivers top stories prediction

Drivers Speak About Top Stories For 2008 NASCAR Drivers Give Opinions of News to Make Headlines Archdale, N.C. (February 6, 2008) -- The 2008 NASCAR season officially kicks off this weekend at the 2.5-mile Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Drivers Speak About Top Stories For 2008
NASCAR Drivers Give Opinions of News to Make Headlines

Archdale, N.C. (February 6, 2008) -- The 2008 NASCAR season officially kicks off this weekend at the 2.5-mile Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Drivers took time before the season starts to look into their "crystal ball" and comment on what they believe will make headlines in 2008.

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Marc Mitchell, Driver #15 Ergon Chevrolet, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of The Year Candidate:

"One of the biggest stories is going to be the rookie class in the Truck Series. All of the big teams are putting young, hungry drivers in their trucks. Germain, Bill Davis and Roush have rookies behind the wheel this year. We're all wanting the same thing -- we want to prove ourselves and earn Cup rides and it all starts with the Truck Series.

"I think you'll look back on this season a few years from now and see so much talent that came from this class. There is a lot of potential here. I'm excited about being in this situation. You definitely want to keep your eye on this class."

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Bobby Labonte, CEO, Breaking Limits Marketing:

"On the track, we have a lot going on that will excite the fans. I think fans are going to watch Dale Earnhardt Jr. in earnest and the affects of his new team. What will the chemistry be like between Earnhardt Jr, Johnson and Gordon? Will Earnhardt Jr. win races and be a title contender in his first season with Hendrick? That's a good story for the sport and will keep fans interested all season.

"The Car of Tomorrow, and what the racing will be like in 2008, will be of interest for media and fans as well. The mile-and-a-half racing, maybe it needed to be a little more competitive for the fans. If the new cars can produce more side-by-side racing then we're going to generate a lot of interest. I think NASCAR is hoping that will happen. Only time will tell, and the fans will be the judge and jury, but I think we're on the right track for that to happen."

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Brandon Ash, Driver #02 Sprinter Trucking/Brandon Ash Racing Dodge (Sprint Cup Series):

"I think you're probably looking at two stories this season, Earnhardt Jr. to Hendrick and the competition on the track. First, everyone will want to know if Earnhardt Jr. moving to Hendrick was the correct move to put him where he needs to be. Will that give him the answers he's looking for? I'm in a situation where I can relate on some level to that. We are looking for sponsorship help, but if we can get it, and get to the track, I think we can prove a lot too. Sometimes it's just about getting in the right situation.

"Secondly, the competition on the track with the new cars, will it lead to better racing on the track? I think it will because we'll have to see a softer tire and it's going to make you conserve your tires. I remember in 2000 when Bobby (Labonte) won his championship. He was the best at conserving the tires early. That makes for better racing and puts the drivers in control. I think those days are coming back. I hope they are."

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John Andretti, IRL, Nationwide and Sprint Cup veteran:

"You can have the smallest story in the book, but if you put the names Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick into it, it takes any small story and makes it the biggest. Earnhardt Jr. and Rick Hendrick are two powerful people in the sport, and Earnhardt Jr. leaving home to get better is what this sport is all about. It's not about how you do it, but rather how you get it done.

"The same can be said about Petty Enterprises move to Mooresville. It's a transitional story- you might not see immediate results, but this is a growing story as time comes. Change is good, but sometimes the results come down the road. It's another story of leaving home to get better- Earnhardt Jr. to Hendrick and Petty Enterprises to Mooresville really tie that knot together.

-credit: jd

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , John Andretti , Bobby Labonte , Brandon Ash