Drivers welcome Earnhardt Jr as a Sears Point competitor

American Le Mans Series Drivers Welcome NASCAR Great Earnhardt Driving Corvette at Infineon Raceway Braselton, GA - With the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma at California's Infineon Raceway just days away, drivers in the American Le Mans...

American Le Mans Series Drivers Welcome NASCAR Great Earnhardt Driving Corvette at Infineon Raceway

Braselton, GA - With the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma at California's Infineon Raceway just days away, drivers in the American Le Mans Series are ready to put on yet another exciting display of sports car racing. However, this road race will be different, as this time they will find themselves competing against NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt, the most popular driver in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, will drive a factory Chevrolet Corvette C5-R in Sunday's event, co-driving with road racing veteran Boris Said.

The addition of Earnhardt to the field will mark the first time in American Le Mans Series history that a full time driver from NASCAR's Cup Series has competed in this style of road course racing. Earnhardt has proven himself in NASCAR, but will now be turning right and left with some of the best sports car drivers in the world. Drivers of the American Le Mans series are ready for the challenge of Infineon and welcome Earnhardt Jr. to their style of competitive road course racing.

JJ Lehto, Champion Racing, Audi R8 (Finland) - "It will be fun to race against Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I'm sure he is going to be surprised about the level of drivers in the American Le Mans Series. That will be his biggest surprise, I think."

David Murry, Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (U.S.) - "I am glad to see Dale Jr. come to race with us at Sonoma. I remember when I raced in the Winston Cup Series waiting for the rookie meeting to start and Dale Sr. would walk by and give a nod like he was saying, 'good luck'. Dale Sr. was a class act and it's great to have Jr. continue the racing heritage to race anything with wheels. My only regret is that he is not in GT. I would love to rub fenders with him."

David Brabham, Krohn-Barbour Racing, Lamborghini Murcielago (Australia) - "Having Dale, Jr. race in our series is great to see. He has always done a bit of road racing. Road racing is a different discipline - driving a car and racing against other drivers that are new to him. Then, there is the traffic and he will have to experience the speed differential between the four classes that at a place like Infineon is quite high. To come and run a different series with a different car and different drivers is great for him and great for the ALMS. Everyone will benefit."

Patrick Long, New Century Mortgage/Racer's Group, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (U.S.) - "I think it's great that Dale E. is coming to Infineon to race with us. It will really help the crowd turn out and the publicity and I think the ALMS needs all of that right now, every little bit helps and I think it will be a big difference."

Oliver Gavin, Corvette Racing, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R (England) - "I think the fact that Dale Jr. is coming to race with us it's going to be a big boost for the whole series. It's going to be a massive race and a massive weekend. I've never actually met him but I've heard an awful lot about him through people here at the team and they've only got great things to say about him. I'm sure he is going to be looking to learn an awful lot from us because he doesn't spend that much time road racing, but I'm sure I can learn a few things from him as well. It should be a very, very interesting weekend."

Jorg Bergmeister, Alex Job Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (Germany) - "I think it's very good for the series. He's "the man" in the United States and it's really nice to have him in the series. I think he will have a lot of fun and the fans will certainly enjoy it."

James Weaver, Dyson Racing, Lola EX257-AER/AG (England) - "It can only be good for all of us. My teammate Andy Wallace has driven with Earnhardt Jr. He said that he is a great guy and thoroughly enjoyed driving with him. I think we are all going to enjoy having him there. It's going to be good for the racing, good for the fans, good for everybody."

Craig Stanton, Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR (U.S.) - "What? Is the guy slummin'? No, for real, I'm glad that it's happening. I invite more of the Cup and Busch guys to come over here and hone their road racing craft. I think it's good for both sides. He'll find that the driving and setup are all the same but completely different if that makes any sense."

TV-RADIO, TICKET INFO

The Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma will get the green flag at 11:00 a.m. (PDT) on Sunday, July 18, and will be televised live in North America by CBS Sports from 3-5 (EDT). In Europe, MotorsTV will have live coverage as well. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.

Practice and qualifying for the event will be held on Saturday, July 17, along with a Fan Forum and an autograph session featuring all ALMS drivers. Ticket information is available online at www.americanlemans.com or by calling (800) 870-RACE.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , David Brabham , James Weaver , Boris Said , David Murry , Oliver Gavin , Jörg Bergmeister , Patrick Long , Craig Stanton , Alex Job , JJ Lehto
Teams Corvette Racing , Dyson Racing , Alex Job Racing