Earnhardt Jr. Says American Le Mans Corvette is a Whole Lot of Fun Sonoma, CA - NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. feels that the American Le Mans Series Chevrolet Corvette is one of the best race cars that he has ever driven, and looks forward to...
Earnhardt Jr. Says American Le Mans Corvette is a Whole Lot of Fun
Sonoma, CA - NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. feels that the American Le Mans Series Chevrolet Corvette is one of the best race cars that he has ever driven, and looks forward to racing it in Sunday's Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway.
"The car is tremendously different from anything that I drive in the NEXTEL Cup Series, and in my opinion it might be one of the greatest cars I've ever driven," he said. "Just a whole lot of fun to drive."
Earnhardt will pilot the No. 8 Corvette C5-R along with Boris Said this weekend, which will mark the first time a full time NASCAR premier series driver has ever raced in the ALMS. Friday was the first day of testing on the 2.53 mile track and the Earnhardt/Said car was third fastest in the GTS class. Driving against some of the best sports car drivers in the world will be new to Earnhardt but he hopes to be competitive on Sunday.
"I don't expect to go out there and accomplish what they can accomplish, but I can go out there and run competitive times," Earnhardt said. "I just have a lot of polishing to do to become a better road-course driver, and this is where I'm going to do it. There is no question that I am in the best car in the field. I didn't have to think twice about it when they gave me the opportunity. It's a lot of fun and its great people."
Although racing is not something that is new to Earnhardt, the sports cars of the American Le Mans are much different than what he is used to in NASCAR. With much more technology, including high-tech brakes, Earnhardt must adapt to these conditions in order to be competitive on Sunday.
"One of the things you do with a NEXTEL Cup car, is you're a lot easier on the gas pedal and into the corner," Earnhardt said. "That's a no-no in these cars. The first thing I do is slide one of the front tires into the corner when I get out there. You've got to brake very hard, very fast and deep into the corner before you start turning in. Braking is the most difficult thing to work your way into. It's very inviting though and very comfortable. It takes time. Also, the acceleration out of the corner and how much acceleration these cars have out of the corner. I can't believe how fast these cars accelerate out of the corner."
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 in North America by CBS Sports from 3-5 p.m. (EDT). MotorsTV will have live coverage in Europe. 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.