DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO., 88 DALE JR. FOUNDATION/NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed the All-Star Race, the NASCAR drug policy, season to-date and other topics. WHAT ARE YOUR...
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO., 88 DALE JR. FOUNDATION/NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Lowe's Motor Speedway and discussed the All-Star Race, the NASCAR drug policy, season to-date and other topics.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON YOUR SEASON SO FAR? "It is going good, just working hard to get a little bit better. Get us some good finishes."
WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC THINGS YOU ARE WORKING ON? "There aren't any specific things. We are working in every area I guess."
HOW ARE THINGS AT THE SHOP WITH MR. HENDRICK COMING BACK THIS WEEK AFTER BEING ILL? "Well, he is around even when he is not feeling well. He knows what is going on. Sometimes you find out he is not feeling well and it's a surprise because he working so hard still. He is always around."
HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE ALL-STAR RACE? "You just approach it as a non-points race, you know, there is a little bit less pressure, it is all about winning."
CAN YOU LEARN SOMETHING THAT WILL APPLY TO NEXT WEEKEND? "We don't know anything right now so whatever we can learn will be good."
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE ALL-STAR RACE THAT HAS WORKED FOR YOU TO HAVE SO MUCH SUCCESS? "I don't know. There aren't as many guys in the field so to get a top-15 isn't as hard as it is to get it on a regular weekend. There is only about 20 of us out there, so you have a 50/10 shot I guess at getting a top-10. I think we run just about as well in this race as we do every other race."
DO YOU HAVE A LITTLE DIFFERENT MINDSET BEING AT HOME THESE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS? "A little bit. Sleeping in your own bed is nice."
MARK MARTIN SAID HE WOULD HATE TO BE IN YOUR SHOES BECAUSE OF ALL THE PRESSURE YOU FACE, WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THAT? "He's probably right. I don't think I would want to put anybody in my shoes. Maybe an enemy or two. There's good days and bad days you know. You got a lot of things to complain about and you've got a lot of things to be grateful for. It's a double-edged sword. There's tons of ways I could explain it. I'm alright. I appreciate Mark's concern and he's always been a great supporter for me. It feels good for him to recognize my position and how life is. Everything is fine when you're running good. When you're running bad all the little problems are really big problems and all the big problems are serious, serious issues. So you have all that to deal with.
"When you're running good there are no problems. Even though there are, there aren't but you can deal with it. We just have to get to running better and then you can handle everything and then nothing is a big deal. When you're running bad you're just a target and you're angry because you're running bad and frustrated. You can't win for losing. If you get angry, you're a jerk. If you take it on the chin, you don't care. Everybody has got an opinion about you. You just move along. There ain't nothing to it."
HOW MUCH DO TIMES LIKE THIS BUILD CHARACTER? "I don't think it does anybody any good. Not really. If anything running like this and being frustrated and running poorly is a challenge on your character. It can make you into a real jerk."
COULD YOU COMPARE NASCAR'S ALL-STAR WEEKEND TO OTHER SPORTS? "They're all different. Ours, there is a million dollars on the line and other All-Star games I don't think they get that kind of money. I don't know what the deal is with the other All-Star games. I don't know whether they get paid or not. This is a serious race. Perhaps as serious as any race in the season and I'm not sure you can make that argument for other sports. Their All-Star game is more of a celebration of the talents, of individual players throughout the season and it's more recreational with the homerun derby and all that. Our All-Star race can be a high-pressured situation and we put a lot of emphasis into it and a lot of work goes into it and a lot of cars get tore up and there's a lot of people really upset afterwards so it's quite different."
WHAT DID YOU GUYS HAVE LAST YEAR THAT YOU SEEM TO BE LACKING THIS YEAR? "I wish I could tell you. I wish I knew. Really don't know. From the surface nothing appears different."
IN REGARDS TO THE DRUG TESTING POLICY, WOULD IT MAKE IT EASIER FOR YOU GUYS IF THEY GAVE YOU A SPECIFIC LIST OF THINGS YOU NEED TO LOOK OUT FOR? "So we know what drugs we can take and what drugs we can't. That don't make no damn sense. Just don't take drugs. Don't do anything stupid and you won't get caught. That's ridiculous. I just think that nobody deserves anything, no lists, nothing. Don't do drugs, don't do stupid stuff. The policy is a rule and don't violate it and that's that. Let's not point any fingers at Jeremy (Mayfield). Whatever he says happened they'll figure it out. The truth will be known by the people who need to know it. We don't need to know it. It's none of our business. That's the problem with everybody is they've got to know everything. Everybody wants to know what the hell Jeremy did. That's his business and NASCAR's business and they'll handle it. Don't take drugs. It's stupid to do anyways. Regardless if you drive race cars or not, it's a dumb idea. Don't be ignorant."
-credit: gm racing