DALE EARNHARDT JR. / DRIVER, ...
DALE EARNHARDT JR. / DRIVER, #8 BUDWEISER CHEVROLET:
On the progress of the season to this point:
"Even with Sunday's finish (27th at Fontana after a pit lane speeding penalty with two laps remaining), we've gained a lot of ground since last year. This is the best opportunity I've had as a driver when it comes to driving good equipment and having a team that's really capable from top to bottom. I'm proud that everybody who is with us is with us because they make a great race team and they build some great race cars. That's what it's all about. That's how you win races."
On racing three- and four-wide at Atlanta:
"It's probably the most multi-dimensional track we run on as far as the grooves. You can get all over that race track from wherever you want. If the car isn't working, you can surely find a place where it will work. It's a lot of fun to race on. That's one of the better built race tracks on the circuit."
On the Budweiser team's success at Atlanta, which includes a
fourth-place finish last October with Dale Jr. leading 142 laps:
"Atlanta is a track me and Tony (Eury) Jr. have always ran great at. I think he's the best guy at Atlanta as a crew chief. We always go in feeling like we've got something to work with and a good chance to win. His cars are fast. The last time we were there we led the most laps and hung around the top-five the entire day. That felt good."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team enter the Atlanta race 11th in the Nextel Cup point standings, four points out of the top-10. The Brew Crew has one top-10 in three races this season -- an eighth-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500. Dale Jr. has led in two of the three races this year, totaling 33 laps.J
HOTLANTA: Dale Jr. has finished seventh or better in seven of the last nine races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, including a win in 2004. Dale Jr. has led laps in nine of his 13 career races there for a total of 474 laps, and his average finish is 12.5. Dale Jr. also won one of his six career Bud Pole Awards at Atlanta (Nov. 2001).