Atlanta: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Dale Jr. Quotes for Atlanta "I really want to get a win at Atlanta. We've come so close. I don't know how many times we've run second or been in second place there with a few laps to go. Hopefully, one day we'll win a race there. Daddy used...

Dale Jr. Quotes for Atlanta

"I really want to get a win at Atlanta. We've come so close. I don't know how many times we've run second or been in second place there with a few laps to go. Hopefully, one day we'll win a race there. Daddy used to win there all the time... and they'd give the Ski Nautiques (boats and water crafts) for winning. I hope they still do... That'd be cool.

"I like Atlanta. We always qualify well and race well there. (Dale Jr. has a Bud Pole and has led five of his seven career Winston Cup starts at Atlanta.) It's a fun, fun racetrack because you can run three-wide and move around. Your car can work on the bottom, but it can run just as good up top, so you've really got an opportunity to do some racing there. I hope they don't ever cut back on the schedule for that track because it's a lot of fun."

"The Las Vegas race is a relief actually. The media and a lot of other people made a big deal about our points position after the first two races, but no one in a Bud uniform panicked. We know what kind of a team we are, and we know that second place is a finish that shows what we're capable of doing week after week. We're seven positions better right now (18th place in points, versus 25th after Vegas in 2002) than we were at this time last year, so it's pointed the right direction."

The No. 8 team had two top-five finishes at Atlanta in 2002, beginning with a second-place tally at this event. (They also recorded a pair of top-five finishes in 2002 at the following tracks: Talladega, Martinsville and Darlington) The Bud team led the race five times for 38 laps, as Dale Jr. dueled with Tony Stewart for the victory.

The team has been in contention for victory at Atlanta numerous times, but have fallen victim to bizarre circumstances. In March 2001, with less than five laps to go, Dale Jr. had clearly the fastest car, and was racing three-wide to take the lead when a tire blew and sent him to pit lane. In the final race of the 2001, Dale Jr. dominated, leading 171 laps after starting on the Bud Pole, but fell to seventh place in the final laps when a metal piece of debris became lodged in his eye. The Bud team also led easily in the spring race in 2000, until a piece of equipment mounted to the car for television telemetry rubbed through a rear brake line, sending Dale Jr. into the wall. In 1999, Dale Jr. led his first lap in a Winston Cup race at Atlanta.



The toughest thing about success is that you've got to keep on being a success. Talent is only a starting point in this business. You've got to keep on working that talent. Someday I'll reach for it and it won't be there.
    Irving Berlin, songwriter, 1958

-dei/budweiser-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Tony Stewart