Quotes from: DALE EARNHARDT JR. / Driver, ...
Quotes from: DALE EARNHARDT JR. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet:
On the task of forgetting the Martinsville finish and focusing on Atlanta: "I'm trying to get past it (finishing 22nd at Martinsville after a spin with 33 laps to go). You can't dwell on the past, but this one's tough. Sometimes when I'm out there racing, I just forget about all about points and championships, and I just try to pass the guy in front of me. It was my responsibility to get the best finish I could. I dialed a little extra rear brake into the car during the caution before that, and I probably shouldn't have done that. I was going for it. I was telling myself all day to think of the big picture, to be smooth. That went out the window with about 20 to go.
"A win at Atlanta would really help the healing process (laughing). This is a really good track for us. We're always really confident going into Atlanta. We're taking our best car. I've got a great team. We've been running in the top-five consistently the last four or five races, so it's important to keep that going. After a disappointing race like we just had, I can't think of a better track to regain our momentum than Atlanta."
On the championship picture: "We're not out of it. Actually, we're still very much in it. I think everybody still has a shot at winning the championship. Four races is a lot of racing left. Anything can happen. We can have some really, really good runs. We can win a couple of these races, and I think some of these tracks we will have that opportunity. I'm optimistic. We'll pull our boots up and get after it."
2006 OVERVIEW: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team enter the Atlanta race weekend sixth in the Nextel Cup point standings, 94 points behind leader Matt Kenseth. This season Dale Jr. has one win (Richmond), nine top-five finishes and 14 top-10s.
Atlanta Weekend Notebook
-- Dale Jr. has competed in 14 races at Atlanta, scoring six top-five finishes, eight top-10s and a victory in 2004.
-- Junior has finished seventh or better in eight of his last 10 races at Atlanta.
-- The Bud team has led laps in nine of its last 14 races at AMS for a total of 474 laps.
-- Dale Jr. won one of his six career Bud Pole Awards at Atlanta (Nov. 2001).
-- Only two drivers -- Dale Jr. and Matt Kenseth -- have scored top-25 finishes in all six Chase races so far.
-- Dale Jr.'s average finish of 11.857 is the third best average of the 10 Chase drivers. He is also one of only four Chase drivers to have scored a victory at Atlanta.
-- The Budweiser team was one of five Chase teams to have scored a top-five finish (third place) in the last Atlanta race.