Atlanta II: Dale Earnhardt Jr. preview

POINTS REPORT: With two races remaining until the field is set for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Earnhardt currently ranks 18th in the championship standings. He trails 12th-place Clint Bowyer by 170 points. ATLANTA CHASSIS: Crew chief ...

POINTS REPORT: With two races remaining until the field is set for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Earnhardt currently ranks 18th in the championship standings. He trails 12th-place Clint Bowyer by 170 points.

ATLANTA CHASSIS: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-612. This is a brand new chassis that has not been raced.

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON ATLANTA.): "Atlanta is really fast. It's a place where power really shows up and you've got to have good aero balance. I like Atlanta because you can hunt around for different lines -- it's a driver's track. We laid down a fast lap there last time, and I had great engine. Lance (McGrew, crew chief) and the guys, we have a good starting point for practice on Saturday."

EARNHARDT (ON NIGHT RACING AT ATLANTA.): "Atlanta can get pretty hairy pretty fast. It will be fast for the first several laps on tires and then they'll fall off enough to where you can try different things and try different lines. We'll see some incredible lap times on new tires late in the race. It can be hard to get a feel for the track because we practice during the day and race at night. We've been good at Atlanta so hopefully we'll make up some ground."

LANCE McGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON WHAT THE TEAM LEARNED FROM LAST YEAR'S NIGHT RACE AT ATLANTA.): "I think that just knowing what the track is going to do when it cools off. It's valuable having that one year of notes to go back and look at because the track temp during practice is going to be drastically different than what it is going to be during the race. The fact that you have those notes and go back and look at the changes we made for different conditions -- that's pretty valuable information. There are a lot of times that we don't have that and you have to guess if the track is going to get tighter or looser when it cools off."

McGREW (ON WINNING THE POLE POSITION AT ATLANTA.): "I think that the balance of the car was really good. We'll start in race trim for first practice and when we switch to qualifying trim we'll go straight to that setup and we'll tune on it from there to see how much the track conditions actually have changed. We feel like we have a lot better package -- the car makes more down force. We have a more fundamental idea of what's going on with the packages we are running and hopefully we can duplicate that effort."

McGREW (ON ATLANTA GOING TO ONE RACE IN 2011.): "I hate that Atlanta is losing a race. I like that place. I've always liked it, and we've always run good there. It's a driver's racetrack -- if one line isn't working then you can find another and somehow manufacture a lap time so the car doesn't have to be quite as spot on for you to be fast there. Obviously if it is, then you are even faster. It's a place that is fun to race at. From a driver's stand point -- if your car is running good on the bottom and the guys are running on top then you can pass them. So there's a lot of passing situations there. Any time one of the old standards loses a race I hate it."

McGREW (ON GOALS FOR THE SEASON.): "Our goals haven't changed. All season long we have tried to win races and run as well as we are capable of running. Whether you are 10 points or a thousand points behind, you don't approach the weekend any differently."

-source: hendrick motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Clint Bowyer
Teams Hendrick Motorsports