Atlanta II: Dale Earnhardt Jr. preview

Dale Jr. Quotes for Atlanta "Atlanta is great. It's no secret that the faster it is, the better I like it. We've always run really well here, but crazy stuff kind of cost us a couple of times when we should have won (see notes below). The...

Dale Jr. Quotes for Atlanta

"Atlanta is great. It's no secret that the faster it is, the better I like it. We've always run really well here, but crazy stuff kind of cost us a couple of times when we should have won (see notes below). The team is on such a roll right now. This is what we should have/could have done all season. We were second there in the spring, and I think we traded the lead with Tony (Stewart) about five times. It was great race from my seat... That kind of fun is the stuff that the fans love, and it's cool for me and the team too. The multi-grooved deal means it puts a lot into the hands of the driver. If you're not getting it done in the low groove, you can move the car around to find a line that works for the set-up."

"Four-straight top-10s is cool. I think we have a realistic shot to keep that string going for the rest of the season, because no one has been better than this team for the past two months. Look how close we are to the top-10 in points- even the top seven or eight. We had such a slump through the summer that you just kind of throw your hands up and think it's over. But, now we really have a serious shot to get back into the top 10, maybe even match the eighth place we had last year."

Dale Jr. and the No. 8 Bud Team at Atlanta
Previous Winston Cup Starts: 6
Best Start:               1st   (November, 2001)
Best Finish:        2nd  (March, 2002)
This Race, Last Year:      
ST: 1st  (2nd Bud Pole of 2001)
FIN: 7th
Led 171 laps

The Budweiser team has consistently run at or near the front at Atlanta, leading 218 laps in six races, but strange things have prevented them from winning. Oddities include the spring race in 2000, when a telemetry cable for the television broadcast rubbed a hole in a rear brake line, causing a crash while Dale Jr. was running second. Last season, a flat tire knocked Dale Jr. out of a three-wide race for the lead with five laps to go in the spring event. After starting from the Bud Pole in this race last year, Dale Jr. was leading easily with 30 laps to go when a piece of debris became lodged in his eye, causing him to slow while driving with only one eye open. However, it is also the location where he led his first-ever lap in Winston Cup in 1999 and score a Bud Pole in 2001.

Runnin' in the Red EIn the ten races since Watkins Glen in August, the Budweiser team has scored more points than any other team, improving from 17th to 12th in Winston Cup points. In that span, the team has a victory at Talladega, two Bud poles, seven top-10s (plus an 11th place) and four top-fives. The Bud team has led more races this season (19 races / 913 laps) than any other, and has more bonus points (110) than any other team.  <pre> Youth Rules  /  Winston Cup Points in the last 10 races 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1453 2. Tony Stewart 1423 3. Ryan Newman       1403 4. Kurt Busch       1326 5. Jimmie Johnson        1293 </pre> The Shorter the Better
Much hoopla has been made of Dale Jr and the Budwesier team's renowned prowess on the high-banked superspeedways, but they have quietly compiled an amazing record this season on the three Winston Cup tracks of less than one-mile in distance. In six races at Martinsville, Bristol and Richmond this season, they have recorded five top-five finishes! Only a crash at the spring race at Richmond blemished their string of short track success this season.

-dei/budweiser-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Tony Stewart , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson