Bristol: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- driver, No. 8 Budweiser team: "We tested at Bristol a few weeks ago, and we came away pretty happy with what we learned. I've always liked the track. It's intense racing, one of those places where you can never take a...

Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- driver, No. 8 Budweiser team:

"We tested at Bristol a few weeks ago, and we came away pretty happy with what we learned. I've always liked the track. It's intense racing, one of those places where you can never take a break or you'll be in the wall. The (new Goodyear) tire felt real comfortable (during the Bristol test), but I still don't know what to expect. We just want a car that will last a long time. That's it. If we get that, we'll be in pretty good shape.

We've been fast there and we had a top-three car at this race last year until we had the world's longest green-flag run ever and we ran out of gas and lost a lap... It was crazy. We must be the only team in history to run out of gas at Bristol. I mean you don't expect green-flag pit stops there with all the crashin' and bumping going on."

Dale Jr. is in second place in NEXTEL Cup points, 21 points behind leader Matt Kenseth... Despite their reputation of being "restrictor-plate specialists," Dale Jr. and the Bud boys have scored more points on short tracks (less than 1-mile in length) than any other team in each of the last two seasons. Dale Jr. has eight top-five finishes in the last 12 short track races... Dale Jr. has competed in eight races at Bristol Motor Speedway, scoring three top-10 finishes in the last four races. His best Bristol finish (third) occurred in August 2002. Dale Jr. finished 16th in this race one year ago and ninth at Bristol in the fall.

Dale Jr.: A Fan Favorite: In a recent poll conducted by Harris Interactive, Dale Jr. was selected the fifth most favorite sports star in the United States. Only Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Brett Favre and Shaquille O'Neal had more votes. The question of "Who is your favorite sports star?" was asked to 3,778 adults surveyed online between Jan. 19 and Jan. 28, which was during NASCAR's off-season and before Dale Jr. won his first-ever Daytona 500. The poll results are:

FAVORITE SPORTS STAR
(Base: All adults)
1. Michael Jordan
2. Tiger Woods
3. Brett Favre
4. Shaquille O'Neal
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
6. Kobe Bryant
7. Peyton Manning
8. Allen Iverson
9. Donovan McNabb
10. Derek Jeter

-budweiser/dei-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Matt Kenseth