Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, ...
Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet:
"They've repaved Bristol, so that means a lot of unknowns for everyone. I'm hearing they've smoothed-out the bumps and I'm anxious to see what impact that will have. The old surface was very very rough - it was like a jackhammer on your body - but it offered you a chance to get past someone if they got loose on the bumps coming up out of the turns. We'll see if that makes it a lot harder to pass people. But, if it can be done, we'll stick our nose in there and get it done.
"We've run great the past six weeks or so, but just can't catch a break. We'll need a really big break in the point standings to get back in contention to make the Chase. But it was only a few years back (2004) when we were struggling after I got burnt (in a sports car crash), and we came in here and won the Busch and the Cup races that weekend. That was a great boost for the whole team, and it meant a lot to me personally to win at Bristol. Maybe we can do it again Saturday night. How cool would that be?! It's just one of those tracks where you want that victory on your resume. I used to spend time here as a kid, watching my dad and all of the guys I worshipped do battle around here, so it always means a little something extra to me to do well at this place."
"With the short week this week (due to the two-day rain delay at Michigan), it's going to be some long days for the crews. These guys work hard enough, and this just makes it that much worse going into a race where tempers seem to always show up. They talk about the fireworks on track every year at the Bristol night race, and I think we'll see a lot of tempers for 500 laps."
The newly repaved Bristol Motor Speedway has been one of the more successful tracks for Dale Jr. and the No. 8 Budweiser team... Dale Jr. was the first driver to ever sweep the Busch and Cup Series events at Bristol in a single weekend when he won on consecutive nights in August, 2004. He led a career-best 295 laps during the Cup race, and lapped the field up to the sixth-place finisher. It was a major boost for the team that season heading into the first-ever Chase for the Cup, and came only weeks after Junior had suffered burns in a sports car crash. That win was his 13th victory among his 17 Cup wins... Dale Jr. has led 742 laps here in his career, the most laps led of any track on the Cup circuit for the Bud driver... In the 11 races at Bristol since March, 2002, Dale Jr. has finished 11th place or better 10 times. In those 11 races, he has a win, five top-fives and eight top-10 finishes... In the NASCAR 'data loop' stats - which includes only the past few Bristol races - Dale Jr. leads all drivers with the most passes under green flag conditions at Bristol... Dale Jr. has been involved in some interesting extra-curricular dramas at Bristol as well, including an incident when Robby Gordon solved a minor disagreement by smashing into the back of the Bud car on pit lane following a race, and an infamous moment in March, 2004 when Dale Jr. intentionally and skillfully spun-out the No. 8 car after a loose wheel made the car unmanageable. Junior would have gotten away with his ruse if he hadn't bragged about it on the radio to his crew and then admitted his actions to the media following the race. NASCAR was forced to fine him $10,000 and 25 points later that week for intentionally causing a yellow flag...