Quotes from: DALE EARNHARDT JR. / Driver, ...
Quotes from: DALE EARNHARDT JR. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet:
Do you feel any different about Sunday's race at Talladega now that you've had time to let it sink in?
"The frustrating part is the loss of points. It sure would've been nice to walk out of there with top-five points rather than top-25 points and to be able to go into Charlotte with that momentum. I wanted to win that race, but I certainly would've settled for a top-three... It is what it is. I'm happy that we ran so well. Our restrictor-plate program has been under scrutiny the past few years because we're not the dominant plate team that we used to be. That was the best car I've had on a plate track in a long time, so I can't be too disappointed. I was very pleased with the effort."
What are your thoughts on Charlotte this weekend?
"We need a top-five. We've only had one top-10 in the Chase so far. I think we can do it. We're taking our favorite car in the whole shop, it's the best we got. It's finished in the top-five almost every time we've used it. We'll see what happens. I'm not sure if it's the exact same tire we raced the last time at Charlotte, but I know it's a harder tire, and it was really difficult to get used to. We'll have the smaller fuel cells, so anything can happen. After this past weekend, I'm more determined than ever to get this team in the thick of the championship run."
How do you plan to celebrate your birthday (Tuesday, Oct. 10) this week?
"We're gonna do something, just not sure what. My buddies are always pretty reliable at making sure we have a good time, so I'm looking forward to it, whatever it is. We're going to a screening of the new movie about my Dad that night, and I'm really looking forward to that. I've seen it, and it's awesome. I enjoyed the hell out of it."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team enter the Charlotte race weekend sixth in the Nextel Cup point standings, 106 points behind leader Jeff Burton with six races to go in the Chase for the Championship. On the season, Junior has one win (Richmond), eight top-fives, 13 top-10s, and seven additional top-15s. He has led in 14 races for 264 laps.
Lowe's Motor Speedway Weekend Notebook
* In 14 career starts at LMS, Dale Jr. has four top-5s and six top-10s. He has led six races for 198 laps.
* Dale Jr. made his Nextel Cup debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway at the Coca-Cola 600 in 1999. He qualified eighth and finished 16th.
* Junior won his first career Bud Pole Award at LMS in May 2000, less than one week after becoming the first rookie driver to win the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.
Miscellaneous Notes on The Bud Team
* Dale Jr. will be making his 250th career Nextel Cup start this Saturday.