Chicagoland: Dale Earnhardt Jr. preview

POINTS AFTER DAYTONA: After scoring a fourth-place finish Saturday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Earnhardt is 11th in the Sprint Cup driver standings. Earnhardt has not finished lower than 11th in the last four races. AT...

POINTS AFTER DAYTONA: After scoring a fourth-place finish Saturday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Earnhardt is 11th in the Sprint Cup driver standings. Earnhardt has not finished lower than 11th in the last four races.

AT CHICAGO: Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, has recorded one win, two top-five finishes, three top-10s and has led 121 laps in nine Cup starts at Chicagoland Speedway.

CHICAGO CHASSIS: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-556, which is the first chassis McGrew built from scratch for Earnhardt. This chassis, which Earnhardt debuted in 2009 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was used last at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May. The team tested it in June at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway.

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON CHICAGO.): "I look forward to Saturday night races. It's cooler out, and we get to be home on Sunday. I like racing at Chicago. We've had a pretty good run there last year (15th place) and probably should have finished a little higher than we did. We've had a competitive car the past couple of races. We are getting lucky more than I'd like, but I'm proud of the guys and their hard work."

LANCE McGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON KEEPING THE MOMENTUM GOING AT CHICAGO.): "It's all about that effort and everyone doing everything they can. At the end of the day you put the best product you can on the racetrack and hope you get the finish. We've managed to do that, and we've had some good luck along the way. We've also had good race cars the past five or six events. Dale has been really positive and upbeat. We have a positive thing going right now so we are going to keep on with it."

McGREW (ON HIS NO. 88 TEAM AT THE HALFWAY POINT.) "I'm probably harder on us than I probably ought to be. I'd still give us about a C. There's been a lot of races where I don't think we had the speed we needed to have. Recently, I feel like we have been considerably better. We might have bumped ourselves up to a B-minus in the last month, but before that I wasn't too happy. There's always room for improvement, and that goes across the board. I was pretty excited when I looked and saw that we were about 260 points ahead of where we were last year, which is impressive. As far as points go, I'm pretty excited and looking forward to the next eight races and hopefully keep this momentum going."

McGREW (ON WHAT IT TAKES TO STAY IN THE TOP 12.): "We need to continue to do what we are doing, getting top-10 or top-15 runs. You have to be able to get a respectable finish out of a bad day. There are several teams that have been struggling lately that can come up and start winning, and we need to build as much cushion as possible while those guys are struggling."

McGREW (ON CHICAGO.): "I like Chicago. We ran really well there last year. We finished 15th, which is not where we wanted to finish, but the car was respectable all day. It's a track that Dale likes, which helps. Our qualifying on intermediate tracks has been decent so we are looking forward to going and having a good weekend."

-source: hendrick motosports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Teams Hendrick Motorsports