Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "We've been really confident the last few weeks going to tracks where we've raced or won before - but I had never turned a lap at Pocono until we did a day of testing a few weeks back. It looks like a real intimidating ...
Dale Earnhardt Jr.:
"We've been really confident the last few weeks going to tracks where we've raced or won before - but I had never turned a lap at Pocono until we did a day of testing a few weeks back. It looks like a real intimidating place, but once I got out there, it was kind of fun. It's so different - I had to work at concentrating on when to shift and how to get through each section of the track. We're really going to be rookies this week!
"We've been moving up in the point standings because even when we've struggled with the car, we've been able to hang in there and get a top-10 or top-15 finish. That's a good sign for this team - I think we're getting to the point where we can expect to be near the front every race."
What: Pocono 500
Where: Pocono Speedway, Pocono, PA
When: Sunday, June 18, 2000
Watch: TNN, 1:00 p.m. Eastern
BUD POLE qualifying will be seen on a tape-delayed basis Saturday morning at 9:00 am Eastern on TNN. (You west coasters need to get up early to see if Dale Jr. continues his top ten qualifying streak!)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Pocono
Career Winston Cup Starts: --
Career Busch Series Starts: -- Dale and the Budweiser team have never raced at Pocono. What To Watch Early success in the NASCAR Busch Series and now in Winston Cup proves that Dale Jr. and the DEI/Budweiser team are very quick learners, but the track at Pocono offers a steep learning curve -- literally. Until a test session two weeks ago, the team and Dale Jr. had never turned laps at the huge triangular track with three very different, very distinct corners. The long front stretch at the antiquated, rustic facility also forces drivers to shift gears - a rarity on an oval track.
Just like the tricky lil' track at Nazareth (Pa.), perhaps Pocono should be called a 'roval,' because it incorporates many elements of a typical oval track with the unique corners and shifting points like a road course. The recent consistency of the Budweiser team will be tested this weekend.