DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed incident during practice today that forced him to backup car. WHY DID YOU GO TO A BACKUP CAR? "We felt like we ...
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed incident during practice today that forced him to backup car.
WHY DID YOU GO TO A BACKUP CAR? "We felt like we didn't want to take any chances in case there was something bent, like a ball joint or something like that that we wouldn't be able to see. That was on the second lap."
DID YOU SCRAPE THE WALL IN THE SECOND PRACTICE? "We're fine. I'll probably hit is a bunch more before the weekend is over with. (LAUGHS)."
WHY ARE SO MANY GUYS HITTING THE WALL TODAY? "It is slick. I mean, I got my car pretty comfortable. I liked my lap times. Wish I could get a little more comfort in the car. You know, we are just getting on the edge right there. This track is real smooth and you can find that edge. There is a lot of load change like landing into turn one and then the load comes out of the car through the center and then the load increases on the second apex. There is a lot of dynamic wedge going in and out of the car through the corner. The car just really changes a lot as you are going around the corner and it can just snap on you, it is real easy."
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM THE CONDITIONS THAT WILL CHANGE FROM PRACTICING IN THE HEAT TO THE RACE TOMORROW NIGHT? "I don't know what to expect and I don't know if anybody really does. We didn't run good at all here last year and I didn't' run with Lance (McGrew, crew chief) so, we kind of came here with something totally different and we were too free and ended up wrecking that car. We got it dialed in pretty good, pretty close. We would have liked to have a little more time; this car we are driving now feels pretty good. The setup is entirely different from what we ran last year. I hope we will run better."
WAS THERE ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION ABOUT RICHMOND OR WAS IT OVER WHEN YOU GUYS LEFT THERE? "It was pretty much over. We got the car running good again near the end of the race. We were running around Juan (Pablo Montoya) and the No. 18 (Kyle Busch), felt like we were on the same tires as them, and we were just kind of staying behind them because we didn't want to get in there race, but felt like we could have passed them if we had wanted at any time. We had a fast car. We got off in the middle and had a flat tire that got us behind and we just never could get our laps back, but we were hoping to be able to do it. We just couldn't do it. Felt like we had at the worst, a top-20 car."
WHAT HAPPENED IN PRACTICE EARLIER? "We just came here with a lose setup and got in to the wall on the second lap of practice. The right rear got in to the dirt a little bit up there next to the fence in the middle of one and two and there is just no room. Once you get sideways, the wall is right there. Lance thought the car was ok, but he didn't want to take any chances so they pulled the backup out. It could have moved or bent the lower A-frame or something like that that we'd really never seen until it was too late. We wanted to be able to get some practice in and not have to worry about all that. So we got the other car out."
HOW FRUSTRATING IS THIS PLACE FOR YOU? "Well, I don't know man. This place will probably be the catalyst to my retirement one day. I will probably come here when I am 45, run a race and say the hell with it. It's miserable hot here during Friday, it is a difficult track to drive around. Not one of my favorites but I've run all right here before, we just have to figure out how to get the car where we like it and get some luck."
HOW COULD KYLE BUSCH BE THAT GOOD LAST WEEK AND EVERYBODY ELSE OUT TO LUNCH? "I don't know. I'm just the driver. Go in there and talk to Lance."
-source: gm racing