DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed the conditions on the track, his feelings about Darlington and more. HOW'S THE CAR WORKING? "It's fine. We're ...
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY IMPALA SS, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed the conditions on the track, his feelings about Darlington and more.
HOW'S THE CAR WORKING? "It's fine. We're working on it."
WHAT DOES THE TRACK FEEL LIKE WITH THE SURFACE A YEAR OLDER NOW? "The same. The same as last year."
WHY DO YOU THINK WE ARE SEEING SO MANY PEOPLE GET OUT OF SHAPE? "The tire is real hard. It's slick."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF NASCAR'S DRUG TESTING POLICY AS IT RELATES TO ALL THE PROBLEMS THEY ARE HAVING IN OTHER SPORTS? "I don't know. I don't do drugs so I don't have nothing to worry about. I've got no opinion otherwise."
YOU GUYS HAD A CHALLENGE LAST WEEK, CAN YOU TELL US THE REAL DEAL SO IT'S NOT OVER INFLATED? "Well ya'll saw what happened. Why do I got to comment on it? It don't help nothing to talk about it. Not for me. My team has had enough crap from everybody else. I don't need to weigh in on it. Ya'll saw what happened and ya'll can say what you want to say. We're working on it and we're trying to fix it.
"I'm pretty sure that guy will concentrate harder and try not to make that mistake this time. We had three screw jacks in the car, one in the track bar adjustment and one in each screw jack in the right rear. I don't think anybody would have been able to make all them adjustments correctly under the heat of the fire. I don't have any hard feelings at all. If the car is not so far off we don't have to make that many adjustments under one stop."
ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT HOW THE RACE WILL BE GIVEN THE TIRES ARE REAL HARD? "Well they were last year and it will be the same race that we had last year."
I KNOW WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED RACING HERE YOU DIDN'T THINK TOO HIGHLY OF THIS PLACE, BUT NOW AFTER FIVE STRAIGHT TOP-10 FINISHES ARE YOU FEELING A LITTLE BIT MORE LOVE FOR DARLINGTON? "Well it's alright. I don't really enjoy it that much. It's alright. I don't know. I've got to run. It's my job whether I like it or not."
WE'RE NOT THAT FAR FROM MYRTLE BEACH SPEEDWAY WHERE YOU SPENT A LOT OF YOUR DEVELOPMENTAL YEAR, WHEN YOU LOOK BACK ON THOSE YEARS HOW MUCH FUN WERE THOSE LATE MODEL DAYS? "When you're doing that kind of stuff you don't realize how good you've got it and how lucky you are. There was a lot of pressure and a lot of worry just like there is today. You don't understand what opportunity you have at that age. I did poorly in trying to enjoy it. Every week if we didn't run in the top-three it was a failure just like it is up here."
ON HIS FANS BEING SO LOYAL THROUGH HIS STRUGGLES THIS YEAR. "That's what fans are for. That's what they do. I wouldn't call a guy a fan if he jumped ship in the middle of the season if a guy is doing poorly or a team is doing poorly in any sport. I don't need any fair-weather fans. I appreciate the ones that are loyal."
HIS THOUGHTS ON MARK MARTIN COMING BACK TO RUN FULL TIME NEXT SEASON. "I knew it was coming. It's good. I'm happy. He's awesome, an awesome guy."
IS IT DIFFERENT AT NIGHT AS OPPOSED TO RUNNING NOW? "It will be not as hot to the touch and maybe a little more grip. It's a tough race track. Its two lanes, one groove and hard to pass. It's real, real hard. This is the hardest place to pass on the circuit."
WHAT'S GOT YOU FRUSTRATED? YOU SEEM A LITTLE BIT MORE ON EDGE. "You go sit in that car. It's not fun."
-credit: gm racing