Daytona II: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Quotes from: DALE EARNHARDT JR. / Driver, ...

Quotes from: DALE EARNHARDT JR. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet:

On this being the fifth-year anniversary of his 2001 Pepsi 400 win:

"That was a special win for me. I wouldn't mind having that car for this race, because it was probably the best car I've ever had here. It was a just like my Daytona 500-winning car (in 2004) in that it would go wherever I wanted it to go... it would stick and haul ass. That was a cool night for me, and for the fans. It doesn't seem like five years ago. It seems like yesterday it's so vivid. A lot of emotions went into that race, and it was one we'll keep in the scrap book for a long time."

On restrictor plate racing:

"There's not a lot to it. I just get in and tell the team whether it's slow or fast. I don't really know what they change to make it better. We've got some gains to make at the plate tracks. We're not as strong as we used to be, because we really started focusing on the intermediate speedways. We were losing a lot of points on those types of tracks, and we needed to improve. I think it's pretty obvious we've gotten a lot better at those tracks this year. Because of that, I don't think we're the dominant restrictor-plate team that we used to be, but we're still very competitive on the plate tracks. I think we're still in the top-three. We always take strong cars and strong motors. We're still capable of winning any of these restrictor-plate races."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team are fifth in the Nextel Cup point standings, eight points behind fourth-place Mark Martin and 16 points out of third. Through 16 races, Dale Jr. has one win (Richmond), five top-fives and seven top-10s.

DAYTONA WEEKEND NOTEBOOK:

Dale Jr. has two wins, six top-fives, and nine top-10s in 13 career Daytona "points" races.

Dale Jr.has six consecutive top-10s at Daytona, the longest current streak of any driver.

The Budweiser team has led nine races at Daytona for 311 laps.

Dale Jr. has been running at the end of all 13 races at Daytona.

On restrictor plate tracks, Junior has seven victories (two at Daytona, five at Talladega) in 26 career starts, ranking him third all-time behind Dale Earnhardt (11) and Jeff Gordon (10).

Dale Jr. has a 11.769 average finish in 26 plate races, the second-best finishing average among all drivers with more than two starts.

Junior has led laps in 20 of his last 23 "plate" races.

Was the only driver to score top-five finishes in all four "plate" races in 2004, two of which were victories.

Scored 725 points in restrictor-plate races in 2004, the second time in four years he posted the most "plate" points.

-dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Mark Martin