Dover: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - driver, No. 8 Budweiser team: "Well, it's gotta be better than the last time I was at Dover because I left in an ambulance (after a late race crash in Oct. 2003). But, before that, we led almost 50 laps and ran in the...

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - driver, No. 8 Budweiser team:

"Well, it's gotta be better than the last time I was at Dover because I left in an ambulance (after a late race crash in Oct. 2003). But, before that, we led almost 50 laps and ran in the top-five for more than 300 laps, so I'd prefer to remember that part of the day. We've led a lot of laps over the last few years at Dover and I think our win there (two weeks after 9-11-2001) was one of the highlights I'll never forget. Not even so much that we won - but just the feeling among all of the fans and the drivers and teams that day. You always have a better feeling going to a track where you've won in the past."

"Look at how we finished the (Coca-Cola) 600 (at Charlotte)- making a gutsy pit call in the last few laps. We were snake-bit on those calls in the past, and I really remember losing spots in a similar position at the end of this race (at Dover) last year. I think you can point to that as a sign we're learning from our past mistakes and making better calls than we ever have before."

-- The Budweiser team and Dale Jr. have competed in eight races at Dover International Speedway, scoring one victory and three top-10 finishes. His victory came in September 2001, in which he led 193 laps. It was the team's first Cup victory on a one-mile oval. (A victory at Phoenix last season is the second.) In all, Dale Jr. has led six of eight races at Dover for 364 laps.

-- Dale Jr. maintains a five-point lead over Jimmie Johnson in the NEXTEL Cup point standings. He enters the MBNA America 400 on the heels of a sixth-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway. It was his ninth top-10 this year, and it was his fifth top-10 in the last six races ... Dale Jr. has led the point standings for seven weeks in 2004, and is one of four drivers to remain in the top-10 all season. He has been among the top-10 in points for 46 consecutive races.

-- Dale Jr. has posted 10 top-10 starts in the first 12 races in 2004, more than any other driver.

-dei-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jimmie Johnson