Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- driver, No. 8 Budweiser team: How do you get past all of the changes and turmoil from the last week? "It's been a rough week. But we're all going to do what we can to go to Dover and win. All of us at DEI want to win so...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- driver, No. 8 Budweiser team:
How do you get past all of the changes and turmoil from the last week?
"It's been a rough week. But we're all going to do what we can to go to Dover and win. All of us at DEI want to win so bad, things happen or are said in the heat of the moment. It's the way it always has been. That's family, ya know? Win or lose, with the focus from the fans and the media on me and on this team, we've had some sort of drama or controversy every other week for five or six years. We all move on and focus on the next race. We've been through much worse situations together, and we've always been able to rebound together and come back strong. I don't expect anything different this time. All of the DEI drivers and crew chiefs met after every practice session this week and we're going to keep doing that so we can have two teams in the Chase at the end of the year."
Last year you scored a couple of top-10s at Dover. What are your thoughts heading toward this weekend?
"It's a place where we've won, so there's always that confidence there. You always feel good going back to a place you've won. Last year we had to race our guts out for those top-10s, especially the first one. We were two laps down with about 50 to go and ended up finishing third. That was one of the craziest races I'd ever seen. I'm a big fan of the place, enjoy going there, and hopefully we'll have a good car to run. I was really impressed with how good we got our car running Sunday (in the 600). Even when you don't get the finishes you want, just knowing you've got guys with the ability to adjust and make the car really fast is exciting."
Talk about the mentality of your Budweiser team under new leadership with Steve Hmiel.
"We've just got to keep working hard. We've got to be focused and I think we've got good potential. The team is good. I think we've got a good idea with Steve Hmiel calling the shots. He's got a good idea of what needs to change. I'm feeling real confident right now for the team."
2005 SEASON OVERVIEW: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team enter the 13th race of the season 15th in the Nextel Cup point standings after a 33rd-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. The finish broke a string of seven consecutive top-15 performances. For 2005, the Brew Crew has three top-5s and five top-10s in twelve races.
DIALING IN DOVER: Dale Jr. has one win, three top-5s and five top-10s in 10 starts at the 1-mile Dover International Speedway. His victory came in September 2001, notable as the first NASCAR race following 9/11. Junior led 193 laps that day. He has led seven of 10 races at Dover for 365 laps.