Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, ...
Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet:
"We should be good at Dover. Historically, we've always been really fast there and it's always seemed to be feast or famine - we've had good finishes or wrecked tryin.' I thought we had a Bud Pole in our hands there in June, but (Ryan) Newman went out and barely got us. We really felt like we had the car to beat on runs longer than 20 laps or so, and we were getting our hopes up until we blew a tire after 100 laps. It was heartbreaking. Or should I say it was 'deflating.' Then, we fought and clawed back and had a second flat tire later in the race. Considering all of that, the fact we were still 22nd at the end of the day showed how fast we were. Plus, Martin (Truex Jr., teammate) spanked 'em (earning his first career Cup win). Everybody at DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) learns more about the CoT (Car of Tomorrow) every time we race it, and we are already starting with a pretty damn good baseline."
This Bud's for You: In the final ten weeks of the season, we will commemorate the long and successful pairing of Dale Jr., Budweiser and Dale Earnhardt Inc. by including a small slice of the most memorable moments and the greatest Dale Jr. quotes since 1999.
Memorable Drive: Dale Jr's victory at Dover in Sept. 2001 was one of the most emotionally charged days in recent Cup history. As the first major American motorsports event following the 9/11 attacks, Dale Jr. led 193 of the 400 laps, which he followed with a Polish victory lap, carrying a giant American flag. It was also the first race where Dale Jr. carried a volleyball - AKA "Wilson" - in the cockpit (though he was unaware of the inflated guest until late in the race).
Memorable Quotes: (following his Dover victory) "This feels different than any of our other wins. I mean, we love winning, but it felt odd to celebrate. As I was coming around to head into pit lane (after the win), I thought about the big American flag we had in our pit area, and I asked them to bring it to me and I did a lap for the fans.
"It was neat to see the fan's reaction... I mean we've all been sad the past couple of weeks, and it was neat to see the NASCAR fans show their spirit and their patriotism just like the baseball fans or football fans have done. It does make me proud that I'm American, and I feel honored that I was the one to win on a day like today. I mean, it didn't matter who won, it was healing to be here and it was special to be together and feel like the NASCAR family was together for the country. The fans presented me -- and all of us drivers - with some real inspiration out there."
Dale Jr. donated $75,000 of his winnings to a fund for the children of 9/11 victims: "My sister (Kelley) and I wanted to do something. We talked about it, and we decided we'd donate some money for the children. I mean, you sit on your couch and watch and you feel helpless. We wanted to do what we could to help. I will be happy writing that check."
About carrying a volleyball named Wilson in the cockpit of the racecar, in honor of the Tom Hanks movie "Cast Away": "I think that 'Cast Away' is awesome. I guess because I felt like I've been on a deserted island since my dad died in February. You know, I'm surrounded by people all the time, and thousands of people at the track, but I feel all alone, ya know. I said that to some of the people close to me, and they thought it would be fun to surprise me with the volleyball in the car. Now that we've won with it, maybe it brought me some luck."
Primary Chassis this week: #051 / Chevrolet Impala SS Car o' Tomorrow / also raced at Bristol (7th and 5th place), Phoenix (19th), Richmond (May race: 13th) and the Dover race in June (22nd).