Dale Jr. can't get enough of 'the pillar' of motorsports DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (July 2, 2003) -- Out of the 23 tracks that host NASCAR Winston Cup Series races, Dale Earnhardt Jr. singles out historic Daytona International Speedway as the Mecca...
Dale Jr. can't get enough of 'the pillar' of motorsports
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (July 2, 2003) -- Out of the 23 tracks that host NASCAR Winston Cup Series races, Dale Earnhardt Jr. singles out historic Daytona International Speedway as the Mecca of stock car racing.
"This place is a great race track with a lot of history," Earnhardt Jr. said. "It has such an impact on the sport. There are other tracks on the circuit that are important to NASCAR and that are cornerstones and the foundation. But this place here is a pillar. This place really represents everything that I like about the sport. I really like coming here."
Earnhardt Jr.'s love for Daytona is reflected by his busy schedule for the upcoming July 2-5 Pepsi 400 weekend.
He'll race under the lights in both the second annual Winn-Dixie 250 Presented By PepsiCo on Friday, July 4 and the 45th running of the Pepsi 400 on Saturday, July 5.
Earnhardt Jr., whose late father Dale Earnhardt is the winningest driver at the famed 2.5-mile tri-oval, just can't get enough racing at Daytona.
"When you come in (through the tunnel), you can't get here fast enough and then when you leave, you drive out real slow - getting every little last bit you can because it's going to be too long before you come back," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I love it."
In the last two years, Earnhardt Jr. has turned the "World Center of Racing" into his personal playground posting five victories.
After finishing second in the 2001 Daytona 500, Earnhardt Jr. captured his first career victory at the famed track win the 2001 Pepsi 400. In 2002, he captured his first win in the Koolerz 300 NASCAR Busch Series event.
During Speedweeks 2003, Earnhardt Jr. pulled off an amazing string of victories, winning the inaugural nighttime running of the Budweiser Shootout, a Gatorade 125-mile qualifying race and his second straight Koolerz 300 Busch Series race.
Earnhardt Jr. thrives on the restrictor-plate tracks at Daytona and its sister track Talladega Superspeedway. He likes the close-quarters racing and understands how to manipulate the draft to his advantage.
He also has resources of Dale Earnhardt Inc., which devote more time and research into restrictor-plate racing than any other team in the garage.
"Anytime you run in a situation with restrictor plate equipment, you've still got to be able to get the best out of that equipment," said seven-time Daytona 500 champion and NASCAR legend Richard Petty. 'What ever (Dale Jr.) has got on these kinds of race tracks, he gets the best out of it just like his dad did."
Earnhardt Jr. will look for a Pepsi 400 weekend sweep just like he did recently at Talladega Superspeedway, where he won the Aaron's 312 Busch Series race and the Aaron's 499 Winston Cup event.
The odds will be on his side.
Tickets for any of the events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 1 (800) PITSHOP.