Earnhardt Jr. Martinsville preview

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "I've only raced there once, and I think that race is another example where we were really much better or more competitive than the finishing position shows. We had to make two long pit stops to change batteries, and we...

Dale Earnhardt Jr.:

"I've only raced there once, and I think that race is another example where we were really much better or more competitive than the finishing position shows. We had to make two long pit stops to change batteries, and we were still pretty competitive. All of the beating and banging that goes on is actually a lot of fun. You have to be careful not to get spun out though!" <pre> This Week's Race What: NAPA Autocare 500, Winston Cup Race 28 of 34 Where: Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, VA When: Sunday, October 1, 2000 Watch: ESPN, 1 p.m. Eastern

</pre> BUD Pole qualifying will be seen on ESPN2 Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm Eastern. ESPN2 will also air the final hour of practice from Martinsville on a tape-delayed basis Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm.

<pre> Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Martinsville Previous Winston Cup starts: 1 Start: 22nd Finish: 26th

In the modern era of Winston Cup racing, Dale Jr. is already tied for 34th in career wins, while his two Bud Pole positions this season rank him 49th on the all-time Cup list. Not bad for a driver who has not yet completed his first full season.

Patience?! You want patience?! Try 500 laps at this lil' place. Slamming on the brakes and turning hard left 1000 times? On a hot Sunday afternoon with 42 other guys trying to bash you outta their way? Patience?! No way.

The Martinsville oval is a the smallest circuit on the Winston Cup tour. The relatively flat ½-mile track is about as close as you can get to seeing Winston Cup cars on a track that resembles most local tracks around the country. Although the Bristol oval is also ½-mile in length, the lack of significant banking at Martinsville makes it the slowest on the tour, and most passing is achieved through devices such as a polite slam with the front bumper. Most of the 43 cars will start the race in their usual gleaming, spotless manner, but we can assure you that few if any of the cars will look like that when the race is complete.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr.