Earnhardt Jr media chat at PIR focused on Daytona

Team Chevy Racing press release

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/DIET MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Phoenix International Raceway and discussed how his Daytona Speedweeks went, 48 team penalties and other topics. Full transcript:

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

WERE YOU TRYING TO WORK WITH THE ROUSH CARS OR DENNY HAMLIN AT THE END OF THE DAYTONA 500?: “I was going to push the guy who was in front of me because that gives me a chance, if I do it right, to come off of turn four in second place and pass him for the win. If I’m getting pushed by somebody then I’m going to be the loser. Me and him (Denny Hamlin) are good friends.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PENALTIES ON THE 48?: “I guess it was to be expected judging by the comments that NASCAR was making during Speedweeks about the situation. They’ll just have to roll with it.”

DID YOU THINK THE PENALTIES WERE HARSH?: “I thought the points were surprising -- that’s a lot of points.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO CARRY THE HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS BANNER DURING AN ODD SPEEDWEEKS?: “It was weird. That was one of the calmest, most stress free I’ve ever been a part of. We didn’t do a lot of practicing, we didn’t really put ourselves through a lot of work. We just kind of kept the car together and got through the races in one piece. It was amazing to me how low stress it was.”

DID IT SEEM LIKE HENDRICK WAS LOSING A LOT OF CARS IN DAYTONA?: “Yeah, I’ve been through that. Definitely had some trouble finishing some races down there in the recent past.”

DID DAYTONA GIVE YOU A BOOST IN WORKING TOWARD THAT NEXT WIN?: “Yeah, Daytona really doesn’t show what we’re capable of. We ran good and that’s good for our confidence. We’ll see how we can make that work for us the next couple of weeks. Like to win here -- won some races here at Phoenix, but we just need to see what kind of car we’ve got.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BRAD KESELOWSKI TWEETING IN THE CAR?: “I was surprised that he would carry a phone in the car because you really can’t use it. That break that we had where we got out of the car was something that I’ve never seen happen before, but it gave him an opportunity and it seemed like the fans really enjoyed it. It didn’t harm anybody, didn’t bother anybody so I don’t see any problem with it.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT PENSKE SWITCHING TO FORD?: “Just interested like everyone else about what set the wheels in motion. I guess we might never know, but Roger (Penske) obviously had his reasons.”

IS YOUR INTERMEDIATE TRACK PROGRAM WHERE YOU WANT IT HEADING INTO LAS VEGAS?: “We ran good there last year and I think we did well on the intermediate tracks so we feel pretty good going in. I think I like the race track, I like racing there and it’s a good area too. It’s a good market for us. Definitely want to go there and put on a good run.”

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Denny Hamlin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Tags chevrolet, earnhardt, hendrick, phoenix