Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "I can't wait to get this race started. I feel like this place owes us one. We were running really well (in the spring race) until we broke a rear axle. We are confident in our setup. Until we had problems, I ran in the top...
Dale Earnhardt Jr.:
"I can't wait to get this race started. I feel like this place owes us one. We were running really well (in the spring race) until we broke a rear axle. We are confident in our setup. Until we had problems, I ran in the top ten and it was comfortable, but we just hope that we don't get snake bit again this time. The track is so abrasive that you feel like Superman with new tires, but that only lasts for a short time. Then, the tires go away and you just hang on for the rest of the run. When you're sliding around, it gets so bad you feel like you're going to crash every lap. It's a helpless feeling and then it makes it worse when guys with new tires go by."
BUD Pole qualifying will be seen live Friday afternoon on ESPN2 at 3:30 pm Eastern.
<pre> Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Darlington Previous Winston Cup starts: 1 (Spring 2000) Started: 10th Finish: 40th (crash / 213 laps) Previous Busch Series Starts: 4 Best Busch Series Start: 5th (Spring 1999) Best Busch Series Finish: 2nd (Fall, 1998)
Dale Jr.'s best finish at Darlington was a second-place tally in the fall Busch Series race in 1998. He improved 32 positions from his 34th place starting position.
</pre> Did you know that the Darlington track is shaped like an egg to protect a minnow pond outside of turn 4? When the track was built in 1949, a nearby land owner refused to budge, causing the track to be built with a wide turn one and two and a narrow turn three and four.
This race has been held on the Labor Day weekend since 1950, and it holds a lot of tradition and significance for many in the NASCAR community. The shape of the track, combined with an aged, sand-blown racing surface, creates a tough challenge for the teams, as the abrasive surface chews up tires like a cheese grater munching warm cheddar.