Earnhardt, Jr. Rockingham preview

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "I'm still pumped up about the Talladega race. Our finishing positions don't show how fast we've been the last two races (at Charlotte and Talladega). The Bud team has been giving me some great cars and we've been really ...

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "I'm still pumped up about the Talladega race. Our finishing positions don't show how fast we've been the last two races (at Charlotte and Talladega). The Bud team has been giving me some great cars and we've been really competitive. That's what is important right now: being up front each week. I'd just as soon forget about Rockingham! For some reason I have always struggled there, but we have some momentum going right now, so maybe that will carry over this weekend."

This Week's Race
What: Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400, Winston Cup Race 31 of 34
Where: North Carolina Speedway, Rockingham, NC
When: Sunday, October 22, 2000
Watch: TNN, 12:30 p.m. Eastern

Between the Rock and a Hard Place: While he has been dominant at several tracks throughout his brief Busch and Winston Cup career (Texas, Richmond and Charlotte come to mind), Dale Jr. has never had a top ten finish at 'the Rock.'

"Beyond the Track" Volume Four Appears Wednesday on NASCAR Online Dale Jr's monthly column, "Beyond the Track with Dale Earnhardt Jr." can be seen beginning Wednesday on www.NASCAR.com. The column has generated increasing interest among fans and the motorsports media for its no-holds-barred look at the emotions and views of the rookie driver of the Budweiser Chevrolet.

Dale Jr. will also appear live on ESPN Radio with Dan Patrick Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Rockingham's rough, sand-blown racing surface treats the Goodyear racing tires like sandpaper across a soft eraser, which makes for some interesting racing. For several laps, fresh tires mean high speeds ("On new tires, I felt like a he-man" joked Dale Jr. after the spring race at Rockingham), but then the effects of the rough surface make the tires and the speeds go away dramatically. The result is a race based more on tire conservation than pure speed or aggressiveness. Members of the Budweiser pit crew will need to get a good night of rest prior to the race, as the team will likely make pit stops at nearly every yellow flag opportunity in order to keep fresh rubber under the car.

www.Budweiser.com

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr.