Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 8 Budweiser team are the defending champions this weekend in Texas. The win last year was their first Winston Cup victory in only their 12th career event. Dale Jr.also won his first-ever Busch Series...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 8 Budweiser team are the defending champions this weekend in Texas. The win last year was their first Winston Cup victory in only their 12th career event. Dale Jr.also won his first-ever Busch Series victory at the same track in 1998 with much of the same crew.
"Texas is one of our best tracks, but I don't really know why. Ever since we've gone there in the Busch Series, it has just been a track that has been easy for me to drive. It's really fast and I like that. I guess I have a good feel for what the car needs as far as the attitude of the car into and off of the corners. I know Tony (Eury) Jr. (Budweiser team car chief) and I really click at Texas. We're both on the same page as far as how we set up the car and what changes need to be made. Last year, we were happy when the last practice was rained out because we knew we had a great set-up. With less practice, it meant the other teams didn't have that time to try and figure out what we had."
"It's a track that requires good motors - you need a lot of power. We've had that -- Richie Gilmore (chief engine builder at Dale Earnhardt Inc.) and the guys have really been producing some great engines for us."
"I don't think we can expect to dominate like we did last year, but we certainly look to be in the top 10. I think many of the teams have figured out a lot since last year. But, I know we'll be there in the hunt.The tires are similar this year to what they were last year, so I think that gives us a level of comfort that our set-up will be good again."
Dale Jr. at Texas Winston Cup Starts: 1 Best Start: 4th Best Finish: 1st Notable: Dale Jr. grabbed his first victory in only his 12th start, third quickest in the modern-era of Winston Cup. Only Kevin Harvick and Ron Bouchard earned their first win sooner. In last year's event, Dale Jr. dominated for much of the afternoon, leading 108 laps and taking the victory by nearly six seconds (a huge margin of victory in NASCAR racing) over Jeff Burton.
What to Watch: Dale Jr. sits down with Darrell Waltrip for his first official interview since the tragedy at Daytona. The interview will be seen this Sunday on the Fox pre-race show, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.