DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY JUICE/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA, met with members of the media at Auto Club Speedway and discussed his second place finish in the Daytona 500, momentum for the season, social media and other topics. TALK ABOUT...
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY JUICE/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA, met with members of the media at Auto Club Speedway and discussed his second place finish in the Daytona 500, momentum for the season, social media and other topics.
TALK ABOUT YOUR PAINT SCHEME AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY: "Amp Energy has come out with this juice, it is like orange juice. We are running a special paint scheme. The car looks pretty good. It is orange and white. The juice is really, really good. I'm not a coffee drinker so this is going to be quite popular in my refrigerator. Happy to be able to kick off a new product line for AMP and hopefully it is really successful, which I think it will be. Out of the many things they launch, I think the juice one is actually a pretty smart play and probably will work out pretty good."
TALK ABOUT YOUR SECOND PLACE FINISH AT DAYTONA AND HOW YOU WORKED YOUR WAY THROUGH THE FIELD ON THAT LAST RESTART: "Things just kind of worked out. All the runs and all the pushes and all the holes just worked out and lined up perfectly for us. Gave us some good opportunities at the end. We had a lot of good help from David Reutimann and a couple of other people there to help us sort of get going when things stalled out on us. When we ran in to the back of somebody and a run was gone, there was always somebody there to help get my car going again. We were just real fortunate there at the end."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE YOUR OLD MOJO BACK? "I feel pretty good about my team. I feel pretty good about Lance (McGrew, crew chief). Just give me a good car and I can run real good with it. We just have to have the communication and Lance has got to understand what I am telling him about the car. I've got to be able to communicate as well as I can all of that information to him. We built a lot of new cars; we did a lot of hard work, Lance especially, during the off-season to put us in a position to bring better cars to this race and to Vegas and so forth. We will see how it turns out when we get on the race track here soon."
COULD YOU SUM UP YOUR REACTION TO DANICA'S (PATRICK) FIRST TWO RACES? "I haven't talked to her since Daytona. I thought she did as well as she could at Daytona under the circumstances. We'll see how she does here. I don't know if she has hit the track yet today. We will just see how it goes this weekend. We are real patient. We have a lot of responsibility in giving her a good opportunity and she has a lot of races to learn and understand and learn these cars. We are going to be quite patient with her. She is a lot of fun to be around."
HAVE YOU SEEN THE REPLAY OF THE END OF THE DAYTONA 500 AND FOLLOWED WHAT YOU DID? "I just watched the last lap. You get in a rhythm you know and you start with each little move and that builds a lot of confidence. It was just a domino effect from there on. I think it worked out about as good as it possibly could have for us aside from actually winning the race. That would have been pretty incredible. Sometimes those things happen and we were fortunate enough to be in that situation last week, we have to go and back it up this week. And the next and the next and next....."
DO YOU PLAN ON TWEETING? "No. Actually Mike Davis (communications manager for JR Motorsports) enjoys that. He keeps the fans pretty aware of what we are doing, where we are going, what is happening. I use social networking through our partnerships but I never really enjoyed doing it on a personal level. Not like many of you guys. I just know when you start something and create something like that, people expect it. If you guys ever got tired of doing it, you could just turn around and shut it off. If I was to handle a situation like that, it would just piss a lot of people off. If it was Jeff (Gluck, journalist) wanted to shut his twitter account down, some people would be upset, but it is his prerogative. But if I start something like that, it just steam rolls and it is out of my control. I just don't think it is productive to have a personal social networking account for me. I like using those with our partners, whether it be our foundation or like the live chat with AMP was a blast the other day. I really anticipate it being as popular as it was with the fans, they really enjoyed that so I need to look in that direction to do that more. I had Facebook and MySpace and all that stuff way back in the day and I just get burned out feeling that responsibility to keep it updated. It was like what for. You have to get out of the house every once in a while. I just had to cut it all out because I just got tired..I was like a parent having to take care of that thing.
"Did you all read the USA Today article last week about social networking? That was dead-on for me. That was exactly what my experience was like and how I felt about it."
HOW DOES IT HELP MORALE TO GET OFF TO A GOOD START IN THIS SERIES? "I enjoy running good. I enjoy finishing up front. It had been a long time since we had finished. It had been a very very long time it felt like. But we had been battered and beaten up so much last year by ourselves particularly, I didn't want to get too excited after that finish because it was Daytona and it was a track that I can typically can run good. A lot of people questionable of talent have run good there. I didn't want to get too excited about it because I know I wouldn't be able to really convince anybody that we were back or we are a strong team or had fixed anything until we come to these kind of tracks and run good at them. I enjoyed personally finishing well and I enjoyed how happy it made my team. I enjoyed hearing their comments about how they enjoyed the race and what they thought about the rebound we made at the end. It was a lot of fun. I got more text messages and phone calls about those last few laps than I did when I won the damn race. I really enjoyed that. It was good for our confidence and reminds you what success or what doing something good feels like. It was a good experience."
-source: gm racing