Quotes from: DALE EARNHARDT JR. / Driver, ...
Quotes from: DALE EARNHARDT JR. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet:
"It'd be nice to get a little redemption at New Hampshire this week. We always run pretty good there, but never have enough to get a win. Last time we were there we were pretty decent, definitely a top-10 car, but the motor blew up. I feel like if we can get everything working together, we can end up in Victory Lane. We're taking the same car we just ran at Richmond. Tony (Eury) Jr. is cutting it up today (Monday), giving it a new right-rear quarterpanel, left-front fender and bumper cover. We found out the problem with the brakes right after the race Saturday night, and we're confident we'll do well with this car this weekend."
Has it sunk in that the pressure of making the Chase is finally over?
"Yeah, now we can replace it with the pressure of winning a championship (laughing). I want to win a championship bad, and being in the Chase is the first big step in doing that. I'm honored to be in the Chase. I'm happy for my team, because they gave me such great effort all year. They deserve this. My fans deserve it. My sponsors deserve it. Everyone who stuck with us through last year deserves being a part of this Chase for the Championship, so I hope they soak it up, because I know I am."
During the 2004 Chase, Dale Jr. left Loudon tied for the point lead with Kurt Busch after a third-place finish. This event last year also marked the reuniting of Dale Jr. with his current crew chief Tony Eury Jr., producing a fifth-place finish.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the #8 Budweiser team enter the New Hampshire race weekend sixth in the Nextel Cup point standings and in the 2006 Chase for the Championship. Junior finished the "regular season" with one win (Richmond), eight top-fives, 12 top-10s and 18 top-15 finishes. He has led in 12 races for 209 laps this year, and has finished sixth or better in four of the last six races.
Budweiser No. 8 Team CHASE for the Championship SYNOPSIS:
Out of 10 tracks, Dale Jr. and the Bud team have won races at six of the venues (a combined total of 11 victories). In the first-ever Chase in 2004, the team won two of the 10 Chase races: Talladega and Phoenix
SIZING UP NEW HAMPSHIRE / Weekend Notebook
In 14 starts at NHIS, Dale Jr. has three top-fives and six top-10s. He has finished in the top-10 in three of the last four races.
Junior has led five times at Loudon for 175 laps, most recently leading eight laps in the Sept. 2005 race en route to a fifth-place finish.