Martinsville: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Dale Jr. Quotes for Martinsville "There are still some people that say this team only does well at restrictor plate races, and I say that they are missing the results we have had on all kinds of tracks -- especially short tracks -- in the past...

Dale Jr. Quotes for Martinsville

"There are still some people that say this team only does well at restrictor plate races, and I say that they are missing the results we have had on all kinds of tracks -- especially short tracks -- in the past year or two. We had two top-fives at Martinsville last year, and we ran near the front for 1000 laps (between the two Martinsville races). The first few times we raced here, it wasn't pretty, but we have worked and fought to get better, especially me as a driver, but as a whole team to find a set-up that we can race with at the smaller tracks. I don't think anyone should be surprised if we do really well this weekend. If they are surprised, they're not paying attention."

About being second in the points:
"We were on a similar hot streak last year after the first Talladega race (fifth in points), and then I got into that big hit at Fontana and we struggled for a couple of months. We know it takes 36 races, not eight.

"I feel real focused. I've got high demand out of my guys. I hope that they see that is just determination and my drive to win the championship. Hopefully, they give me what I ask of them and they did today (at Talladega). It's just time to be buckled down and it's time to look forward to the end of the year. I plan to be a big part of the team's success all year long by keeping things mellow and together when we're having bad days.

"We can cuss and throw (stuff) when the season is over with when we didn't get the championship we wanted. Instead of doing it after each race, let's just keep our heads up and go on. That's been pretty good to us up until this point. A few new guys came in over the winter that with interesting attitudes that have rejuvenated our hopes and desires and initiatives. Tony (Eury) Jr., and Tony (Eury) are working really, really good together.

"I feel like this is the strongest they have ever been as a combination up on top of the (pit) box. I feel like our relationship and our communication is so much better and I feel like we were pretty damn good before, so we've got a good potential to win this year."

"It's cool to see Matt (Kenseth) and I running one-two in points. It feels like '98 and '99 (when the two battled head-to-head for Busch Series championships). Matt is a great guy, and he's one of the ones out there that I love to race with. You just have more confidence racing against certain guys... you know they're not going to do anything to put either of you in trouble.

"But I also want to win badly against him. It's like playing your buddies in basketball. You're out there having fun, but you want to beat 'em so bad that you can taste it."

More Notes on Talladega Victory:

--- The four consecutive victories at Talladega is a first. Dale Jr. had shared the record of three-straight victories with Buddy Baker. Baker was within one lap of his fourth-straight win in 1976, but ran out of fuel while nursing a huge lead. He coasted across the finish line in second place. Only Dale Jr's father, the late Dale Earnhardt, has won more races at Talladega (10). Dale Jr. shares second with four career victories alongside Darrell Waltrip, Buddy Baker and Bobby Allison.

--- The fourth consecutive win extends what was already the longest current streak of consecutive victories at a single track. No other driver currently has more than two consecutive wins at any track.

--- Dale Jr. and the Budweiser team have now won races in each of their first four Winston Cup seasons. The eighth career victory moves Dale Jr. into the top 50 in all-time Winston Cup wins.

--- Though it was his first Winston Cup points race win of 2003, it was the fifth time Dale Jr. has rolled into Victory Lane since the start of the season. The Budweiser team won the Budweiser Shootout and a 125-mile qualifier at Daytona, and Dale Jr. is two-for-two in Busch Series races, winning at Daytona and Talladega.

-dei/budweiser-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Allison , Buddy Baker