Martinsville: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, ...

Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet:

About racing at Martinsville with the Car o' Tomorrow: "It's been a culture shock for everyone with the new car. It doesn't have the same handling characteristics as the old car, so all of the adjustments and all of the changes that you need to make are a learning experience each lap. It reminds me of my rookie year in 2000, when we came from the Busch Series and all of a sudden we had to learn how to make a much different car do the things we liked or were used to before. It takes some time, but we'll be fine. DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) has been working really hard with a lot of test sessions at places like South Boston (Va.) to try and learn what the car likes on a short track like Martinsville.

"We've always been strong at Martinsville, and all I want or expect from my guys is that we're in the ballpark when we unload that car. If we're close, then we're going to be all right. Get me in the ballpark and I'll drive that thing as hard as I can. The mindset at Martinsville is a lot like Bristol or at a road course: you try to stay out of trouble and survive until the last 100 laps, and then you go racin' to see who's gonna take home the trophy. Last year at this race, we got caught in someone else's mess in the first few laps and still managed to get a top-five finish with a car that was beaten to within an inch of its life. It was cool, but I don't want to have to do that again."

"It's good to have some momentum after a top-10 finish. It's been a strange start of the season for us. I thought our cars ran great and I thought we had cars that could win in the first four races, but we didn't have the finishes to prove it to everyone else outside of the team. At Bristol, I never thought we had a car that could run at the front, but we had some good pit work and good adjustments and brought it home with a top-10. This team deserved a finish like that and it's cool to see we've gained 24 spots in the points in the last three races."

Minutiae: Dale Jr. scored five consecutive top-five finishes at Martinsville between April 2002 and April 2004--. He has top-five finishes in 43 percent of his Martinsville starts-- He also had eight consecutive top-10 starts from April 2001 through October 2004... This event last year featured one of the most impressive drives of Dale Jr's Cup career, as he rebounded from two separate crashes to take a battered Bud machine to a fourth-place finish-- His average finish in the April event is 9.2.

Primary Chassis this week: #048 - a brand new Chevrolet Impala SS (Car of Tomorrow).

-credit: dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr.