Martinsville: Earnhardt Jr - Friday media visit

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS met with media today and discussed meetings with Hendrick Motorsports, new eating habits, Kyle Busch, and more. HOW IS THE CAR? "Oh, the car's pretty good. We seem to be real ...

DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD IMPALA SS met with media today and discussed meetings with Hendrick Motorsports, new eating habits, Kyle Busch, and more.

HOW IS THE CAR? "Oh, the car's pretty good. We seem to be real competitive with everybody. Jeff (Gordon) is really fast. But I was happy with how I unloaded."

HOW DID YOUR MEETING GO? IT SEEMS LIKE ALL OF HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS IS BEHIND YOU "Well, when you need to do better you get down and you sit down and get all the collective experience you can around you and try to feed off of it and we're just trying to hear out everybody's opinions on some things we can try or do differently, and if it will help. We're just working hard to get better and we don't sit on our tails hoping it'll turn around on it's own because it probably wouldn't happen that way."

ON RECENT MEETING "Well, it was a good and constructive meeting. Rick (Hendrick) has a lot of experience and talent in his organization and I tried to get a few of those guys together that have watched us at the race track and watched us on the weekends and knows a little bit of the history of our team. Just trying to give those guys an opportunity to voice their opinions on the situation and take what they say and try to understand it and try to make our team better with what they tell me. So, I like having those kinds of meetings and I would have them every week if those guys would be willing to sit down. Even if we were winning races, it's still good to get 15 minutes with Ken (Howes) and Doug (Duchardt) and Brian (Whitesell) and all the crew chiefs. Anytime you can get those guys here, it's pretty great with what they can tell you and what they can offer."

WHAT DID YOU TALK ABOUT? "Well there wasn't one sole big thing. We talked about a lot of little stuff we could do differently or try. We looked at some of the methods and some of the ways that they have had success in the past and we just talked about some ways we could communicate better. One of the things that we were working really hard on is trying to communicate at the race track and on the radio better. So me and Tony Jr. are real conscious of that and are just trying to do a better job each week. And I think that we are. And hopefully soon we'll start seeing some results."

RICK HENDRICK SAID YOU WERE WORKING OUT AND EATING RIGHT, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT? "Well, Rick wouldn't lie about it (laughter), but I'm just trying not to leave any stone unturned and obviously as you get older, you need to take better care of yourself. So I'm just trying to do my part and make sure that I'm as good as I can be when these guys need me. So I definitely needed to change my diet a little bit because I was not very proactive in what I ordered or what I bought and wasn't very picky about where I eat my meals. I'm just trying to be a little smarter and a little more responsible there."

IS MARK MARTIN HELPING? "Mark is always there for advice. So is Jimmie (Johnson). Jimmie is a big cheerleader in trying to get me to do a better job and take better care of myself. He's a big help."

ON KYLE BUSCH'S REMARK THAT HE WAS PROUD OF THE FACT THAT HE IS PERFORMING BETTER THAN THE DRIVER WHO REPLACED HIM AT HENDRICK "Well, he has been and he has every right to brag as much as he wants, I guess. I wouldn't trade positions with him, though. I like where I'm at and I like my owner and I like my position and I like my opportunity. But right now, he has every right to say what he wants and he's been able to back it up on the race track."

KYLE BUSCH ALSO SAID TODAY THAT HE THOUGHT TONY EURY JR HAD WHAT IT TOOK AND THAT HE COULD UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WERE GOING THROUGH "Yeah, I think Kyle has a heart down in there somewhere. I think he's a good guy. He just, you know, has a funny way of wording things sometimes. But I know that he would have to understand what we're going through. I mean anybody in this business has probably been through similar situations and being that he's around this sport and around the garage as much as I am and is well aware of our situation and what it's like, and what his experience was working with Rick (Hendrick) and everything. He has to understand a little bit about the pressure and everything. And so I think deep down he's probably not as crude about it as he might sound."

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION ABOUT BOTH KERRY EARNHARDT AND JEFFREY EARNHARDT RUNNING SOME NATIONWIDE RACES, AND POSSIBLY RACING AGAINST BOTH OF THEM AT ATLANTA IN OCTOBER? "I'm really just kind of learning that myself. I was pretty curious as to how Jeffrey was doing and what his opportunities were, so I think that's good for him. I'm excited for him and I hope he makes the best of it. And I'm real happy for Kerry because Kerry is probably just trying to do the best for his son and trying to give his son an opportunity. So I'm real happy and excited for Kerry. But hopefully Jeffrey just makes the best of it. He has a small window to produce an ability and earn a living in this sport and he has to understand how precious those opportunities are."

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE 10-LAP SHOOTOUT FOR THE ALL-STAR RACE? "I'm a little upset I didn't get credit for the idea, because I've been preaching that for a couple of years."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports