Weekly Top 10 with Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS Dale Earnhardt in the No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS answered questions from the media today at Martinsville Speedway during the weekly "Behind the Hauler" Q&A session.
Weekly Top 10 with Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS
Dale Earnhardt in the No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS answered questions from the media today at Martinsville Speedway during the weekly "Behind the Hauler" Q&A session. Earnhardt is currently sixth in the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings.
What do you expect here this weekend?
"I am not sure what to expect, I guess I haven't really thought about it. We haven't run good here since they changed the concrete. We are just trying to get our car to where it will be fast. That is all we have been working on today."
Are you enjoying some of the things you are doing away from the track this season?
"I decided to do a little more work than I normally do and make a little bit more money. I have to take care of myself as I get older. I am enjoying it, I enjoy what I do. Racing has afforded me those opportunities to do the other jobs with the radio and the TV. I have only taken on opportunities that are entertaining to me and that interest me."
With the number of rookies here this weekend, do you have any additional concerns about this race?
"If you have a fast car, you can be comfortable anywhere. It will be up to their teams to get them comfortable. Probably most of them grew up on tracks like this. I think they will be fine and we will be in great shape."
Are you concerned about any on-track retaliations that might occur this weekend between drivers after Bristol last weekend?
"No, I like it, I think it is fun to watch. I won't get caught up in any of them. It isn't like they are going to cause an 18-car wreck here. They will just spin each other around is about all there is to it. There isn't any harm in it. I don't think we should think anything about it. If you don't like one another, just take a little extra care around each other. I think it is awesome, I think it is good for our sport. It is really entertaining for the fans and it is really entertaining for the other drivers. I hope it keeps going."
Talk about where the team's intermediate program is at this point.
"I am really happy with how we tested at Texas. I thought we were pretty good, we were turning some pretty quite times. I am looking forward to it. I like the opportunity to tire test with Goodyear. I think I figured out what my opinion was on what tires we should be running. Hopefully that is the one they pick."
What do you think about the possibly of going to Canada next year?
"Going to Canada would be great. I think it would be fun to go there, I might even go there to race."
Talk about your philosophy as a car owner now that you have seen both sides of the equation.
"You have to really be aggressive, set the example for the people you work with. It is all about keeping that fire lit under them, keeping them pumped up. Keeping them motivated. That is really fun but challenging. That is probably the hardest part, to keep them really fired up to go do the very best job they can because they don't know inside just how good they really are. You have to really dig to help them to bring it out in themselves. It is really fun to do that."
"It takes a while to learn how to motivate yourself and how to use different things to motivate you. Like anger, instead of letting it frustrate you and ruin your day, let it fire you up so you just race harder. If not, it will bring you down. I think now it's time to get it out of those guys."
Does it tick you off if someone questions your desire to race?
Yes, I think it would tick anybody off if they questioned that. I just have a different disposition than my Father did. People won't know how to take that. Oh well. I race as hard as I can race. As far as I'm concerned, there isn't anyone that can do a better job than I can. If anyone thinks different, I can care less."
On radio conversations last weekend:
"You can air my radio conversations anytime you want but Martin Truex is already out of his race car when that aired. That's not Martin's fault obviously. I mean please, everybody has to know that. If you have to ask a driver to quote his opinion and you can't quote your own, you got to give me a break. Everyone knows that's bull right there and they're just covering their (butts)."
On knowing their radios are being heard:
"I don't think about it. When you're on the radio, you're not thinking about your language. If that's the case, I may as well not even take any points any week, just keep my points. I'll race for a paycheck. That is ridiculous. It aired and Martin was already out of his car. It's somebody else's job. They're spending million of dollars on it on the TV program and they can't even keep that from happening. That is ridiculous. Somebody is a real moron."
On NASCAR straying from its roots and taking away tracks like Martinsville.
"No, I don't think so. I don't think it's happening. I think it's just made up."
On how Martin Truex, Jr. is doing his rookie year in Cup.
"I think they'll do fine. I think they can make mistakes realistically. Got a little bit of grip here. They should be able to do that. They need to really work on getting along. Being a rookie here is a tough deal. It is very challenging. It is OK to be a little aggressive with each other but they just have to be careful that they treat each other respectfully and be careful what they say to each other. It is not so much anything I have seen from them, but more personal experience."
On mentoring Martin.
"I try to tell Martin what I can. If I see something, I say I did this or that and be careful. He seems to appreciate that relationship between me and him and that advice. That's cool. I appreciate that he respects me enough to listen."
On your Busch team.
"Mark McFarland is a good race driver. He does a pretty good job of not tearing up our equipment. I am really really happy. He is at the shop all week and is very dedicated. They make race cars every day. I am not really worried about running out of race cars, they are everywhere."