DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) NOTE: Dale Earnhardt will start beside his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the eighth row on Fatherâ€™s Day Sunday in the Pocono 500. Kerry Earnhardt started fifth in Saturdayâ€™s...
DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) NOTE: Dale Earnhardt will start beside his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the eighth row on Father’s Day Sunday in the Pocono 500. Kerry Earnhardt started fifth in Saturday’s ARCA race driving the No. 2 Teresa Earnhardt Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Earnhardt talks about his plans for Father’s Day and his outlooks for Sunday’s race. “Taylor Nicole (11-year-old daughter) and I are going to do a little horseback riding and camping. Me and her have been talking about it for awhile. A friend of mine has got a place out west. I had him at Charlotte, and we’ve been talking about doing this for awhile. When this came up we sort of put it together. “We’re going to get away for a few days before we go to Sears Point. I haven’t taken her out on a trip like that before. If the fishing is any good we might do a little fishing. We’re going to camp, roast marsh mellows, tell ghost stories or whatever. We’ll probably tell Indian stories. A lot of history of the Apache Indians is around the place. Racing keeps me busy, so this will be a good chance to spend some time with Taylor. “It’s pretty neat that I’m starting beside Dale Jr. Sunday, and Kerry is racing here today in the ARCA race. It’s good to have your kids close to you. Maybe I can help Junior around here. It’s a hard place to get around. I learned the hard way I guess. I wrecked here in ‘79 and broke a collar bone and bruised my heart and missed some races. In ‘82 I wrecked here and broke my leg. “If Kerry can just get some laps here and ride around and get some experience, that’s what’s important. I try to help him out and keep him calm. The focus on getting him in that car was to get him some laps and experience. We’re trying to figure out where he is more or less. He had a short race at Daytona. He got in that wreck coming off four. He finished second at Charlotte, and I think he would have finished second at Michigan, too, if he hadn’t got in the wall a little bit. “We’re tuning on it for Sunday. We’re a top-10 car right now, but we’re not a top-five car yet. We’re going to tune on it and get it where it’s a top-five car. Bobby Labonte is there every week. We were faster than him in practice, but that doesn’t mean a lot. Tony Stewart is strong again. He’s running good, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
KERRY EARNHARDT (No. 2 Teresa Earnhardt Chevrolet Monte Carlo) “He (Dale Earnhardt) keeps me calm on the radio during the race and helps me with the lines I’m running. He’s a good one to listen to. This is a pretty tough place. You’ve got three different corners, and it’s tough to figure it all out and get the car set up where it’s handling right. He’s helped tremendously. If I get to digging too hard and wearing out the tires, he’ll come on the radio and back me off a little. We’re getting time in the car. It’s working out. It’s paying off. I see where I’ve gained with dad being on the radio and the equipment I have. We’re out here trying hard. Junior helps me out a lot, too, along with dad. It’s a great organization. It’s just a big family. It depends on how I progress. If I keep getting the right experience, maybe we’ll be ready to move on to Busch next year. If not, I’d rather just stay where I’m at until I’m ready.”
DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) “I really haven’t thought too much about Father’s Day. Dad and I are starting on the same row, and he’s probably going to want me to cut him some slack, but he knows that won’t happen. There’s not much you can do to help anyone get around this track. You’ve just got to watch out for this and watch out for that. We wrecked here during the test. We just had the car sprung real loose. I just spun out and crashed. I hope all that’s behind us now. It’d be great if dad and I ended up racing for the win. Hopefully that’ll happen sooner or later, but it would be real neat if it happened on Father’s Day.”
JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) “We’re trying a lot of stuff. Some guys are running soft springs, big bars. Guys are running big springs, soft bars. Whatever combination works best for you is the way to go, and that’s what we’re trying to figure out -- what works best for us. “To be good off turn three is important because that leads to the longest straightaway here. You can make some passes there. I’m not there, but I’m not great there yet either. We’ve got a good car. We went through so many changes there. We’ve got to go back and evaluate all the notes and changes and comments I made and try to put the best package we can together. “I’d say I know a lot more about the car now. I’m asking a lot more questions, but at the same time, I don’t want to know too much. I think a driver can sometimes get too involved and tune themselves right out. I don’t expect any of those guys to get in there and drive the car, and I don’t think they expect me to get out and set it up.”