Highlights of Dale Earnhardt Jr. press conference announcing a special paint scheme on the no. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo for the Pepsi 400 in Daytona celebrating Major League Baseball's 73rd All-Star Game. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "I'd like to say...
Highlights of Dale Earnhardt Jr. press conference announcing a special paint scheme on the no. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo for the Pepsi 400 in Daytona celebrating Major League Baseball's 73rd All-Star Game.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.:
"I'd like to say that I want to thank Budweiser for continuing this special scheme for the baseball car next year. We had a lot of fun with it last year. It was really a success. We ran the car in Bristol as well and then went to Daytona and won with the car shortly just before the game was to be played the next week. That was a lot of fun, a fun deal. I got to go to the game and do a lot of neat things, play batting practice and stuff, meet some of the players, some of my heroes. It was definitely a lot of fun and a program that I'm glad to see continue and hopefully we'll do it for many more years. I think it's a good-looking car, it's definitely going to be hard to top the one we ran last year. To win with that car...it became kind of a special scheme to me and a lot of my fans as well, and hopefully we can take that car to victory lane and do the same thing.....
YOU TOOK A PRETTY HARD LICK LAST WEEK, HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
"Pretty good. That was definitely the hardest lick I've ever had in a race car. I really didn't think it was that big of a hit until I heard the stuff they got from the black boxes was pretty astronomical. I was real sore for a couple of days. I thought I'd hurt my foot pretty bad, but apparently it's kind of a stinger. But I was still kind of on the gas when I hit the wall and my foot slammed into the brake pedal. The brake pedal doesn't go anywhere when that happens. We went to Lakeland to test; we'd already planned to go to Lakeland a couple of weeks ago to test for this race track and we went there to test and I felt fine in the car. It was about 103 degrees, so we didn't really learn nothing as far as bringing anything back here. It was still good to get in the car, just for everybody...It's real hard sometimes to know whether you've got a concussion. And I think I suffered a concussion from it 'cause I've suffered one before back in the Busch Series. (I get) Kind of dizzy symptoms and stuff like that when I lay on my back or look up at the sky. That lasts for a couple of days. In the car I'm fine, and I'm looking forward to this weekend."
"As far as the Budweiser team; I'm pretty happy. I wish we could go back to Vegas. Definitely last week in California, I was kind of disappointed we didn't run better there. We went to Michigan and tested for two days to try to see if we couldn't learn something and make it work in California and we wasted the entire first practice and ended up having to borrow Michael's setup for qualifying. We just were behind from the word go when we got to California and we definitely made a lot of mistakes there as a team and I think we learned a lot from it. We just didn't have a good car in the race or anything. I was kind of disappointed that we didn't have a better effort there, but as far as some of these other tracks where we're running good at that we normally don't run good at it's been a great confidence builder for the team. We seem to go to the tracks like Texas and places where we think we're going to run good; California we ran third last year in a backup car. We're going to these tracks and we're not getting the finishes that we want. If we can try to see how we can piece that together, we're we've run good in the past and where we're starting to run good now, it would be a great season for us. Hopefully we can get that done before the end of the season (and) we can put ourselves back up toward the front. It seems like we have great weeks and then bad weeks. We're never right in the middle. It's either great or not good at all. It's kind of tough mentally, but we just keep trying."
ON THE RUMOR ABOUT ELLIOTT SADLER GOING TO DEI:
"It's not the truth until you hear from us or him. I don't know why everybody has to believe stuff like that. It's kind of funny. I don't know if we're looking at Elliott; we're just looking at ways to improve our team. I look at the teams myself individually as if they were stock, and we have to continue to raise the value of the team and try to improve the team as far as members, crew members, any area that we see needs to be improved. We either try to take this guy and help him along or try to improve him or give him the things that he thinks that he needs to succeed or we make a change. That's the nature of the beast. As far as Elliott, I wouldn't worry about posting anything until you hear it from us."
ON RACING AT RICHMOND:
"I'm pretty excited about Richmond. We run real good here, we always qualify good here in a Busch car and run real good here in the races, and one of my proudest moments of my career was passing Mark Martin on the outside and win the Busch race here. We come here with the Cup car, we finished 10th in my rookie season and we won the next year. We always run good here. It's always a place when I come here and try to think points and try to finish well. Tony Stewart's going to be tough to beat and I was surprised that we were running third to Kevin (Harvick) and Ricky (Rudd) last year. But that's the way this race track is and that's the way it happens that sometimes right at the end two or three guys will get it together and make it work for them. I love coming here because I feel real positive about getting a good finish. That's what we need for the rest of the year."
ON THE NEW YOUNG DRIVERS:
"It's pretty amazing what some of these guys have been able to do this year, especially Jimmie Johnson. He has really surprised a lot of people with his consistency. This guy is doing things in the sport it takes some teams years to accomplish and that's running up front and having a shot every week. He's definitely probably at the top of the list as far as those guys go. Kurt Busch is a great race car driver. And we knew that from the truck series. They had a lot of changes there at Roush. And that's improved his team dramatically. These are the guys that we're all going to be racing for years and years. A lot of these guys maybe have five more years left, maybe less than that, and they're already looking at retirement or trying to plan in that direction. These are the guys that are going to make the bulk of the field in the future."