Richmond: Dale Earnhardt Jr. preview

AT RICHMOND: In 21 Sprint Cup Series starts at Richmond, Earnhardt has recorded three wins, eight top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He has completed 99 percent of all laps he's attempted at the short track (8,319 laps of 8,403). SPRING SUCCESS:...

AT RICHMOND: In 21 Sprint Cup Series starts at Richmond, Earnhardt has recorded three wins, eight top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He has completed 99 percent of all laps he's attempted at the short track (8,319 laps of 8,403).

SPRING SUCCESS: Earnhardt earned all three of his Richmond wins in the spring Cup event, most recently visiting Victory Lane on May 6, 2006. He first won the race during his rookie season on May 6, 2000, and then again on May 15, 2004.

POINTS POSITION: After last week's 13th-place finish at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Earnhardt ranks eighth in the Sprint Cup championship standings. He trails leader and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson by 181 points, but is only 21 points away from Kyle Busch, who is fifth.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-586. The chassis made its debut at Phoenix earlier this month, where Earnhardt raced it to a 12th-place finish.

VIRGINIA NATIVES: Three members of the No. 88 team call the Commonwealth of Virginia home. Virginia Tech graduate Brian Whitesell, who has been team manager of the Nos. 5 and 88 Chevrolets since 2005, hails from Stuarts Draft. Car chief David Bryant calls Farmville his hometown, and tire specialist Keith Eads was born in Arlington.

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY.): "I like Richmond a lot. It's kind of like Myrtle Beach (S.C.), where I ran quite a bit in the late models. There's a lot of similarities. But I just like short-track racing. We seem to do really good on the short tracks. It's got a lot of different grooves that you can run. You can move around. I think the track puts on one of the more exciting races in the season. We got a couple good racetracks coming up. We do pretty good at Darlington (S.C.). I always love running at Charlotte (N.C.)."

LANCE McGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON THE SUMMER STRETCH.): "I don't think I need to motivate my crew to do what they are supposed to do. You surround yourself with guys that want to be at the racetrack, and they want to better themselves and the team. To me, I just try to worry about one race at a time. As we plug through the summer, the points will be harder and harder to get and the positions will be harder and harder to overtake so you have to just keep a concerted effort to just race one at a time and get what you can get. Richmond kind of scares me because we didn't really run that great in the fall and I don't know why. So that's one of the ones that I've been worried about. But the team is so much better, and Dale has more confidence so hopefully that will carry us through."

McGREW (ON HIS FAVORITE TRACKS.): "I think in general you like going to tracks that you've had success at. If you go to a place and run in the top 10 most of the time then you probably enjoy going there. I've been hit or miss at Richmond. I've gone to Richmond in the (NASCAR) Nationwide Series and run really well, then go back two years later and struggle. It's a very tough racetrack."

-source: hm

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Kyle Busch
Teams Hendrick Motorsports