Budweiser Race Preview: Richmond Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, ...
Budweiser Race Preview: Richmond
Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet:
"I always love going to Richmond and we seem to have a superb set-up there every time we show up. Even way back in the Busch Series days, Tony Jr. (Eury, crew chief) had a knack for this place. It'll be pretty cool to be out there in the special Budweiser/Elvis Presley paint scheme. I've always loved white racecars, and this one is really sharp. I'm almost never jealous of other drivers, but I used to be jealous when others guys had an Elvis paint scheme on their racecar, and now it's my turn. A white car is the best because at the end of the night, you can really see every mark where you were beating and banging or scraping along the wall. I think that's really cool, but this car is so special, I may have to keep it clean."
"What do people expect me to say when they keep asking me about the point standings? I check the standings right after each race and then I forget about it. I know we're a long way back (from 12th-place Kevin Harvick), and even though we have a mathematical chance to get into the Chase, we're going to worry about things within our own control. What we can do is take that white car out there Saturday night and be as aggressive as we can be. Let's lead all the laps and win the thing. I'm not the type that's gonna make up something that's unrealistic. If we make the Chase, great! But, we know it's the longest of long shots. If we don't make it, I'll be sad for our fans and sponsors because they've been great to me all year even with everything that's happened. I want them to know that no matter what, me and the team are giving everything we've got. We're not gonna lose focus or give up or pack it in. We've had a lot of mechanical problems and a lot of bad luck this year, and we know we're a better team than what the point standings say. We're going to try to win every race the rest of the year."
Though he has more career wins at Talladega (five), Dale Jr's average finish at Richmond (10.13) is better than any other track on the Cup circuit, helping to dispel the mistaken notion that Junior is a superspeedway-only specialist... He has three Cup wins at the .75-mile oval (May 2000/career win #2, May 2004/career win #12, and May 2006/career win #17)... the 2006 win is his most recent Cup victory... Dale Jr. scored his first career Cup top-10 at Richmond in 1999, finishing 10th in only his fourth career start... his win in 2000 was in his 16th career start, placing him in the NASCAR record books (along with Jimmie Johnson and Davey Allison) with the fewest starts to record multiple Cup victories... he has seven top-five finishes in 16 starts and nine top-10 finishes at Richmond... Dale Jr. will attempt to record a third-consecutive top-five finish, a feat he has accomplished twice before in his Cup career (March/April 2003 and April 2004)... his best streak of consecutive top-10 finishes is five - recorded in the first five races of the 2004 Nextel Chase for the Championship... he also has three Busch Series victories at Richmond, including the very first win for his own Chance 2 team- his first win as a co-team owner...
The Original 'Big E' in the House:
He's been gone for 30 years, but Elvis will be back - at least in spirit-- for the Richmond race weekend. Dale Jr. will pilot a special Budweiser/Elvis Presley 30th Celebration paint scheme. The white car will carry the usual Bud logos, plus the signature and unmistakable silhouette of the man from Tupelo, Mississippi. In conjunction with the Elvis scheme, Dale Jr. hosted an evening of events at Elvis' Graceland mansion last month, including the unveiling of the car and a showing of "Viva Las Vegas" on the front lawn of the mansion.
This will be the final special paint scheme of the Dale Jr./Bud era, which began with five races in 1999. Among the array of unique designs he has piloted, Dale Jr. has won in three special paint schemes: the 2001 Pepsi 400 at Daytona in a white car commemorating that year's MLB All-Star game and the 2004 Daytona 500 in a paint scheme that mimicked the Budweiser "Born-on" dating on each bottle and can of beer they sell. His third win came at Chicagoland Speedway in 2005, with a blue and red design again in honor of baseball's All-Star game.
Thanks for Everything:
In the final ten weeks of the season, we will commemorate the long and successful pairing of Dale Jr., Budweiser and Dale Earnhardt Inc. by including a small slice of the most memorable moments and the greatest Dale Jr. quotes since 1999. Look for the first of these weekly tributes in next week's race preview.
Primary Chassis this week: #050 / Chevrolet Impala SS Car o' Tomorrow