Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet - Post Race Press Conference Highlights: ON TODAY'S RUN "It was another good race. We always look forward to coming to Richmond. We got a lot of good runs here. Most of the weekend the car was not...
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet - Post Race Press Conference Highlights:
ON TODAY'S RUN
"It was another good race. We always look forward to coming to Richmond. We got a lot of good runs here. Most of the weekend the car was not too bad. There were a couple of guys better than us. We really got surprised tonight on who was good and who was bad. The 6 and 9 were really fast in practice. Me and Mark (Martin) raced a little bit together and I was pretty slow, real slow one lap. We had a good car all night. We got caught up in that wreck off of four. It didn't really damage the car too bad. It blew the shim stack out of the right rear shock and took a little compression out of the shock and made the car a little tighter but still drivable. I made a few adjustments for that. Got knocked trying to slow down for another wreck. I'm just feel real fortunate. It's pretty cool to finish the race even with the car torn up."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR TEAM IS GOING INTO THE FINAL TEN RACES WITH A BIT MORE MOMENTUM?
"If you look back over the last three or four years, we finish better at the end of the season. We do. We have a history of running better at the last third of the season point. We had an average finish last year of 11th over the last 15 races. I feel pretty good about it. I think we're going to a couple of tracks we run good at. We're going to test real hard at four other race tracks. If we get through Kansas and Homestead with good finishes, those are the two tracks that are going to make it or break it for our championship hopes."
ON THE TWO ON TRACK INCIDENTS YOU WERE INVOLVED IN?
"It was pretty exciting. I felt like it was pretty remarkable. The car again could of suffered a lot of damage in both them crashes. We got through it with minimal damage, the four tires were all pointing the same direction. The first wreck I was coming through the corner seeing smoke up high in the second groove. I thought a couple of guys got together. I tried to roll it around on the bottom. Jimmie (Johnson) tried to get down there too, got turned sideways. I jumped over his hood with the right rear tire and spun through the grass, caught a gear and got going again. I thought it ripped up. I pulled the rear end back and pulled the right rear tire backwards and thought the car was going to drive terrible. All in all the only thing when it did go up in the air and land back down, it shoved the shock piston through the chock hold so fast, it blew the stacks out of the piston. The oil was just flowing through there like water after that. So the shock was working but there was no rebound hardly in it but it didn't let the car bounce too bad. That was the first crash. When I got into Kasey (Kahne), I went in the corner. He was backing up on the top. He was really slow all night. Then he got down the bottom. I was pretty fast. By the time I caught them boys he went around on the bottom. So I went in the corner into one going to the top to hook the nose around the outside of him and force the issue to get him low to go by and he just kind of slid up in the center of the corner in front of me and I poked him with the headlight. I didn't mean to. I didn't think it was enough to spin anybody out but he must have been pretty damn loose. It took him right around. I almost ran inside of him. I didn't do it on purpose. I almost crashed into him too. His boys can be all pissed off or whatever. I didn't do it on purpose. I don't really care what they think.
"They're mad anyways. I ain't got nothing against him. We're pretty good buddies. If it cost him his chance at the top ten, I'm sorry."
ON ONLY THE POINT CONTENDERS RACING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP INSTEAD OF ALL THE DRIVERS
"I think it's OK. That's the way they made it. It's the rules. It's the kind of system we're in. It'd be pretty boring if you tried to do it any other way. You'd be really skeptical. Half the people in here wouldn't like it, half of them would. We'd be reading all about it in the paper and it'd be pretty crappy. The way they got it now is fine. They got ten guys that are in. The rest of the field, they can decide on how hard they race 'em. Everybody is a professional. Everybody is a grown man. If you're a jerk to Kenny Schrader, you're going to get treated like a jerk back no matter whether you're in the Chase or not. You try to treat everybody with respect all year long and maybe they'll cut you a break when it comes down to it and when you need it. I think it will be pretty fun. It's a moving chicane out there. You're trying to get through the rest of the field as well as beat those nine guys. It will be fun. It will be a challenge."