Talladega II: Dale Earnhardt Jr. preview

CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-563 for this weekend's AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega. This chassis first was raced to a second-place finish in the Daytona 500 in ...

CHASSIS CHOICE: Crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-563 for this weekend's AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega. This chassis first was raced to a second-place finish in the Daytona 500 in February.

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 THE LEGEND OF HALLOWDEGA AMP ENERGY JUICE /NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON 'THE LEGEND OF HALLOWDEGA.'): "I hope race fans enjoy this fun-spirited film from AMP Energy Juice. It was an honor to work with Terry Gilliam. His creativity and imagination comes out in all of his work, and he is a lot of fun. I've got a great sponsor in AMP Energy, who is putting together an awesome race weekend for the fans at Talladega."

EARNHARDT (ON TALLADEGA.): "I just look forward to going back to Talladega and always enjoy racing there. We've always been good and fast there. I hope we can get up front, lead a lot of laps and be there at the end. I want to be in position to make a move for the win. We haven't really been in position at the end of these races like we need to, so we'll try to be a little more aggressive throughout the race and try to keep ourselves in that position."

EARNHARDT (ON THE VARIED STRATEGIES FOR TALLADEGA.): "Some guys just want to risk it all, go up front and run hard. It is a risk because you can get yourself in an accident. Some guys don't want to take that risk and know that being there at the end is the most important thing so they'll try to stay out of trouble.

"It is a little tough either way. If they aren't up front in the pack, nobody knows really what kind of car that they have got. Then at the end of the race, if you are one of the guys running up front all day long, trying hard, then you see all these new players pop up in the last 10 or 20 laps it sort of throws everybody off their game. Either way is a good way to go, so you just make up your mind and then do it. A lot of the fans probably don't like the guys that go ride in the back, but when they come up into the pack in the last 20 laps nobody really knows what kind of player they are and how strong they are. That is a good hand to hold, you know. When you haven't shown everybody all day long what kind of moves you are capable of making, you can catch people off guard. So those guys have a good hand at the end of race, too. The ones that have been up front running hard, which is what I like to do, you use up a lot of race car all day long beating around bumpers real hard, and you use up your car pretty good and you use up your engine. And, you've shown everybody what you are capable of doing and the people can use that against you. It is a tough call what to do."

LANCE McGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 THE LEGEND OF HALLOWDEGA AMP ENERGY JUICE /NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PATIENCE AT TALLADEGA.): "I think it's only important in regards of putting yourself in a bad position. If a guy gets hung out and you are in a line going around, then it's all good. There is a time and a place to go. If you choose the wrong time, then they are going to go by you. I definitely think it's important. You can be the most patient person in the world and still get caught up in a pile-up. It is sometimes just situational. I think it's difficult to have the patience to know, 'I can clear this guy but not have anywhere to go.' You have to be really smart and take your runs when you can get them but only when you can do something with them."

McGREW (ON RUNNING UP FRONT VERSUS HANGING IN THE BACK.): "Dale has absolutely zero interest in riding in the back so I don't consider it. He wants the car good enough to lead, and generally our car is that good, and he is that good at doing it. He is patient but he's not that patient -- he just doesn't want to ride in the back. History has proven that there are people who have done it and come away with some really good finishes but depending on how the cautions fly you could be in trouble. It seems like with these cars, especially with this spoiler, it's easier for less cars to stay together and maintain a pretty good pace so you could conceivably put yourself a half-a-lap behind and then put yourself nose to tail and catch them. It's all in what your driver wants to do."

McGREW (ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTITUDE.): "I think attitude is real important. Even Dale will tell you at the beginning of the race when your mind's right, when you're relaxed and you're focused that it's real easy to play out 10 moves ahead in your mind. I think that confidence from the Martinsville (Va.) race is going to carry over to Talladega. But as the race goes on, you start to lose some of your mental focus. I think confidence from the week before is going to carry that deeper into the race. As the race goes on it gets more and more complicated like the end of the chess match, your moves get more critical. I'm hoping that confidence carries over a little deeper into the race."

-source: hendrick motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Teams Hendrick Motorsports