DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS, PRESS CONFERENCE Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS and NASCAR's four-time Most Popular Driver, with Budweiser are saluting the troops this NASCAR season with two...
DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER MONTE CARLO SS, PRESS CONFERENCE
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS and NASCAR's four-time Most Popular Driver, with Budweiser are saluting the troops this NASCAR season with two military-themed paint schemes and collectible diecasts, the proceeds from which will provide college educations for surviving dependents of fallen Special Operations soldiers.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR.
"This says a lot about what the Special Operations Warrior Foundation does. It is great way for Budweiser and myself to get involved. Obviously, we have had some relationships with the military in the past, most recently with the Navy and their sponsorship in the Busch Series on our JR Motorsports car. Budweiser works with the military in many different ways. We have come up with an opportunity to continue and further that relationship. I am really excited, I think the cars look great and hopefully we will see a lot of them and benefit the foundation. We are going to run the camouflage paint scheme at Charlotte.
"The other car (red, white and blue to run at Daytona in honor of Independence Day on July 7. 2007), a friend of mine actually helped me design. We thought that over the years there really hadn't been a well-done red-white-blue patriotic race car, there has been a lot done, but none done well (laughs). So we came up with our idea and we are very proud of it. We think it is one of the best looking ones we have actually seen.
"The camouflage one speaks for itself. It is pretty radical and will look great on the race track in Charlotte."
ON WHO HELED WITH DESIGN OF RED-WHITE-BLUE PAINT SCHEME:
"That car was designed by a friend of mine, his name is Kevin King, he does all of the designs for JR Motorsports, licensing, logos, race cars, t-shirts, whatever. I met him on the internet racing about five years ago. He has studied design and whatnot and we became pretty good friends. He always comes up with some pretty cool cars for the games so I thought I would give him a shot. He is pretty excited that his car is actually going to be on the race track. He is trying not to brag to much to the other guys"
ON EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT WILL BE RAISED FOR THE FOUNDATION:
"I probably can't speak in specific numbers but knowing how successful we have been in the past, it will be pretty significant. Again, I can't speak in specifics, I would say that whenever we have done special paint schemes in the past, we are 70% of the sale in market, 60% on a bad day, none-the-less, we cover the Motorsports Authentics, what used to be Action, it should be pretty significant and with this being a combination here is really going to make a big difference.
"I don't know if you guys find the facts and figures of the concert car, the Gossimer car, all those things, but it was pretty amazing what the special paint scheme stuff can do and especially if it has some meaning and substance to it like this one does. So I think this will have a huge impact on the foundation, as far as the amount we are able to raise."
ON BEING SUPERSTITIOUS ABOUT SPECIAL PAINT SCHEME CARS AND WANTING TO RACE THEM AGAIN IF HAD GOOD LUCK:
"Several times actually. Budweiser likes to be very consistent. They like to have the red car on the race track. They like to do special paint schemes when it has substance to it, some meaning. They just don't just want to throw a silver car on the track just to be doing it. It is rare that we get to change it up in the shop. It really pumps the guys up and the team to be able to do something new and different. These cars I personally really like the paint schemes on these two cars. The car we ran on Father's Day last year at Michigan was a favorite of mine; I would love to run it again. The original baseball car was also a favorite of mine I would like to run again.
"If you run good and finish good or win a race in a special paint scheme, that will impact the souvenir sales as well and it frames up an image of that scheme in your mind and plants it in a memory that is a good memory. You always have good thoughts about it.
"I could go back and talk about special paint schemes for ever. The Father's Day car last year thought was pretty cool. I really enjoyed that car."
ON IMPORTANCE OF THIS PROMOTION TO HIM:
"Budweiser is very adamant and very serious about their relationship with the military and so am I. Very proud of it. I think that with the country at war and everything going on right now, we have to try to show not only that we are patriotic, but also show our support for the troops. The biggest thing right now, is trying help those guys' morale any time we can. To have been in that situation for so many years and now cycling back through, every little bit of show of support helps those guys and makes them feel better. I am sure it isn't an easy road over there like I said, to be over there and cycling back there. They have all been there longer that I think they anticipated. Any kind of show of support that we can give them from over here will hopefully make a little bit of difference."
ON BEING BACK IN MONTE CARLO SS AFTER LAST TWO RACES IN IMPALA SS:
"I don't know, I think it will be kind of easy because we have driven these cars for so long, I haven't really thought about it. I am just looking forward to getting on the track and going fast."
ON NASCAR'S GROWTH:
"I don't think it can grow to fast. It can't grow fast enough really. If you have empty seats, you need to grow faster (laughs). I think maybe the anticipation and the expectations were set a little high compared to the ability to fill some of these race tracks. Obviously in Fontana, there was an oversized expectation to be able to fill those seats out there; people in Hollywood could care less. There are a lot of fans around in that area. We raced out there in Riverside for years; there is motorsports in that area. But we obviously over estimated our ability to sell that many tickets there. I don't think that is a bad thing; I think that is just reality. You just have to think through it, make adjustments to make your race track financially sound.
"I was surprised that the TV ratings were down for Bristol especially with us racing the new car, but as much complaining and everything that went on about it, I guess it turned the fans off from watching the race. That is the only thing I can guess aside from the fact that it is always going to be sort of fluctuating, the television audience. "
ON THE NUMBER OF FANS WHO ARE EXCITED THAT HE COULD BE A CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER AGAIN:
"We do have a lot of fans out there so it would make a lot of people happy. We are doing all we can do. I don't put the pressure on me because I know I can get the job done. Hopefully the pressure is on the guy who knows he is only getting half the job done. "
ON TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY FIXING THE BUMP IN TURN ONE:
"I read in the newspaper how they fixed it, that was interesting. I have never heard of that. Sort of like implants for a track."
ON HOW WHAT HE SAYS HAS IMPACT TO SITUATIONS:
"I try to pick and choose my words wisely for the most part and make sure that when I make comments, especially when I am talking about something that is really important to me, I get my point across. It is not really in my control to keep from being taken out of context or to try to minimize that, that is really your job. I leave it up to ya'll. I just try to get out there and say what I want what I want to across. Hopefully people will agree with it. But it's not really that. It is not really important that everybody agree.
"I have been able to push things one way or the other. The bump here is a good example. At lot of times when you sit somebody down in an office and try to tell somebody face-to-face, this could be anybody, a lot of times you won't as far as using the microphone that the media has. You guys can get of information out there to a lot of different people and it is a great tool sometimes to be able to get a point across.
"I learned it in a couple lessons early in my career, some good and some bad lessons."
-credit: gm racing