LUCKY LONE STAR STATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was just seven races into his rookie season when he recorded his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win. Then a 25-year-old, Earnhardt started the race at Texas Motor Speedway fourth and led 106 laps on his...
LUCKY LONE STAR STATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was just seven races into his rookie season when he recorded his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win. Then a 25-year-old, Earnhardt started the race at Texas Motor Speedway fourth and led 106 laps on his way to Victory Lane on April 2, 2000. Earnhardt also recorded his first career win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the 1.5-mile oval on April 4, 1998.
AT TEXAS: In 14 Sprint Cup starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has scored one win, three top-five finishes and seven top-10s. He has an average starting position of 9.1 and an average finish of 13.9 at the Fort Worth, Texas, track. He has led at least one lap in 11 of those starts for a total of 400 laps.
STRONG START: Earnhardt's 9.1 average starting spot at Texas is a personal track best for the 35-year-old driver. The last time Earnhardt drove the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet at Texas -- April 6, 2008 -- he scored the pole position.
IN THE FALL: Earnhardt has finished better in the fall Texas event in three of the four seasons since the track added a second race in 2005. He has a 17.8 average finish in the past five spring events at Texas and a 12th-place average finish in the fall. Earnhardt led six laps and finished 20th at the track earlier this year.
LAPS IN THE TOP 15: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Earnhardt leads all drivers in laps run in the top 15 at Texas. During the last nine races at the 1.5-mile oval, the Kannapolis, N.C., native has spent almost 82 percent of his time (2,471 laps of 3,016) running in the top 15.
CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 engineers will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-556. Earnhardt last raced this car at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 4, where he led 41 laps before suffering an engine issue with 41 laps to go. This was the first chassis that McGrew built for Earnhardt from the ground up. It debuted at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.
INTERMEDIATE TRACK STATS: In 172 Cup starts on intermediate (one- to two-mile) tracks, Earnhardt has recorded six wins, five pole positions, 37 top-five finishes and 67 top-10s. On 1.5-mile tracks such as Texas, he ranks sixth overall among active, full-time drivers in the laps led category (1,169 laps) and seventh in top-10 finishes (27 total).
TIRE TEST: Earnhardt and the No. 88 team are participating in a Goodyear tire test at the 2.5-mile Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Monday and Tuesday.
HENDRICK AT TEXAS: Hendrick Motorsports, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this season, has three wins, 17 top-five finishes and 26 top-10s in 17 Cup events (69 starts) at Texas Motor Speedway.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON TEXAS.): "I like racing at Texas. It's a fun track. The fans always seem to be excited about us coming out there. We've had some good success at Texas, too, so that helps a lot and makes us get excited about coming back. I just like the enthusiasm that the crowd has and the people that are from in and around that area have for racing, so it gets me excited."
LANCE McGREW, CREW CHIEF, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON TEXAS.): "We've had some good runs on intermediate tracks but just haven't had the finishes we need to have. I like going to Texas. It's a fast track. Corner speed at Texas is crucial. You are going to fight tight off of Turns 2 and 4, so your driver has to be able to get in the throttle, accelerating off the corners to go fast."