Watkins Glen: Dale Earnhardt Jr preview

Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, ...

Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet:

"This is a big weekend for me and the team. I'm ready to go right now because we have something to prove. Some people still insist I can't drive on a road course, and I say they're not paying attention. But the only way to dispel that misconception is to go out and win this weekend. Yeah, I have struggled at Sonoma - but my team built me a super car and it carried me all weekend (at Infineon Raceway in June). We qualified third and easily ran with the leaders all day. The only reason we finished where we did (13th) was because we got bit by fuel strategy and needed to make an extra pit stop for a splash of gas. But, I've always been good at the Glen and I believe I can step up and be as good as that car this weekend. If we get that combination of team and car and driver going all at once - look out. It's a fun track and I've always been fast there because of the long straights and corners that allow you to be more aggressive than at Sonoma. It suits my driving style and my personality.

"I'm confident we'll be good this weekend - just like I'm confident we're going to be good every week the rest of the season. We're fighting to get into the Chase (for the Championship) and I feel like we're performing at a high level and I am confident I will be standing on the stage after the Richmond race when they take the picture of the 12 drivers that will be in the Chase. We stole us a pole at Pocono and had a great finish, and we're going to ride that wave all the way through November. Maybe that's a sign all the bad luck is behind us, and now we're going to have the results to match how well we're performing."

Minutiae:

One decade ago, Dale Jr. made his third career Busch Series start - and first-ever road course start in a stock car - at Watkins Glen with a ratty, un-funded racecar, but still qualified ninth despite having never been to the Glen before. His secret? He had 'raced' many, many hours on the circuit via a computer simulation game. "It was amazing," he explains, "because the braking and shifting points were very, very close - almost exactly the same - so I was up to speed almost immediately at a place I'd never been before"... Dale Jr. scored a victory at the Glen in the 1999 Busch Series race, making a last-lap pass for the win... In last year's race, Dale Jr. spun late in the running, but passed 16 cars in the final eight laps to finish 18th... He was third in 2003, leading 11 laps and finishing immediately behind his then-DEI teammate Ron Fellows... he followed that run with a fifth-place tally in 2004 despite still suffering from painful burns suffered in a sports car crash a few weeks prior... following his second-place finish Sunday at Pocono, Dale Jr. has now won more than $46 million in Nextel Cup prize money, and has led exactly 5400 laps in 276 career starts...

-credit: dei

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Ron Fellows