Monday, April 23, 2007

Dale Jr's Talladega Race Preview

Budweiser Race Preview: Talladega Superspeedway

Quotes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. / Driver, #8 Budweiser Chevrolet: "I believe we have about half-a-lap of unfinished business there (reference to leading until being crashed from behind on the final lap in Oct. 2006). It fires me up - it fires my team up - and we want to go out there and not give anyone a chance to take us out this time. The Nextel Cup Series is so tough now, when you get that close to a win and don't close the deal, it makes a fire burn in your gut when you think about it.

"With the new pavement at Talladega, combined with the restrictor plates, anyone could drive a lap at full-speed in these cars, but that only makes it more of a mental challenge during the race. The whole pack can run three-wide and wide-open, so it makes every move you make more critical. You have to have all of your senses working full-time to get to the front and then try to stay there. When you finish a race at Talladega, you're almost never physically tired like if you had just raced at Bristol or Martinsville, but the mental strain and the concentration needed will wear you out mentally and emotionally. It's fun, but it's tough."

Dale Jr. and the No. 8 Bud Team History at Talladega Superspeedway:Previous Cup Starts: 14Best Start: 3rd (April 2004)Best Finish: 1st (Five wins: Oct. '01, Apr. '02, Oct. '02, Apr. '03, Oct. '04)This Race, Last Year: ST: 27th / FIN: 31st / Led: 8 laps / Blown Engine - DNF Top-Five Finishes: 7 Top-10 Finishes: 8Laps Led: 537 laps led / 12 races ledTop-10 Starts: 6Average Start: 16.5Average Finish: 13Career Winnings: $4,077,699

Minutiae: Very little about Dale Jr's Talladega Nextel Cup career qualifies as minutiae, as he holds the track record of four consecutive victories... He has five Cup wins overall and has won the spring race twice (2002, 2003)... His five victories are second only to his father in Talladega Cup wins (Dale Earnhardt had 10 wins)... in seven consecutive races between Oct. 2001 and Oct. 2004, he won five times and finished second twice... he has led 12 races in 14 starts (missing only after being crashed prior to the green flag in his first start in 2000 and being swept into a multi-car crash on lap 19 in Oct. 2005)... He led until turn three of the final lap in Oct. of last year, only to be crashed from behind to finish 23rd during the Chase for the Nextel Cup... Dale Jr. was inducted into the Talladega Walk of Fame in 2003... Dale Jr. has career winnings of more than $4 million at Talladega, aided by two "Winston Million" victories that awarded $1 million to both the team and a lucky fan...

Primary Chassis this week: #043... led 37 laps at Talladega last Oct. until being crashed while leading the final lap. Also raced in the '07 Budweiser Shootout - and crashed on the final lap. (Maybe third time is a charm?)

NASCAR Teleconference: Dale Jr. will be the featured guest on Tuesday afternoon's NASCAR national teleconference. Log-in to NASCAR's media web site for details.

Busch Series: Dale Jr. will also compete in Saturday’s Busch Series race for Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Race Details:Aaron's 499 / Talladega Superspeedway / Talladega, AL2.66-mile oval / 188 laps / 500 milesSunday, April 29, 2006TV: Fox-TV, 1:30 p.m. ETRadio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) / Sirius Satellite NASCAR Radio

--Online media and fan guide for Dale Earnhardt Jr, and the No. 8 Budweiser team available at (Click on the Budweiser bottle cap.) See Dale Jr's race-by-race Talladega stats here.