Can Dale Jr Win Daytona?
Apparently he thinks so. “I bring a lot of confidence there and always enjoyed going there when I was a kid. It’s always been one of my favorite tracks,” said Earnhardt.
Earnhardt has 12 wins at Daytona including the 2004 Daytona 500 and the 2001 Pepsi 400. He has two Budweiser Shootout wins, and a handful of wins in the Nationwide series. He knows how to be fast at this race track.
Dale Earnhardt Jr has had a lot of success at Daytona – but he will have some strong competition. Toyota’s have shown some strong runs on restrictor plate tracks in the past couple of years, and Junior will have Kyle Busch to deal with. Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon have shown a lot of momentum lately. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of them at the front of the pack.
Dale Jr says he enjoys running Saturday night under the lights at the 2.5 mile high banked Daytona International Speedway. “It’s a little more laid back in July. In February, everybody is nervous because it’s the beginning of the season. Everybody is wondering how their year is going to go, how their car is going to drive. Everybody knows by the time July rolls around,” Junior said.
Crew Chief Confident
Crew chief Lance McGrew says the July race is much more difficult than the Daytona 500. “The track is so slick in July. You go down there the first time and it’s all about qualifying and then you worry about the race afterwards. Well, this is an impound race. You have to worry about the race first and qualifying second. So, build some more downforce into the cars. They don’t qualify as fast but they drive a lot better in traffic. It’s not like Daytona is ever easy to get around. It’s way more difficult in July because the track is really hard to get a hold of.”
Special Paint Scheme
Dale Earnhardt Jr will be sporting a special National Guard paint scheme to honor our Nation’s soldiers in the Fourth of July race. “I’ve seen the car, and it’s really cool,” said Lance McGrew. “All of us have an enormous amount of gratitude for what the armed services do for us. And it’s cool that on the Independence Day of our nation we get to carry the National Guard on our car, or I guess a better way of putting it is that they are carrying us around. It definitely makes you reflect on the all the privileges and freedoms that you have living in the United States. The fact that we can represent the armed services in any way definitely brings a sense of pride to me and this race team.”
So who do you think has the best chance of going to Victory Lane Saturday?
Quick Race Facts
The Race: Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola
The Date: Saturday, July 4
The Track: Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile tri-oval)
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
The Distance: 400 miles/160 laps
TV: TNT, 6:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN and Sirius Satellite (local MRN: WNDB-AM 1150/WKRO-FM 93.1)
2008 Polesitter: Paul Menard
2008 Winner: Kyle Busch
Pre-Race Day Schedule: Thursday-Practice, 4-5:20 p.m. and 6:35-8 p.m. Friday-Qualifying, 4:10 p.m.
Photo Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports
How Much Would You Pay to Watch a NASCAR race on TV?
Suppose that NASCAR decides to put all the races on a premium paid TV network like NASCAR Network. The races would no longer be free, but you would get commercial-free race coverage.
You would never come back from a commercial to find that a caution was out — and your favorite driver was wrecked.
You’d also get a few extra premium services like in-car audio and driver to crew chatter.
When the races weren’t on you could get NASCAR news 24/7.
How much would you pay to watch NASCAR?
$5 per month?
$20 per month?
Or would you just forget the whole thing and watch bowling instead?
NASCAR Journalist David Poole Dies
NASCAR has lost one of its very best writers and broadcasters. David Poole passed away Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at his home in Stanfield, North Carolina.
David was the lead Motorsports writer for the Charlotte Observer and ThatsRacin.com. He also hosted The Morning Drive on Sirius Satellite Radio.
David was a fixture in the NASCAR media center at racetracks almost every week.
He had a reputation for being tough, but fair. And always having his facts straight. David was highly respected by NASCAR officials from Brian France on down, as well as team owners, crew members, drivers and fans.
Dale Earnhardt Jr had this to say about Mr. Poole: “David was as much a fixture in this sport as the actual cars themselves.”
David Poole was 50.
Dale Jr 2009 Fan Club
All you Kyle Busch fans out there might want to skip this, but the 2009 Dale Earnhardt Jr Official Fan Club is ready to roll.
Jr Nation Crew, The Official Fan Club of Dale Earnhardt Jr Fan Club, has just released the 2009 Crew Kit for serious Dale Jr fans.
New Dale Earnhardt Jr fan club is the ultimate fan experience for serious Junior fans.
Now all of Junior’s fans can come together as one and show their support for the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet.
The Jr Nation Crew fan club will have a direct line to all of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s racing activities – it will be ran directly from Junior’s headquarters at JR Motorsports giving members an inside line to Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Crew members also get special access to corporate hospitality events at select race tracks.
You can join JR nation now for $34.88 – for your money you’ll get access to member’s only forums and contests, exclusive Dale Jr media and full access to the JR Nation Crew members only website. You’ll also get a JR Nation Crew Kit which includes a membership card and welcome letter from Dale Earnhardt Jr.
To join JR Nation Crew now just visit Junior’s official fan club website at JrNation.com, or call toll free at 1.800.927.7821.
Who Will Make it into theÂ NASCAR Hall of Fame?
Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. make it in? What about Jeff Gordon, or Tony Stewart or Jimmie Johnson — or what about Kyle Busch?
There’s no doubt that drivers like Richard Petty, David Pearson and Dale Earnhardt will go into the new NASCAR Hall of Fame. They’ll probably be the first ones to go in.
But which of today’s drivers will go into the Hall of Fame?
It’s too soon to tell on Dale Jr. If his career continues the way it has the last 3 years it will be hard to make a case for putting Junior into the Hall of Fame.
If his career had continued the way it started Junior would be a lock for the Hall of Fame. In fact, he would probably be a Champion by now.
After all Dale Jr. has 18 Cup wins and 2 Nationwide Series Championships.
He’s off to a good start, he just needs to close the deal
But if Dale Jr., Tony Eury Jr., and the rest of the No. 88 team bring their A Game in 2009 — if they lead laps, win poles andÂ races, and make a competitive run at the Championship it will be a step in the right direction.
Jeff Gordon likely already has a spot guaranteed in the Hall based on his 4 Championships andÂ 81 wins in 17 years.
Same for Jimmie Johnson with 3 straight Championships.
But who else in today’s class of drivers have what it takes to make it into the NASCAR Hall of Fame?
For drivers like Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards it’s too soon to tell. It depends on how the rest of their careers go. Do these drivers have staying power — or was 2008 just a flash in the pan?
Time will tell.
What’s your prediction — which drivers racing now will eventually make it into the Hall of Fame, and why do you think they’ll make it?
Photo courtesy Hendrick Motorsports
Filed under: Dale Earnhardt, Kyle Busch, Media, NASCAR Charities, NASCAR Owners, Silly Season, Tony Stewart
Dale Jr Swears it was an Accident
Jimmie Johnson might have won the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 Sunday, but it was once again Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kyle Busch grabbing headlines amid controversy.
“If I wanted to do it, I would do it really, really good.” ~ Dale Jr on the Kyle Busch crash
It looked like the same wreck the 2 drivers were involved in the last time they came to Richmond – but this time it was Kyle Busch who hit the wall, not Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Busch and Earnhardt were locked in a heated battle for the lead midway through the race when the 2 cars touched sending Kyle’s Toyota into the wall.
Junior insisted the crash was accidental — but he seemed to leave plenty of room to read between the lines in his comments.
When asked if he had intentionally put Busch into the wall, Dale Earnhardt Jr said “I really ain’t never wrecked anybody on purpose. But if I wanted to do it, I would do it really, really good.”
“If I wreck somebody, I ain’t going to leave him in good enough shape to come back and get me in the same race, so that wasn’t really my intentions.”
Kyle Busch felt that he knew exactly what happened. “Junior got in there a little too hot, a little close to me , and smoked the tires,” said Busch, who left the Richmond with the points lead.
One reporter asked Busch if he thought the wreck was payback from the spring race at Richmond.
“Was that revenge?Â Who knows?” Busch replied flatly.
Dale Earnhardt Jr finished the race 4th — while Busch was credited with a 15th place finish.
Do you think it was revenge?
2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
Atlanta Motor Speedway has won the rights to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Race under the lights on the Sunday night before Labor Day next year.
In one of the biggest realignments in recent years three speedways have agreed to swap dates for the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule.
Talladega Superspeedway, Auto Club Speedway in California, and Atlanta Motor Speedway are all parties to the moves in the Sprint Cup schedule.
The biggest change will be the fall race at Atlanta. That event will be held on Sunday, September 6, which is Labor Day weekend. The move will return big time stock car racing to its southern roots for Labor Day. For 54 years Darlington, South Carolina was home to NASCAR for Labor Day, until the date moved to California Speedway for 2005.
“We’re very excited,” said Ed Clark, President of Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I think this is a win-win-win for all of us and certainly a win for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and for the fans. We’re bringing Labor Day racing back to the Southeast and doing it with a nighttime event. A lot of excitement around here today. We’re going to do some things to enhance the weekend.”
The move means that Atlanta will no longer have a race in the Chase, but speedway executives seemed to think a Sunday night race was worth more than a spot in the playoffs. “We felt like the opportunity to have a night event in a summertime setting on a holiday weekend overshadowed the opportunity to be in the Chase,” said Clark
Auto Club Speedway will hold its Sprint Cup race on Sunday, October 11 – the fourth race in the Chase. The move should help attendance at the southern California speedway which has been plagued by 100+ degree temperatures at previous races.
Talladega’s fall race will be held on Sunday, November 1 – the 7th race in the Chase. “We’re also very excited about our new position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule, said Rick Humphrey, president of Talladega Superspeedway. We’ve been a big part of the championship battle. We believe that moving even deeper into the Chase makes Talladega even more significant to the championship.”
Race teams will also get one additional weekend off. There will be no racing on the weekend before Labor Day — giving everyone a break before heading into the final 12 races. There will be 4 off weekends during the season.
“The 2009 schedule reflects realigned dates that are good opportunities for everyone involved in our sport – fans, sponsors, tracks and teams,” said Mike Helton, NASCAR’s President. “We think this news and these moves benefit all the industry, including the tracks and the teams, but most importantly our fans.”
2009 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb. 7 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, Daytona International Speedway*
Feb. 15 Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 22 Auto Club Speedway
March 1 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
March 8 Atlanta Motor Speedway
March 22 Bristol Motor Speedway
March 29 Martinsville Speedway
April 5 Texas Motor Speedway
April 18 Phoenix International Raceway
April 26 Talladega Superspeedway
May 2 Richmond International Raceway
May 9 Darlington Raceway
May 16 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Lowe’s Motor Speedway*
May 24 Lowe’s Motor Speedway
May 31 Dover International Speedway
June 7 Pocono Raceway
June 14 Michigan International Speedway
June 21 Infineon Raceway
June 28 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
July 4 Daytona International Speedway
July 11 Chicagoland Speedway
July 26 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Aug. 2 Pocono Raceway
Aug. 9 Watkins Glen International
Aug. 16 Michigan International Speedway
Aug. 22 Bristol Motor Speedway
Sept. 6 Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sept. 12 Richmond International Raceway
Sept. 20 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Sept. 27 Dover International Speedway
Oct. 4 Kansas Speedway
Oct. 11 Auto Club Speedway
Oct. 17 Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Oct. 25 Martinsville Speedway
Nov. 1 Talladega Superspeedway
Nov. 8 Texas Motor Speedway
Nov. 15 Phoenix International Raceway
Nov. 22 Homestead-Miami Speedway
* – Denotes non-points event.