POINTS REPORT: Dale Earnhardt Jr. currently ranks seventh in the driver standings. He has a 20-point lead over 11th-place Kasey Kahne with three races remaining until the 12-car field is set for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
SEASON-TO-DATE: Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS, has recorded one pole position, five top-five finishes and 12 top-10s in the first 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup events this year. His 12 top-10 results rank him tied for fourth overall among drivers during that timeframe.
AT BRISTOL: In 27 Sprint Cup Series starts at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has scored one win, seven top-five finishes and 13 top-10s. The 38-year-old driver has an average finishing position of 11.6 and has completed 98.9 percent of all laps he’s attempted (13,365 of 13,513 total) at the short track. He has led 758 laps at the .533-mile oval.
PERSONAL BEST: Earnhardt’s 11.6 average finish at Bristol is a personal best for the driver in the Sprint Cup Series. In the last 23 races there, Earnhardt has finished 11th or better 16 times.
BEST AVERAGE FINISH: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt has the best average finish among all drivers in the last 17 Cup races at Bristol. Earnhardt, who recorded nine top-10s during that timeframe, has an average finish of 9.7.
DRIVER RATING: Earnhardt ranks 10th in the driver rating category at Bristol Motor Speedway with a score of 87.9, according to loop data. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-745. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a 10th-place finish at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in June.
HENDRICK AT BRISTOL: In 59 Cup events (187 starts) at Bristol, Hendrick Motorsports has 10 wins, 47 top-five finishes, 84 top-10s and 11 pole positions. Jeff Gordon is tied for first among active drivers with five wins at the track, while Kahne most recently went to Victory Lane there for the organization earlier this year in March.
SHORT TRACK POWER: Among active drivers at tracks less than one mile in length, Hendrick Motorsports ranks atop the competition in wins and laps led; Gordon is first in both categories with 15 victories and 7,957 laps led. Jimmie Johnson ranks second in both categories with 12 wins and 3,533 laps led.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 DIET MOUNTAIN DEW SS (ON BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY.): “I like Bristol (Tenn.). I’ve always enjoyed going there as a kid and watching races. The Saturday night race is one of the best tickets in the series. It’s an exciting racetrack, and it’s a lot of fun for the drivers. You’re always in the middle of something every lap. It keeps you on your toes, and it’s a pretty tough racetrack. I enjoy the challenge and look forward to hopefully having a good weekend.”