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Dale Earnhardt Jr.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Charlotte Preview

News & Notes

CUP DEBUT: Earnhardt made his NASCAR Sprint Cup career debut on May 30, 1999, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Then 24 years old, Earnhardt started the event eighth and finished 16th. Since then, he has tallied 20 wins, 13 pole positions, 121 top-five finishes and 211 top-10s in 516 career Cup starts.

FIRST POLE POSITION: Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Superman Chevrolet SS, earned his first career Cup pole position at his hometown track during his 2000 rookie year. He lined up first for the 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in just his 17th start in the Cup Series and finished the race fourth.

AT CHARLOTTE: In 28 Cup starts at Charlotte, Earnhardt has recorded one pole position, five top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. He has completed 94.1 percent of all laps he’s attempted (9,454 laps of 10,052 total) at the 1.5-mile oval. The 39-year-old driver has led a total of 343 laps there.

POINTS AFTER KANSAS: After finishing fifth two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway, Earnhardt ranks fourth in the championship standings. He trails leader and teammate Jeff Gordon by 26 points.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend at Charlotte, crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-882. This is a new chassis that has not been raced.

INTERMEDIATE TRACK STATS: In 249 Cup starts on intermediate (one- to two-mile) tracks, Earnhardt has recorded six wins, eight pole positions, 52 top-five finishes and 103 top-10s. He has a 16.1 average starting position and an average finishing position of 16.3 on these racetracks.

HENDRICK AT CHARLOTTE: In 60 events (203 starts) at Charlotte, Hendrick Motorsports has 17 wins, which rank first all-time among teams at the 1.5-mile oval. Kasey Kahne most recently won the 600-mile event there in May 2012 and has four career victories at Charlotte. His Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson (six victories) and Gordon (five) rank first and second, respectively, among active drivers in wins at the 1.5-mile track. Hendrick Motorsports has 54 top-five finishes and 84 top-10s and has led 4,459 laps at Charlotte since 1984.

ALL-TIME TIE: Johnson needs one more Cup victory at Charlotte to break a three-way tie for first all time with NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip. Johnson leads at four other tracks on the Cup circuit: Dover International Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the two-mile oval in Fontana, California.

TEAM STATS: Hendrick Motorsports’ 17 victories at Charlotte rank second for the organization behind Martinsville Speedway, where it has recorded a team-best 21 wins. Its 16 pole positions at Charlotte trail only Martinsville (17 poles) and Richmond International Raceway (17) for first overall.

ALL-TIME AT 1.5-MILERS: Johnson and Gordon rank best among drivers all-time in several categories at 1.5-mile racetracks. Johnson leads drivers with 15 career victories at 1.5-mile racetracks, while Gordon ranks second with 12.

30TH ANNIVERSARY: In 2014, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 30th anniversary in NASCAR. The organization began in 1984 with five employees and 5,000 square feet of work space. It has grown to more than 500 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres. Driver Geoff Bodine won the Martinsville Speedway spring race on April 29, 1984, marking Hendrick Motorsports’ first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Quotes

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/SUPERMAN CHEVROLET SS (ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.): “Working with the National Guard is a lot of fun, and they are very creative with what we do together. I have met some great people and have heard some great stories. Whether it was their experience in the Guard or why they joined, I always find it really fascinating to ask someone what encouraged them to make that decision because it’s a life choice. Everybody has a different reason, but I have had a great experience and really appreciate it. I really cherish it and think it’s affected me to just be that close to it and see the things that go on behind the scenes.”

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Posted by on May 22, 2014. Filed under Breaking News,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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