CHASE REPORT: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS, will be seeded ninth to start the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. This is the sixth season and third straight in which Earnhardt has qualified for the Chase. The driver of the No. 88 Chevy SS has 2,000 points and trails leader Matt Kenseth by 15 points going into the 10-race playoff, which begins this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
AT CHICAGO: In 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Chicago, Earnhardt has one win, three top-five finishes and five top-10s. He has an average start there of 17.0 and an average finish of 14.2. He has completed 98.1 percent of all the laps he’s attempted (3,145 of 3,207 total) and has led 121 laps at the track.
WINDY CITY WIN: Earnhardt reached Victory Lane at Chicagoland Speedway on July 10, 2005. The then 30-year-old Earnhardt lined up 25th for the event and cracked the top 10 within the first 100 laps. He led the final 11 laps en route to securing the win.
LAPS IN THE TOP 15: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks eighth among drivers for laps run in the top 15 at Chicago. During the last seven races at the 1.5-mile oval, the Kannapolis, N.C., native has spent 64.7 percent of his laps (1,383 of 2,139 total) running in the top 15.
DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt is ranked 12th in the driver rating category at Chicago with a score of 89.5. 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.
CHICAGO CHASSIS: Crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-810 this weekend at Chicago. Earnhardt first raced this chassis at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, and he finished sixth at the 2.5-mile speedway.
DOUBLE DUTY: Earnhardt also will compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, driving the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at the 1.5-mile track on Saturday.
HENDRICK AT CHICAGO: In 12 races (50 Cup starts) at Chicagoland, Hendrick Motorsports has two wins, 18 top-five finishes and 25 top-10s. Jeff Gordon earned Hendrick Motorsports’ first Cup win at the racetrack in 2006.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS (ON THE CHASE.): “We are pretty excited to be in the Chase. I’m real confident in our ability to perform well enough in these 10 races. We’re going to work real hard, and I think we’ve got as good a shot as anybody, so we’re going to go in there with a good attitude and work real hard and see what we get. It all starts at Chicago, and I’m looking forward to getting in the car and seeing what we’ve got.”