POINTS WITH NINE TO GO: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Time Warner Cable Chevrolet SS, currently holds the 13th position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after finishing 35th at Chicagoland Speedway last weekend. With nine races remaining in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Earnhardt trails leader Matt Kenseth by 53 points.
AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: In 28 Cup starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has seven top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. He has an average start of 15.9 at the 1.058-mile oval and a 16th-place average finish. Earnhardt has led 351 laps there.
LAPS IN THE TOP 15: Earnhardt ranks fourth among drivers for laps run in the top 15 at New Hampshire, according to NASCAR’s loop data statistics. During the last 17 races at the 1.058-mile oval, the Kannapolis, N.C., native has spent 74.8 percent of his laps (3,792 of 5,070 total) running in the top 15. During the July race at New Hampshire, Earnhardt spent 287 of 302 laps inside the top 15.
DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt is ranked fifth in the driver rating category at New Hampshire with a score of 96.9 during the past 17 races at the track. 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.
NEW HAMPSHIRE CHASSIS: Crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-818 this weekend at New Hampshire. Earnhardt tested this chassis at New Hampshire in August. This will be the first time this chassis is raced.
HENDRICK AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: In 37 Cup races (134 starts) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins, 39 top-five finishes and 62 top-10s. Most recently, the organization posted finishes inside the top 14 with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson (sixth), Jeff Gordon (10th), Kasey Kahne (11th) and Earnhardt (14th).
LOUDON LEADERS: Three-time victor Gordon ranks first among drivers all-time at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with 16 top-five finishes, 22 top-10s and 1,316 laps led. Johnson, also a three-time winner at Loudon, ranks second among active drivers with an average finish of 9.4.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS (ON NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY.): “We tested New Hampshire last month because we weren’t as good as we thought we needed to be earlier this year. We picked up a few things at the test that will help us. New Hampshire is an important race in the Chase, and we’ll try to go get a good finish.”