POINTS REPORT: Eight races into the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ranks fifth in the driver standings on the strength of three top-five finishes and five top-10s. He trails leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson by 48 points
AT RICHMOND: In 27 Sprint Cup starts at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, Earnhardt has recorded three wins, one pole position, nine top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. He has led a total of 494 laps and completed 99.1 percent of all laps he’s attempted at the short track (10,707 laps of 10,803 total).
RICHMOND WINS: Among active competitors, Earnhardt is one of four drivers ranked tied for second with three Cup victories at Richmond. Earnhardt most recently went to Victory Lane at Richmond on May 6, 2006, after leading 47 laps.
CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-721. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a sixth-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway in March.
DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks 13th in the driver rating category at Richmond with a score of 85.8 in the last 16 races. 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.
HENDRICK AT RICHMOND: In 58 races (182 starts) at Richmond, Hendrick Motorsports has tallied 10 wins, 51 top-five finishes and 88 top-10s. The organization’s 16 pole positions rank second-best for the team behind Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (17 poles). Jeff Gordon, who ranks tied for first among active drivers with five pole positions, leads active drivers with 1,415 laps led and a 7.9 average starting position.
DOUBLE DIGITS: Richmond is one of 10 tracks where Hendrick Motorsports has 10 or more victories. Of Hendrick Motorsports’ 10 wins at Richmond, half have occurred in the first race of the year. Terry Labonte earned the organization’s first spring victory there in March 1995. Most recently, Johnson went to Victory Lane at the short track in May 2007.
TWO-FOR-TWO: Hendrick Motorsports is two-for-two at short tracks this season with victories by Kasey Kahne at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway on March 17 and Johnson at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on April 7. Including last year when Johnson won at Martinsville in October, the organization has won three straight short track events. The last time the organization swept the first two short track events to start the season was 2007 when Kyle Busch won at Bristol and Johnson won at Martinsville.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS (ON RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY.): “Hopefully we can have a good weekend at Richmond. I’ve had some really good cars, and won some races here. Then I’ve had some unexplainable poor runs; just had cars where I couldn’t get around the track. I’m excited to get to the track and in the car for practice and see where we are at. See what kind of drivability we’ve got and how much comfort we’ve got.”