NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
FOOD CITY 500
BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT
MARCH 16, 2012
DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/DIET MOUNTAIN DEW CHEVROLET, met with members of the media at Bristol Motor Speedway and discussed his season to-date, racing at Bristol, his niece’s racing career and other topics. Additional Questions/Answers:
CAN YOU REFLECT BACK ON YOUR BRISTOL WIN IN 2004 AND WHAT IT MEANT? “That was a big deal to me because I had seen those trophies in my house all my life. They were the biggest trophies you could bring home. They were bigger than even the championship trophy. I admired the track for how tough it was; and how tenacious the races were; and how hard the driving was; how difficult it was on drivers. It is just such a unique race track. One-of-a-kind.
“I think it has proven its popularity through ticket sales over the years, and its ability to grow and become what it is today. When you look at pictures of it when it was first built, and all through the 70s and 80s even; then see what it is today; it is really amazing the progress, and expansion that this little track in Tennessee has had. I just wanted one of those trophies, really. I was really glad to get one. It is right there in my living room. I don’t have many trophies in my house, but that’s one of them that is there. It was really even sweeter to have the opportunity to sweep the weekend like we did with the Nationwide win the day before.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES WHEN THE REGULARS LIKE ELLIOTT (SADLER) AND RICKY (STENHOUSE, JR.) CAN GO OUT AND GET EARLY WINS? “I think it is really good. Elliott is trying to change directions for his career. Get to where he wants to be; wherever that is. Then you have Ricky, this young kid, it is a great story how he was struggling, and just about to lose his ride. Then, turns it around, and becomes a champion; and now a consistent winner on the circuit. He has become one of the hottest commodities in the series and a future star in the sport. It is great. We love to see guys come from the Nationwide Series into the Cup Series, and be successful. You love to see guys do well in that series, and keep the talent pool in the Cup Series moving forward.”
ARE YOU WORRIED RESTARTS HERE WITH THE NEW THROTTLE RESPONSES? ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT A BIG CRASH ON A RESTART HERE? “No, not at all. I think we’ve learned a lot over the last couple of weeks with the system. I’m not really worried about it. If it happens, it happens. I’ll chalk it up to poor luck, and move it. If there are gremlins in the future with this system, which I don’t foresee them for our program; but, if they are, you are not in control of who is going to get them, and who is going to have those problems. I won’t be too upset if it happens to me, because it is a learning process. It is a new system; a new deal. But, I feel real confident that Hendrick Motorsports is going to provide me with good equipment every week, and I’m not going to have any problems. I hoping to not run any problems anybody else is having.”
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