Earnhardt predicts a victory
Apparently fans of NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., shouldn’t worry he is in a deep points hole in the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
After completing Saturday’s first of two practice sessions, a confident Earnhardt offered a bold assessment of his situation:
“We’re going to win this race,” he said. “I really got a good feeling about it. This is what we’ve got to do anyway to try to get further points and try to win the championship. I just got a good feeling.
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“The car’s been great all weekend. Attitude’s good. Everybody’s excited. The team’s working well together. The car’s responding well. The car ran some good laps in practice and felt real good.”
Earnhardt cut a tire and hit the wall last weekend at Kansas and finished 39th. He is in danger of being among the four drivers who will be eliminated from title contention after next weekend’s race at Talladega, Ala.
Suarez lands Truck ride: Daniel Suarez, who will compete full time in the Nationwide Series next season with Joe Gibbs Racing, will compete in next week’s Truck series race at Talladega with Win-Tron Racing.
Suarez, who has been competing this season in the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series, is using the race to gain experience in restrictor-plate racing. He also plans to make a handful of Truck series starts next season.
Mark Rette will serve as Suarez’s crew chief next weekend.
Myers wins race; Seuss takes title: Andy Seuss earned his first NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship Thursday night thanks to a fifth-place finish in the Southern Slam 150 on the quarter-mile oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Burt Myers pulled away from George Brunnhoelzl III on a green-white-checkered to win the race, his third Charlotte victory.
Seuss finished the season with a 14-point margin over Brunnhoelzl and 23 over Myers, who led the tour with four wins.
Testing update:On Monday and Tuesday, Germain Racing and Richard Childress Racing will test at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Leavine Family Racing will test at Phoenix.
Three things to watch
1 Jimmie Johnson holds the record with seven Cup series wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He could use an eighth to help him remain in contention for this season’s championship.
2 Joe Gibbs Racing has been making steady progress over the past six weeks and may be peaking at just the right time.
3 Brad Keselowski won this race one year ago – his only win of the 2013 season. The five-time winner this season could use a repeat victory to stay in the title hunt.
• Although Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s performances of late have not been quite where they were earlier this season, his confidence sure seems back this weekend at Charlotte. Earnhardt, who turned 40 Friday, went so far as to predict a victory in Saturday night’s race. His swagger is much more reminiscent of how he and his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team were performing the first half of this season, which led many to believe Earnhardt could capture his first championship.
• Friday marked the 113th anniversary of Henry Ford’s first and only motorsports victory when he beat Alexander Winton in a race that served as the official start of the Ford Racing program and a springboard to the formation of The Ford Motor Company in June 1903. Ford’s race, which was the only event in which he ever competed as a driver, took place at the Detroit Driving Club and was witnessed by approximately 8,000 people.
• How do you get noticed during the Chase when you’re not contending for the title? Performance. Look at the attention Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. are getting simply by their respective performances through the first four races of the Chase.
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr.