Thursday, June 3, 2010
DALE EARNHARDT JR May Have Horsepower To Roll Strong At Pocono
PEPSI REFRESH PROJECT: The Pepsi Refresh Project is a groundbreaking effort to foster innovation in social good that will award more than $20 million this year to fund great ideas that improve America's communities.
POCONO POLE POSITION: Earnhardt has one Sprint Cup pole position at Pocono, which he earned in August 2007 when he also led eight laps and finished second. The runner-up effort matched his best performance at the Long Pond, Pa., track. Earnhardt also finished second there on July 29, 2001, after leading 31 laps.
POINTS AFTER CHARLOTTE: After finishing 22nd last week at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Earnhardt currently ranks 17th in the championship standings. He trails 12th-place Ryan Newman by 54 points.
CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Lance McGrew and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-584. Earnhardt picked up the pole position at Atlanta Motor Speedway and went on to score a 15th-place finish with this chassis in March.
HENDRICK AT POCONO: In 52 Cup events (165 starts) at Pocono Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports has scored 11 wins, 11 pole positions, 48 top-five finishes and 84 top-10s. Gordon has visited Victory Lane the most for Hendrick, with four trips. The organization's most recent Pocono win came with Gordon in June 2007.
PENNSYLVANIA NATIVES: Four members of the No. 88 Chevrolet team consider the Keystone State home. Spotter T.J. Majors, 29, hails from Wampum, Pa., where he grew up racing dirt tracks in western Pennsylvania and in 2003 was named the Goody's Dash Series Rookie of the Year. Gas man Chris Fasulka, a native of Wilkes-Barre, is a 1990 graduate of James M. Coughlin High School and has been at Hendrick Motorsports since 2002. Rear-tire carrier Matt Myers, who played football at Wake Forest University, is from Ford City, while transporter driver Dave Radney is from Canton.
JUST DOWN THE ROAD: PepsiCo's Purchase, N.Y., headquarters is located 125 miles east of Pocono Raceway. The company, which sponsors Earnhardt's car with its AMP Energy brand, has been headquartered in Purchase since 1970.
GUARD GARAGE: Visit www.DaleJrGuardGarage.com and join the Guard Garage Fan Club to stay up-to-date with Guard drivers and score free ringtones, wallpapers and more.
FREE JR NATION FAN CLUB: Now race fans can get a free subscription to the JR Nation Crew Fan Club -- the official fan club of Earnhardt and JR Motorsports. The club's website features chat rooms, forums and blogs. For more information visit www.DaleJr.com/JRNation.
AMP UP THE 88: Mike Davis, JR Motorsports' director of communications, will participate in a live video chat with fans on Wednesday from 6-6:30 p.m. ET on AMP Energy's website, www.ampupthe88.com. The site features weekly chats with a special guest or a member of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard team, daily sweepstakes with autographed No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard team memorabilia, videos, photos and more.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON POCONO.): "Pocono is one of the more difficult tracks we go to because all three of the corners are so different. It can be tough to get your car to handle good through all three of the turns. The tunnel turn (Turn 2) is probably the most challenging corner of the year."
McGREW (ON THE DEMANDS ON THE ENGINE AT POCONO.): "In the past when we were shifting and everything else, the RPMs got to be so great. Since they have passed the legislation in NASCAR where they mandate our rear gear, it's not as challenging on the engine guys. It's challenging to build a broader horsepower curve so the engine pulls good at a low RPM that it comes off the corner and still has power at the top side. That's probably more challenging to those guys, but you don't seem to have the valve train issues that we used to have because we aren't turning the engines quite as hard."