|Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 18/1 to win Sunday at Pocono Raceway.|
FRONT-RUNNER AT POCONO: Dale Earnhardt Jr. swept both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in 2014 to earn his two career victories at Pocono Raceway. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has also finished in the top five in almost a third (31.2 percent) of the races he’s competed in at the “Tricky Triangle,” including his most recent trip to the 2.5-mile facility last fall, when he finished fourth.
LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks eighth among active drivers in the last 10 years in fastest laps run at Pocono with 108 laps. The driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS has the seventh-best driver rating with a 93.2 average rating. 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. He also ranks seventh in average speed early in a run (164.217 mph), green-flag speed (162.783 mph), and laps in the top 15 (2,493) in that span.
AXALTA “WE PAINT WINNERS” 400: Earnhardt’s primary sponsor at Pocono will also be the title sponsor of the 400-mile Cup event, the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400, for the second consecutive year. Use #Axalta400 to join in the conversation on race weekend.
WIN $88K: Axalta Racing and Pocono Raceway have partnered up for a huge promotion. If Earnhardt drives his No. 88 Axalta Chevy to Victory Lane on Sunday, one lucky fan will win $88,000. To be eligible, fans must sign up online before June 5. For more information or to sign up, click here and follow @AxaltaRacing on Twitter for updates on where Earnhardt is running during the race.
AXALTA’S 150TH: Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings, is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2016 at the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400. The “We Paint Winners” slogan reflects Axalta’s 150 years of commitment to quality, performance and technology – attributes that help create winners on the track and for Axalta’s customers worldwide. To recognize its 150th anniversary, Axalta invited its Philadelphia-area employees and a number of customers to attend this weekend’s race. For more information visit www.axaltacoatingsystems.com.
FAN Q&A: Earnhardt will be participating in a fan Q&A session on Sunday just after 10 a.m. local time in the Tricky Triangle Club at Pocono. For more details on how to see the driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet and the exclusive ticket package add-on, please visit the Tricky Triangle Club’s website.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Pocono
“I think the track probably still has a lot of grip because it’s so recently paved, but the low-downforce package has been fun everywhere we’ve gone so far, so I anticipate it being even more enjoyable. We just want the cars to be slicker, harder to drive and slower with more off-throttle time. When we get there for the Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400, it’ll be interesting to see how much the track has changed in the last year because of how harsh the winters are there.”
Earnhardt on shifting at Pocono
“We’ve always shifted down into third (gear) going into Turn 1. That’s just always been part of that track with the 'Tricky Triangle.' It’s sort of like an oval and a road course morphed together to make this racetrack, so the shifting there isn’t an odd thing and it isn’t something that crosses your mind as unrealistic or uncharacteristic to the racetrack. They’ve been doing it for so long there, that that’s just part of the process at Pocono. We had got to where we were shifting on short-chutes and so forth and downshifting in the Tunnel Turn or in Turn 3 during the race. You do whatever you need to do to get speed out of your car, so the option of shifting, in my mind, is not such a bad thing at Pocono.”