DALE EARNHARDT JR.
NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET
POST-RACE RECAP/NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
DATE: Sept. 19, 2010
POINTS POSITION: 18th
RECAPPING THE RACE:
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, earned his third top-five finish of the season when he crossed the finish line fourth on Sunday in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Earnhardt started the event 32nd and steadily drove his way through the field. At Lap 20, he reported to his AMP Energy/National Guard team that he was battling a tight-handling car. When the race's first caution came out six laps later, crew chief Lance McGrew called Earnhardt -- who was running 22nd -- into the pits for fuel, four tires and a track bar adjustment. Unfortunately when the team was finishing the stop, the jack collapsed too fast causing minor damage to the No. 88 Chevy's side skirt. The team quickly hammered out the damage, and Earnhardt rejoined the field. When the race resumed on Lap 29, he was 33rd.
Earnhardt didn't let this minor setback affect his ability to quickly pass competitors around the 1.058-mile oval. By Lap 39, he had worked his way back up to 22nd and was consistently clocking lap times that were comparable to drivers in the top five.
Earnhardt broke into the top 10 on Lap 58 and remained inside there until his second pit stop of the day under green-flag conditions on Lap 98. Earnhardt, who entered the pits running fifth, came in for fuel, four tires and an air pressure adjustment. A perfectly orchestrated pit stop was hindered when the car in front of the No. 88 pit stall didn't pit properly. As a result, Earnhardt was forced to back up and go around the competitor to exit his pit stall. Earnhardt finally rejoined the field, and on Lap 102, he was running 18th.
Earnhardt continued to prove his passing skills and worked his way up to 11th by Lap 118, which is where he remained until the team's third pit stop on Lap 148 during the race's third caution. Earnhardt, who was battling a tough-handling race car during that last green-flag run, came in to the pits for four tires, fuel and for the team to undo the previous air pressure adjustment. Earnhardt rejoined the field and was 11th when the race resumed on Lap 151.
The race reached the halfway point, and Earnhardt was dealing with a loose-handling race car. By Lap 177, Earnhardt reported that the car naturally got better as it ran longer under the green flag. When the fourth caution of the day came out on Lap 208, McGrew called Earnhardt in for four tires, fuel as well as an air pressure and wedge adjustments to alleviate the No. 88 Chevy's handling issues. Earnhardt was 14th at the restart on Lap 212.
Earnhardt quickly drove his way through the field and was up to sixth by Lap 224 when the sixth caution flag was waved. During this caution period, Earnhardt came in for his last pit stop of the day for fuel only. At the restart on Lap 229, he was ninth.
Once again, Earnhardt steered his AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet through the field with precision and worked his way up to fifth by Lap 246. Earnhardt flirted with fifth and sixth toward the end of the race and on the final lap, he moved up to fourth and held onto it.
QUOTING DALE EARNHARDT JR.:
"I want to thank AMP Energy and National Guard and the team; they worked really hard. We unloaded a great car. They did a good job preparing it at the shop. We worked on it all weekend. It was pretty good in practice, and we improved on it a little bit. We had an eighth-place finish last time and felt like we were really fast and competitive all day long. We can't qualify very good here, but once we get in race trim, we just kind of go to the front or get near the front."
Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports.
Media Relations | No. 88 AMP Energy / National Guard Racing
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Official Site - www.dalejr.com