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Dale Earnhardt, Jr's Wins


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18th NASCAR Cup Win!
Michigan Int'l Speedway - June 15th, 2008
Dale Jr and the 88 Team win the Lifelock 400!

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RECAPPING THE RACE:

The No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet team won the Lifelock 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned an emotional victory and snapped a 76-race winless streak as he moved into second place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver standings.

The starting grid for the Sprint Cup field was set by the current driver standings after rainstorms on Friday canceled the qualifying session. Earnhardt started third but had a good car throughout practice sessions during the weekend.

Once the green flag dropped, Earnhardt radioed to crew chief Tony Eury Jr. that the car was taking a few laps for the handling to come around. The No. 88 Chevrolet fell to the sixth position by the time the first green-flag pit stops took place. Earnhardt said the car was 'drivable, but loose' and asked for a minor adjustment. Eury and the team made an air pressure adjustment in the left and right rear tires and sent the No. 88 back out onto the track in the sixth place.

Once the green flag dropped, Earnhardt radioed to crew chief Tony Eury Jr. that the car was taking a few laps for the handling to come around. The No. 88 Chevrolet fell to the sixth position by the time the first green-flag pit stops took place. Earnhardt said the car was 'drivable, but loose' and asked for a minor adjustment. Eury and the team made an air pressure adjustment in the left and right rear tires and sent the No. 88 back out onto the track in the sixth place.

The team figured out it took almost 26 laps for the car to take to the adjustments. The No. 88 Chevy was a bit too snug, and the crew decided to make a track bar adjustment on Lap 81. For the next few laps, the car was loose, but, once again, it took almost 20 laps to react the way Earnhardt needed so he could advance his position.

By Lap 102, Earnhardt said the No. 88 Chevrolet was 'pretty neutral' and but he had too much 'yaw' and rode in fifth-place until the next pit stop cycle. On Lap 146, the team took two right-side tires, and Eury told Earnhardt to conserve fuel, because according to the calculations, he was six laps short.

A caution on Lap 151 helped the team because the No. 88 Chevy remained in sixth place. With 20 laps to go, Earnhardt and Eury had a conversation. They decided if Earnhardt could conserve fuel, they would roll the dice and stay out on the track.

Earnhardt took the lead on Lap 196. He asked Eury if he should step on the gas as the No. 9 of Kasey Kahne was lurking in his rearview mirror. Almost immediately after Eury gave him the green light to race full throttle, a caution flag flew on Lap 197, which forced a green-white checkered flag finish.

Eury told Earnhardt to ride the bottom, and conserve whatever he could. The team gambled and discussed the possibility of finishing 25th if the fuel situation didn't work out.

It worked out.

On Lap 200, the green flag flew, and on Lap 201 the caution flew for a spin in Turn 2. All Earnhardt needed to do was cross the finish line under power, and he did. He ran out of fuel in Turn 1, and his team proudly pushed the No. 88 team to Victory Lane.

Earnhardt remains third in the driver standings. He is 84 points behind the leader, heading into the 16th race of the season.

NEXT UP: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will race at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, June 22. The race will air live on TNT at 3 p.m., ET.

Michigan: Post-Race Transcript


Courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports.
Media Relations | No. 88 AMP Energy / National Guard Racing



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