NASCAR Preseason Thunder Day 8: Earnhardt Jr. Enjoying Hendrick Horsepower At DIS

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            DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 15, 2008) – Dale Earnhardt Jr. is wasting no time getting up to speed with his new team at Hendrick Motorsports.
Earnhardt Jr., the 2004 Daytona 500 champion, was the fastest in the morning session on Tuesday in the No. 88 Chevrolet with a speed of 185.820 mph. Rounding out the top three in single-car runs were the Toyota’s of Michael Waltrip (185.357) and Brian Vickers (184.638).
Toyotas had five of the top six and 11 of the top 13 spots on the morning speed charts.
Earnhardt Jr. is preparing for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season driving the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, who has won the Daytona 500 six times.
After spending his entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career driving the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc., Earnhardt Jr. is making a move to Hendrick Motorsports and serving as a teammate to Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Casey Mears.
“We've had great speed in the car,” Earnhardt Jr. said in the lunch break. “We've had Casey's car from last year and a car that we built this year, and we're real happy with both of them, happy with the guys and their work ethic and their attitude, and it’s going great, it really is. We've been pretty happy with the speeds and the things we've seen the car do and how it's reacted to the changes we've been trying, so it's been really fun.”
Earnhardt Jr. is anxious to begin this new era racing with his new team at Hendrick Motorsports and will do it in the sport’s most anticipated racing event – the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 17.
Whether it’s the 50th running of the Daytona 500 or the non-points Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night, Feb. 9, any win at Daytona International Speedway is a coveted one for Earnhardt Jr., who has 10 total victories at DIS.
“Just to get a win here any time, no matter what it is, whether it's a Shootout or (150s) at the Daytona 500, it's a great feeling to go to victory lane at Daytona, and I really appreciate it every time it happens to me,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “It's going to be quite a spectacle with it being the 50th, so it'll be a pretty big deal. Whoever wins it will get a lot of fanfare. I think it'll be great for our team, great for our season to start off like that, and I'm sure we want to

win as bad as anybody right now. Hopefully we're preparing well and I think we are.“
Fastest in the afternoon: Teams took their first crack at drafting testing on Tuesday afternoon and the Dodge of Ryan Newman was fastest at 188.013 mph followed by Regan Smith (187.625) and Paul Menard (187.594).
Quotable: Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip on the gold 50th running of the Daytona 500 trophy: “That would be nice (to have it). It’s quite an honor to be able to display the Daytona 500 trophy at our shop. Dale and I we have five trophies that represent winning this race. It feels really nice when people get to look at them. We keep them at the shop where everybody gets to see them. I’m real proud of it. We would have to make a special place for old No. 50 right there.”
  
Auction: The NASCAR Preseason Thunder Silent Auction is online at www.nascar.com/foundation
The auction started Monday, Jan. 7 and will run through Sunday, Jan. 20 at 5 p.m. Available to bid on are many autograph items from drivers and stars such as Nicolas Cage, Kelly Clarkson, Big and Rich, Jeff Gordon, Michael Waltrip, Buddy Baker, Pete Hamilton and Jimmie Johnson.
Tickets: Race tickets for all DIRECTV Speedweeks 2008 events at Daytona International Speedway are available online at www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Speeds:
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Morning testing speeds from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing in preparation for the 50th running of the Daytona 500:
1. 88B, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 48.434, 185.820
2. 55, Michael Waltrip, Toyota, 48.555, 185.357
3. 83A, Brian Vickers Toyota, 48.744, 184.638
4. 44A, Dale Jarrett, Toyota, 48.754, 184.600
5. 20A, Tony Stewart, Toyota, 48.758, 184.585
6. 55M, Michael Waltrip Toyota, 48.823, 184.339

style="font-size: 10pt">7. 40, Dario Franchitti, Dodge, 48.843, 184.264
8. 83B, Brian Vickers, Toyota, 48.854, 184.222
9. .44B, Dale Jarrett, Toyota, 48.866, 184.177
10. 11B, Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 48.893, 184.075
11. 11A, Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 48.919, 183.978
12. 22, Dave Blaney, Toyota, 49.018, 183.606
13. 22B, Dave Blaney, Toyota, 49.099, 183.303
14. 87, Jeff Fuller, Chevrolet, 49.123, 183.214
15. 38B, David Gilliland, Ford, 49.138, 183.158
16. 12A, Ryan Newman, Dodge, 49.140, 183.150
17. 20B, Tony Stewart, Toyota, 49.142, 183.143
18. 6B, David Ragan, Ford, 49.160, 183.076
19. 10C, Patrick Carpentier, Dodge, 49.194, 182.949
20. 43A, Bobby Labonte, Dodge, 49.196, 182.942
21. 38A, David Gilliland, Ford, 49.249, 182.745
22. 66H, Scott Riggs, Chevrolet, 49.253, 182.730
23. 34A, Eric McClure, Dodge, 49.340, 182.408
24. 60B, Boris Said, Ford, 49.355, 182.352
25. 15A, Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 49.367, 182.308
26. 9B, Kasey Kahne, Dodge, 49.373, 182.286
27. 01B, Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 49.374, 182.282
28. 31A, Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 49.403, 182.175
29. 26A, Jamie McMurray, Ford, 49.408, 182.157
30. 50A, Stanton Barrett, Chevrolet, 49.409, 182.153
31. 12B, Ryan Newman, Dodge, 49.419, 182.116
32. 6A, David Ragan, Ford, 49.423, 182.101
33. 21B, Bill Elliott, Ford, 49.428, 182.083
34. 77A, Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 49.430, 182.076
35. 60A, Boris Said, Ford, 49.469, 181.932
36. 21A, Bill Elliott, Ford, 49.472, 181.921
37. 66C, Scott Riggs, Chevrolet, 49.486, 181.870
38. 77B, Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 49.541, 181.668
39. 31,

Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 49.546, 181.649
40. 9A, Kasey Kahne, Dodge, 49.577, 181.536
41. 29A, Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 49.580, 181.525
42. 26B, Jamie McMurray, Ford, 49.596, 181.466
43. 15B, Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 49.627, 181.353
44. 49A, Ken Schrader, Dodge, 49.661, 181.229
45. 29B, Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 49.702, 181.079
46. 09B, Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet, 49.758, 180.875
47. 01A, Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 50.013, 179.953
48. 09A, Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet, 50.013 179.953
49. 43B, Bobby Labonte, Dodge, 50.053, 179.809
50. 49B, Ken Schrader, Dodge, 50.069, 179.752
51. 08A, Carl Long, Dodge, 50.410, 178.536
52. 57A, Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 51.400, 175.097
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Afternoon testing speeds from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series testing in preparation for the 50th running of the Daytona 500:
 
1. 12B, Ryan Newman, Dodge, 47.869, 188.013
2. 01A, Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 47.968, 187.625
3. 15B, Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 47.976, 187.594
4. 29B, Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 47.992, 187.531
5. 40A, Dario Franchitti, Dodge, 48.038, 187.352
6. 20A, Tony Stewart, Toyota, 48.043, 187.332
7. 22, Dave Blaney, Toyota, 48.046, 187.320
8. 9B, Kasey Kahne, Dodge, 48.093, 187.137
9. 83A, Brian Vickers, Toyota, 48.099, 187.114
10. 88A, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 48.109, 187.075
11. 31A, Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 48.136, 186.970
12. 10B, Patrick Carpentie,r Dodge, 48.170, 186.838
13. 44B, Dale Jarrett, Toyota, 48.227, 186.617
14. 55M, Michael Waltrip, Toyota, 48.248, 186.536
15. 43B, Bobby Labonte, Dodge, 48.253, 186.517
16. 6B,

David Ragan, Ford, 48.255, 186.509
17. 66H, Scott Riggs, Chevrolet, 48.275, 186.432
18. 21B, Bill Elliott, Ford, 48.288, 186.382
19. 77A, Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 48.337, 186.193
20. 09A, Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet, 48.345, 186.162
21. 34A, Eric McClure, Dodge, 48.434, 185.820
22. 11B, Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 48.442, 185.789
23. 55, Michael Waltrip, Toyota, 48.523, 185.479
24. 44A, Dale Jarrett, Toyota, 48.601, 185.181
25. 40, Dario Franchitti, Dodge, 48.606, 185.162
26. 83B, Brian Vickers, Toyota, 48.724, 184.714
27. 22B, Dave Blaney, Toyota, 48.757, 184.589
28. 11A, Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 48.780, 184.502
29. 10C, Patrick Carpentier, Dodge, 48.856, 184.215
30. 88B, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 48.858, 184.207
31. 38A, David Gilliland, Ford, 48.925, 183.955
32. 38B, David Gilliland, Ford, 48.952, 183.854
33. 87, Jeff Fuller, Chevrolet, 48.969, 183.790
34. 21A, Bill Elliott, Ford, 49.055, 183.468
35. 20B, Tony Stewart, Toyota, 49.062, 183.441
36. 15A, Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 49.092, 183.329
37. 77B, Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 49.111, 183.258
38. 12A, Ryan Newman, Dodge, 49.120, 183.225
39. 6A, David Ragan, Ford, 49.122, 183.217
40. 43A, Bobby Labonte, Dodge, 49.150, 183.113
41. 01B, Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 49.186, 182.979
42. 29A, Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 49.233, 182.804
43. 60B, Boris Said, Ford, 49.242, 182.771
44. 26A, Jamie McMurray, Ford, 49.345, 182.389
45. 60A, Boris Said, Ford, 49.396, 182.201
46. 50A, Stanton Barrett, Chevrolet, 49.471, 181.925
47. 9A, Kasey Kahne, Dodge 49.473, 181.917
48. 31, Jeff

Burton, Chevrolet, 49.514, 181.767
49. 26B, Jamie McMurray, Ford, 49.541, 181.668
50. 49A, Ken Schrader, Dodge, 49.576, 181.539
51. 09B, Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet, 49.797, 180.734
52. 49B, Ken Schrader, Dodge, 49.954 180.166
53. 08A, Carl Long, Dodge, 50.192, 179.311
54. 57A, Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 50.466, 178.338
 
 
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