Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MOTORSPORTS EXTRA; Talladega Is Junior's Track

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MOTORSPORTS EXTRA; Talladega Is Junior's Track

Article excerpt

Dale Earnhardt Jr. can become the first driver to win four consecutive races at the Talladega Superspeedway with a victory in Sunday's Aaron's 499. His father, seven-time series champion Dale Earnhardt, holds the track record with 10 wins at Talladega. The third-generation driver is third in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings. He took time out before Sunday's race to answer questions from Times-Union motorsports writer Don Coble about Talladega and his season.

Q: Do you like your chances to repeat at Talladega on Sunday?

A: "They [the media] can say or write whatever they want, but I'm not going to talk about winning four in a row. I talked too much at Daytona [where he won three preliminary races leading up to the Daytona 500 before a broken alternator ruined his chances in the main event]. It just jinxed us. Our record speaks loud enough at Talladega."

Q: Why do you have such an advantage at the restrictor plate tracks like Talladega?

A: "I keep expecting the rest of the field to catch up to us, but we're not sitting still. We'll be fast. We're working on our restrictor plate program just as hard as we always have. The Daytona race still bothers me, but we'll have a new alternator in the car, I promise."

Q: When you finished second at Texas last week, you seemed frustrated. What is it going to take to make you happy?

A: "The championship. I want to finish in the top five. I want to get something that we didn't get last year, and I'm just, you know, really -- we should have got a good run last week. We didn't have the car to do it. We got pulled when I ran out of gas. I might be the only car in the history of NASCAR to run out of gas in Bristol. I think that's probably a first. We keep beating ourselves. I'm frustrated we should have ran good at Daytona. That still bothers me. It's hard to get over races like that. …

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