Hendrick Motorsports

5 24 48 88


Pressure is perfect for Earnhardt at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 24, 2009)—Hendrick Motorsports already owns the record in the modern era for winning three straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events with three different drivers.

It’s a feat the team has accomplished three times now (1989, 2007 and 2009).  Jimmie Johnson kicked off the streak this season by winning at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, and was followed by teammates Jeff Gordon at Texas Motor Speedway and Mark Martin at Phoenix International Raceway.

This weekend, Dale Earnhardt Jr. could score the fourth straight Cup win for Hendrick Motorsports of the 2009 season and make the organization the only team in NASCAR to have won four races in a row with four different drivers.

For Earnhardt, that pressure couldn’t come at a better track than Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, which is where the Cup Series heads this weekend. The race will air Sunday on FOX at 1 p.m. ET.

In 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts there, Earnhardt has recorded five wins, seven top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He scored four consecutive wins from October 2001 to April 2003 and is the only driver to have accomplished that feat at the 2.66-mile oval.

Earnhardt ranks third among the winningest drivers all-time at the superspeedway, just behind his late father, Dale Earnhardt Sr. (10 wins), and his teammate Jeff Gordon (six wins). Earnhardt’s strategy is simple.

“I go in with a real good attitude,” said Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet. “When you go into something with a good attitude you normally get good results. Dad was real good at it. We always just put a little extra attention into those races and those race cars that we took to those tracks. We spent a little more time with them, and we just take it very, very seriously.”

From a technical standpoint, crew chief Tony Eury Jr. thinks that Earnhardt’s skills in drafting will set him ahead of the competition.

“There’s not a whole lot you can do to the setup to make the car faster; it’s mostly about drafting,” Eury said. “Dale learned a lot about that from his daddy, but I think some of it is natural talent. He’s smart about anticipating what’s going on around him and good at putting himself where he needs to be at the end of the race. I’m looking forward to having a good run down there.”