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Earnhardt looking for strong run, clear skies in Loudon

LOUDON, N.H. (June 26, 2009)—Dale Earnhardt Jr. is hoping for a little bit of luck—both on the track and the weather radar—as he attempts to improve upon last year’s finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and gain some momentum for the 10-race cutoff to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Earnhardt will drive the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet during Sunday’s 301-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Pre-race coverage starts at 12:30 p.m. ET on TNT, and the green flag is scheduled to drop at 2 p.m. ET.

In this particular race last year, Earnhardt appeared to have luck on his side. He started fifth, and the skies were clear.

The Kannapolis, N.C., native led 29 laps and kept his No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet in the top 10 until Lap 271, when misfortune struck. Earnhardt was collected in a multi-car accident in Turn 4 that significantly damaged the sheet metal on the right-rear quarter panel of his No. 88 Chevy.

Despite the No. 88 team’s best efforts to repair the severe damage, the car still was difficult to drive. Earnhardt held on and continued to make forward progress, but was halted a few laps later when a rain shower settled onto the racetrack. Ultimately, NASCAR officials canceled the 301-lap event 17 laps short, which left Earnhardt with a 24th-place finish.

Frustrated at the time, Earnhardt is ready to return to the 1.058-mile racetrack.

“I like New Hampshire because it’s one of the smaller tracks,” Earnhardt said. “I love racing on the shorter, flatter tracks, and that’s about as close as we get to it sometimes.”

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