SONOMA, Calif. – For this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Infineon Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will intertwine his own experience with that of his crew chief and teammates when he takes on the California road course.
“We ran really good there last year and finished 11th,” said Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet. “I like Sonoma, but it’s tough. With Steve (Letarte, crew chief) and Jeff (Gordon), there is a lot of talent there on road courses to lean on. I’m pretty confident with the setup we’ve got for this weekend. I’ve got some of the best road course racers as teammates, so we should be pretty good.”
Letarte previously served as the crew chief of the No. 24 Chevrolet and helped Gordon earn his fifth win at the 1.99-mile road course in 2006.
In 11 Cup starts at Infineon, Earnhardt has scored five top-15 finishes. He matched his career-best result last year at the 10-turn track when he picked up 10 positions in the closing 28 laps take 11th. Earnhardt, who currently ranks third in the championship standings, also finished 11th in 2003 and 2004.
“Dale Jr. runs fine at Sonoma,” Letarte said. “I know his history might not say it. He gets wrecked in the last 10 laps of every race. (Teammate) Jimmie Johnson won the race last year, so we have a great baseline. We are going to go out there, put the baseline in and put the expectations where they belong. If we go to Sonoma and run top 15, just like we say every week when we unload off the truck, then we’ll be ecstatic.”
Tune in to TNT on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET to watch Earnhardt and the No. 88 Chevrolet team compete in this Cup season’s first road course event.