Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crown Royal presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400

I had to work so I didn't see much of the race. I do know that Dale's car was loose all race long and it seemed as if Steve had gotten it tightened up pretty good for a while. Jr moved all the way to 2nd, but spun the tires and fell back to 10th before having to pit for gas so he didn't run out. He finished down two laps in 19th and fell one position to 4th in the points. Next weekend is Darlington and I know Jr is always excited when his mother Brenda gets to be there with him in honor of Mother's Day.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with those you love!!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Your vote counts this year, so take a minute and vote for Junebug!!

Also, while I'm speaking about voting for something, 
don't forget to vote to make Dale Jr the Most Popular Driver again this year!! 
I have the link posted.

Johnson, Earnhardt partnership pays dividends - Apr 18, 2011 - NASCAR.COM

Putting two teams in same shop already making a difference for the drivers

By Joe Menzer, NASCAR.COM

First they started sharing the shop at the Hendrick Motorsports complex in Concord, N.C. Next thing you know, they're sharing the checkered flag at Talladega and so darn gracious toward one another that the actual race winner of Sunday's Aaron's 499 was offering his teammate the trophy and possible future benefits as well.
It appears this decision to move the No. 88 team of Dale Earnhardt Jr. into the shop with the No. 48 team of five-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson already is paying huge dividends, with the chance for more payouts and reciprocation in the immediate and long-term future.
Johnson won his first race of the season and the 54th of his 10-year Sprint Cup career by the slimmest of margins Sunday -- .002 seconds. That tied the record for the closest margin of victory since electronic scoring was introduced into the sport, and Johnson knew it could not have been accomplished without the pushing assistance provided for him all day long by Earnhardt in the two-car draft that now seems here to stay in restrictor-plate races at both Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway.
So Johnson drove up alongside Earnhardt afterward and made him an offer he ultimately couldn't refuse. He gave Earnhardt the checkered flag, which usually is reserved only for handling by the race winner.
"Man, I don't want that," Earnhardt said at first.
"Well, I have to give you something for the push and for working with me," Johnson replied.
"No, that's what teammates do," Earnhardt said.
Johnson would not be denied in his attempt at showing his appreciation. He smiled and insisted, "Take the damn flag. I'll give you the trophy, too."
Being the good teammate he is, Earnhardt finally relented. But he did put a cap on Johnson's generosity.
"No, I don't want the trophy. I'll take the flag, though," he finally said.
Teammates within the team
Keep in mind that Earnhardt has not won his own Cup race since June of 2008 at Michigan. He doesn't need reminding that was 101 races ago.
And the plan going into Talladega wasn't for Earnhardt to push Johnson to the win at the end. The plan simply was for them to work together and try to get one of the Hendrick cars to Victory Lane. The other two Hendrick teammates, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin, arrived with identical intentions.
"We pretty much just had the philosophy coming in this weekend, you know, don't leave your wingman," Gordon told reporters after the race.
And the four Hendrick cars didn't. Gordon and Martin worked in tandem throughout the day, as did Johnson and Earnhardt. Remember, it was only last year that the teams of Gordon and Johnson were housed together in the same building at the sprawling Hendrick complex, while the teams of Martin and Earnhardt were in the other.
Shortly after the end of Johnson's unprecedented fifth consecutive title run last November, team owner Rick Hendrick orchestrated a swap of three of the four crew chiefs of the teams involved. But there was more to it than simply that.
Steve Letarte, who had been Gordon's crew chief, stayed put in the building where he had worked for so long alongside Chad Knaus, Johnson's crew chief. But now Letarte was Earnhardt's crew chief and the team under him worked for the No. 88 Chevy as well. Lance McGrew, who had been Earnhardt's crew chief operating out of the other building, didn't have to move his office, either. He stayed put but became Martin's crew chief on the No. 5 car, and Alan Gustafson, who had been working in that same building as Martin's previous crew chief, jumped over to Gordon's No. 24 team.
Essentially, what had been the 88-5 shop became the 24-5 building, and what had been the 24-48 building became the 48-88 shop.
The four Hendrick Cup teams will all tell you they operate as one. But the four teams are split between two buildings side-by-side at the Hendrick complex, and they also would admit that they operate most closely on a daily basis with the one team housed under the same roof as them and therefore that bond within the Hendrick bond is closer.
Knaus said he thought the new alliances started to show huge promise right off the bat this season, when Earnhardt won the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500.
"We have a collective group of guys at Hendrick Motorsports who work on our superpeedway program and they do a fantastic job of putting a very good product out there," Knaus said. "I think that definitely started to shine in Daytona when we were able to qualify with the 88 car on the pole and then we were able to bring some of that momentum back here for qualifying at Talladega."
It shone again when the Hendrick teams were the top four in qualifying for last Sunday's race, led by Gordon on the pole. But Knaus said it really paid off during the race when the four drivers were able to split into pairs and work so strongly together.
"You know, we have been working a while to try to get to where we could get the drivers to really commit to one another and work together, and I think it was really nice to see the 5 and 24 work together the way they did [Sunday]," Knaus said. "I thought it was nice to see the 48 and 88 work together. It made it a lot easier on Steve Letarte and myself to call the race when you have that kind of strategy going on.
"I think it was a good race for Jimmie and Dale to get a lot of experience working together and learning how the draft works and hopefully we can apply some of that to the race when we come back here in the fall. So it was a very collective effort on a lot of people's parts and it was really nice to see."
But first ...
Shortly after Sunday's race concluded, Knaus was overheard on the radio telling Earnhardt, "The next one is on us, brother." Well, of course, the next restrictor-plate race is Daytona in July, not Talladega in the fall.
And of course, you can never predict how these races are going to play out with any kind of real precision. Maybe Johnson will be in position to help Junior in Daytona, and maybe not.
And maybe Johnson will be as helpful and as selfless -- and, well, maybe not. That indeed may be the true definition of a real teammate. Last Sunday at Talladega, Earnhardt came over the radio earlier in the race and admitted that the 48-88 two-car tandem seemed to run faster whenever Johnson was in front, being pushed by Earnhardt -- and not the other way around.
That is sometimes a difficult concept for a driver to grasp, let alone admit and commit to in the middle of a frenzied race such as one at Talladega.
"I was more comfortable pushing Jimmie and I think we were the faster combination pushing that way," Earnhardt said after the race. "For some reason when I was leading I would drive off his nose and even running quarter throttle I would just get away from him and we couldn't stay together."
Johnson added: "He was committed, as was I, and it showed. Neither one of us was selfish and we worked as a group. And at the end, he felt like the 48 car leading was faster. We agreed."
These guys were so committed that at least once Earnhardt slowed down on pit road to make certain he could get hooked up with Johnson again. In this day and age where supposedly every second on pit road counts, it seemed bizarre.
It was, Johnson said later, a learning process.
"We had a plan coming into the race, and stuck to it and learned a lot as the event went on, really Junior and I did, on how we would communicate, on what runs we could make, how we could set them up, how we could pass, how to have the guy push and could cool his car," Johnson said. "Really there was a lot of learning that went on through all of the laps throughout the race.
"I'm so very proud of Chad and Stevie, and the growth of the 48-88 shop, and the way Junior and I worked together."
But next time, will it really be Earnhardt's turn to celebrate in Victory Lane, as Knaus promised?
"I think we take the exact same approach and see how it shakes out the end," Knaus said. "You have to be aware as to which situation is faster, and definitely [at Talladega] we would have been pushing the 88 car if Dale had not come on the radio and said, 'Hey, guys, I don't think we are fast enough the way we are right now; we need the 48 in front.' If we get to Daytona and the roles are reversed, that will be it. We will follow him across the line with sparks and fire a-blazing."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Aaron's 499

Dale Jr had a very good day, running with race winner Jimmie Johnson all day long. At the very last moments Junior was able to push Jimmie to the victory and finish in 4th place. (The same position he started) He led quite a few laps and moved up to 3rd in points.

The guys are off next week and the week after it's off to Richmond, another track where Dale Jr has run very well. Have a Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Qualifying for the Aaron's 499

Dale Jr held the pole for awhile until his teammates came along and knocked him off. All four HMS drivers start from the pole to 4th, which is where Junior will start tomorrow.

Aaron's 312

Dale Jr and Aric had a great race today! Dale Jr led a few times and drafted with Aric for the majority of the day. The two were almost caught in two of the "big ones" but were able to get past them and finish 8th (Jr) and 10th (Aric).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Students rally behind stock car racing bill

Check out this article from - it features comments from Kelley and Junior's niece Karsyn!

by Justin Vick

MOORESVILLE – Lake Norman Elementary School held a pep rally on Tuesday, April 12, to celebrate how far students have come in their efforts to make stock car racing the state sport of North Carolina.

The project began about a year ago with research – lots of it. The 13 students, nicknamed the Pit Crew, have worked twice a week after school since May 2010 on the project, which they have presented to town commissioners and the school board.

Their idea has spawned two bills in the General Assembly – House Bill 333 and Senate Bill 322.

Since then, students have written persuasive letters to legislators in support of the bills. And in a few weeks, they hope to speak directly to lawmakers.

Thanks to donations from the North Carolina Motorsports Association and SunTrustBank, the Pit Crew has the means to travel to Raleigh. All they need to do now is schedule a date and time to speak.

The project has been memorable for fourth-grade teacher Nettie Gambill, whom Principal Boen Nutting credits for getting students revved up about the idea.

“Once I found out that a group of students made the sweet potato a state vegetable, I thought, ‘Why can’t we do something like that?’” Gambill said. “And we’re going to do it because we’ve gotten so much community and school support.”


Tuesday’s rally served as another milestone for students as they earned support from a member of one of racing’s greatest dynasties – the Earnhardt family.

“Racing is very big to North Carolina,” said guest speaker Kelley Earnhardt, general manager of JR Motorsports. “I’m sure that a lot of your parents probably work in motorsports.”

Hers did. Her father was the late Dale Earnhardt, arguably the sport’s greatest driver.

And on Tuesday, Kelley Earnhardt had the honor of introducing her 10-year-old daughter, Karsyn Elledge, who rode into the pep rally in her No. 333 Mini Outlaw car. Karsyn adorned her car with decals in support of the bill, including North Carolina and checkered racing flags.

Karsyn’s dad, NASCAR crew chief Jimmy Elledge, introduced her to go-karts, while her uncle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., encouraged her to drive. But Karsyn has come into her own as a driver, winning three consecutive races last year in the Mini Outlaw Series. She races at Millbridge and Woodleaf speedways.

Her goal for this season is simple – “to bring home more hardware.”

“The No. 3 is special to me because my grandfather, Dale Earnhardt, drove the No. 3 in many of his championship victories,” said Karsyn, a fifth-grader attending Shepherd Elementary.

Both bills in the House and Senate mention the fact that Earnhardt lived in North Carolina as a reason to justify stock car racing’s significance to the state.

Pit Crew members also received a loud ovation as they arrived at the pep rally in the back of a pickup. Sloan Edemann said it was amazing to get that kind of reaction from her classmates.

“It feels great that people my age are interested in this,” Sloan said. She believes that just being in Raleigh with her teammates will help convince lawmakers that racing deserves to be the state sport.

Principal Boen Nutting was proud to see students supporting their classmates.

“This is a great example of what we are doing at Iredell County Schools right now, which is 21st-century learning,” Nutting said. “That means we are taking learning out of the classroom and into the community. And this time, we are taking our learning all the way to Raleigh.”

Monday, April 11, 2011


I'm going to post this every week from now until the All-Star Race to remind you all to vote for JR in case he doesn't win a race before the All-Star Race. Your vote totally counts this year, so take a minute and vote for Junebug!!

Also, while I'm speaking about voting for something, 
don't forget to vote to make Dale Jr the Most Popular Driver again this year!! 
I have the link posted.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Samsung Mobile 500

Dale Jr had another strong run last night at Texas. He started 28th and moved forward, leading a lap and finishing in 9th and moving up two in points to 6th. Next week is Dega!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Quotes from Dale Jr post race press conference

- Dale Jr said he didn't want to shove Kyle Busch, "but we haven't won a race in a long time." Adds, "Man, we're so close."

- "I'm disappointed I didn't get the job done. It'll probably bother me more and more as the night goes on."

- "I'm disappointed that I didn't get the job done. I should be thankful and grateful for the opportunity I have."

- "I meant to win that damn race."

- Dale Jr. says he's not "back" yet, and says he wasn't really a second-place car yet. He's better, but "we've still got a little ways to go."

Goody's Fast Relief 500

He was sooooo close!!!!!! Dale said he didn't have a race winning car, but he sure came close to winning the race today. After starting 26th, Junior made his way up into the teens, and after a two tire stop called by Steve, was boosted into the top 5. He stayed in the top 10 for the majority of the race, and took the lead with 20 laps to go. Kevin Harvick caught him with 5 laps to go and Dale wasn't able to close and pass him back. Dale finished 2nd and moved up to 8th in the standings.

I know Dale was not happy with his finish, but with this being the best finish he's had this season, I'm proud of how he raced today, and of how well he's meshing with Steve. Next week it's on to Texas!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Check it out!

I was surfing the web the other night and found this really cool app that I decided to add to the blog. It's on the right side of the page and lists the races, what channel they are on and what time the coverage starts!