Dale Earnhardt Jr. Talks Daytona ReturnBy: Ellisha Rader Mannering - July 2, 2014
It’s almost time for the Daytona 500 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. plans to take home another win. He knows better than anyone that winning takes a plan and some strategy and Earnhardt has been preparing for the race all year.
While some drivers may not want to reveal their secrets, Earnhardt was happy to share some details about his plans for the race and what the race means to him personally.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Earnhardt said Saturday night after his fifth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway. “Daytona in July, man. Great weather, kind of a laid-back weekend. Hopefully the cars are sliding around a little bit and we’re driving them a little bit in this race. I’ve won there before, but you love going there. Such a great place. You get a great feeling in your heart when you go there as a driver and as a person involved in the sport. It’s just a beautiful facility and a lot of great history there. I really appreciate that about it and that’s what makes me look forward to going there.”
Earnhardt also said that the Daytona 500 is one of the most challenging races, but one that he looks forward to and genuinely enjoys.
“Every time we go back to Daytona, we anticipate the asphalt sort of giving up more and more and hopefully giving us a bit of a challenge in the corners” he said. “The race itself, even though we’ve won the Daytona 500 and we’ve been successful there, the race itself is a challenge and hopefully one that we can succeed at. It’s not easy to win those plate races with the way the package works now. You’ve really got to be out front late and we can’t be coming down pit road and giving up track position. We’ve got to figure out a way to where we’re in the lead when there’s no more pitting to be done. … It seemed like in the 500, we had enough race car to really hold off anybody to battle for and keep the lead. We need that lead late in the race instead of being back there, stuck in a box, sort of, in traffic.”
Earnhardt has made plenty of mistakes in racing but he sees each of them as a learning experience and he and his crew plan to make sure that they are at their best on race day.
Are you excited to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. back at the Daytona 500 and do you think he will win this year?
Image via Wikimedia Commons