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Fans Behind Dale Jr.

Oct. 23, 2002

Vol. I ~ Issue # 10  

   Photo by
   Robert Kurtycz
"The road to victory requires the heart of a champion."

Welcome to the "Fans Behind Dale Jr." newsletter. You are receiving this newsletter because you requested a subscription. Unsubscribe instructions are at the end of this newsletter.

Fans Behind Dale Jr. is a weekly newsletter spun off the
Web site devoted to the driver and his fans. Get updated information on Dale Earnhardt Jr., including race information, news, appearances, where to find Dale Jr. on the Web, and more.



"Atlanta is great. It's no secret that the faster it is, the better I like it. We've always run really well here, but crazy stuff kind of cost us a couple of times when we should have won. The team is on such a roll right now. This is what we should have/could have done all season. We were second there in the spring, and I think we traded the lead with Tony (Stewart) about five times. It was great race from my seat... That kind of fun is the stuff that the fans love, and it's cool for me and the team too."
        Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Atlanta race preview)

Oct. 27: NAPA 500, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Atlanta, Ga.
TV: 12:00 p.m. NBC; RADIO: 12:00 p.m. MRN

Dale Jr. at Atlanta
Winston Cup starts: 6; best start: 1 (Nov. 2001); best finish: 2 (March, 2002)
This race last year: Start: 1; finish: 7; led 171 laps

The Budweiser team has consistently run at or near the front at Atlanta, leading 218 laps in six races, but strange things have prevented them from winning. Oddities include the spring race in 2000, when a telemetry cable for the television broadcast rubbed a hole in a rear brake line, causing a crash while Dale Jr. was running second. Last season, a flat tire knocked Dale Jr. out of a three-wide race for the lead with five laps to go in the spring event. After starting from the Bud Pole in this race last year, Dale Jr. was leading easily with 30 laps to go when a piece of debris became lodged in his eye, causing him to slow while driving with only one eye open. However, it is also the location where he led his first-ever lap in Winston Cup in 1999 and score a Bud Pole in 2001.

"Four-straight top-10s is cool. I think we have a realistic shot to keep that string going for the rest of the season, because no one has been better than this team for the past two months. Look how close we are to the top-10 in points- even the top seven or eight. We had such a slump through the summer that you just kind of throw your hands up and think it's over. But, now we really have a serious shot to get back into the top 10, maybe even match the eighth place we had last year." (From Dale Jr. race preview)

Weekend schedule:
Oct. 25: Bud Pole qualifying, 7:00 p.m. SPEED/7 p.m. MRN
Oct. 26: NWCS Happy Hour, 12 p.m., TNT
Oct. 26: BGN Aaron's 312, 1 p.m. TNT/1:30 p.m. MRN

*All times eastern

"It was a grind all day. It was fun and I think most all of the drivers did a helluva job. I did not want to give up third to Rudd but I did all I could to hold him off and he got me there on the last lap. There was only one groove - the high groove - and everybody figured out pretty early on that the only way to pass is to get up into the guy in front of you. I think everybody understood that, so it just became the way you had to pass. Everybody seemed to keep their cool mostly, but you had to use the corners of your car about every turn. You were either playing offense or defense each time." (From Martinsville race report)

Oct. 20: Dale Jr. and the Bud team finished 4th at Charlotte.
Laps led: 0; Started: 10th
Money won:$75,870

2002 Winston Cup stats
    Poles: 2
    Starts: 32
    Wins: 2
    Top 5s: 9
    Top 10s: 14
    Current points standing: 12th (-479 from leader; -78 from 10th)

  • NASCAR in Homestead; (10/23)
  • Junior rolling into Atlanta; (10/22)

  • In the ten races since Watkins Glen in August, the Budweiser team has scored more points than any other team, improving from 17th to 12th in Winston Cup points. In that span, the team has a victory at Talladega, two Bud poles, seven top-10s (plus an 11th place) and four top-fives. The Bud team has led more races this season (19 races/913 laps) than any other, and has more bonus points (110) than any other team.

    Winston Cup Points in the last 10 races
    1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1453
    2. Tony Stewart 1423
    3. Ryan Newman 1403
    4. Kurt Busch 1326
    5. Jimmie Johnson 1293

    Dale Jr. Pit Board Charity news
    This week, the Pit Board Charity will donate $535 to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Year-to-date total from PBC to VGJC: $3,448.00
    From weekly update: One of our members Dani, joined the AIDS walk last weekend, our members donated $165.00. We also had a challenge out, since Hermie qualified so well at Martinsville, members donated a litte more towards the Faison School of Autism in the amount of $150.00.
    The year-to-date total is $21,267. For information on donating, visit the Web site.

  • Oct. 24: Outdoor World-Atlanta: Sign up is Wednesday, Oct. 23, 6-10 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Only 300 people will be chosen for autographs, and autographs are limited to one per person. Must be present for 1:30 p.m. drawing, only one entry per person. To be one of the 300, come to the store and fill out an entry form for the 1:30 p.m. drawing. Dale Jr. will arrive at 5 p.m. and sign autographs for the 300 fans whose names were drawn. A special walk-through line for PHOTOS ONLY will also be available. Because of prior engagements, Dale Jr. will be leaving the store promptly at 7 p.m. and no personal pictures with Dale Jr. will be allowed..The #8 car will also be on display from 1-7 p.m. on Oct. 24, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. autographed Remington guns will be on sale.

    Oct. 29: Dale Jr. will be making an appearance at Dick's Sporting Goods in Matthews, NC from 5 to 7 p.m.

    Oct. 24: Kerry Earnhardt will be signing autographs at the Last Lap store in Kennesaw, Ga. Phone #: (678) 290-9875
    Also at this appearance: The Dale Earnhardt Memorial Trailer; #3 cutaway car that Dale won with in Atlanta; the 1997 Wrangler car that Dale drove; the #8 Gossamer car. Cars will be on display from Oct. 24 to Oct. 26.

    Have information on a Dale Jr. appearance or event? E-mail me and the information will appear in the next newsletter. Please note that I am not responsible for any misleading information. I only print what is given to me. In other words, don't kill the messenger!

    Have you found an unique or favorite Dale Jr.-related site? Let me know.

    VOTE! for Dale Jr. as the Most Popular Driver.
    Click the image. Remember you can vote daily.

    Fan of the Week
    This week's fan contribution was made by Barbara in Maine, who had some wonderful thoughts to share: "I believe Dale Jr. is fulfilling the legacy of his father wonderfully well. He is so talented. He also seems to be so humble, and down to earth. For me...Nascar and Dale Jr. have (sort of) given me a reason to enjoy life again. For the last 7 years have been in a deep depression because of the loss of my husband of 39 years. Couldn't seem to get over it. Then decided to retire when I turned 65 in 2000. Had all kinds of bad things happen, but started to watch the races to keep my mind busy." [read more]

    Fan photos and stories about their favorite driver can be found at the newsletter's Home site. Tell me why you should be Fan of the Week (think 'How bad have you got it?'). Every newsletter will feature a different fan. Or submit your story and/or photo and you might just see it here as part of a Fan of the Week feature.

    Speak Out
    Would you be interested in seeing NASCAR run at a dirt track?

    Jen, Maine: Are you kidding? As a girl who grew up around dirt tracks, I'd give my left eye to see the Winston Cup guys run on dirt! What will make it interesting is a.) most of them don't have any experience, or much at all; and b.) dirt tracks are just fun. Period!

    This week: Should there be more night races? Speak Out

    This week's poll
    Would you like to see Jr. run a Craftsman Truck Series race? If you have an idea for a poll question, please e-mail me.

    Last week's poll
    Should Jr. take on more of a leadership role at DEI now, or wait? 81% said he should wait, while 19% said he should do more now. Thanks to all who voted!

    Trivia question
    Congrats to Ted & Anita of Ohio who were the first to correctly answer last week's question: Where did Dale Jr. clinch his first BGN championship? Homestead (Editor's note: Jr. finished 42nd in that race due to a blown engine.)

    This week's trivia
    Dale Jr. clinched his second BGN championship here in 1999 and won how many races that year? If you know the answer and are the first to reply, you'll see your name here in the next newsletter. (Please include your location.) Submit answer

    No more shorts
    Martinsville marked the end of short-tracking this season, and I don't know whether to jump with joy or weep with sorrow. I like short-tracking as much as the next guy (who may not even like it all that much), for all it's beatin' and bangin' and driver-provin' ways. But then again, it doesn't give the fans any breathing room either.

    With four (sniffle) races left, I've decided how to spend the offseason: I'm redesigning the FBDJ Web site. Thanks to all of you who took part in the survey (and if you haven't yet, there's still time!). I got some great ideas, and plan on using a few of them.

    Til next time, go Junior!

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