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Fans Behind Dale Jr.

Oct. 3, 2002

Issue #7  

   Dale Jr. on cover    of Dega souvenir    program.
"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.



"Forget the money. I love running at Talladega, and I'd get out there and run just as hard if they paid me a dime to win. The team needs to win, I need to win, DEI needs to win. This is one of my favorite places to race, and it's just the most intense feeling to be running three-wide lap-after-lap. You have to be totally aware for 500 miles so you know who's beside you, who's behind you and who's ahead of you. Of course, my strategy is to get up front and then stay up front. Let's go for it. I know a lot guys sit around for the first 450 laps and then try to race at the end, but that's not me and that's not my team. We're gonna lead 'em all we can. I don't think it's bragging to say we should be the favorite going in - we have always been up front here and I know we have no intention of giving up that trend."
        Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Talladega race preview)

Oct. 6: EA Sports 500, Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Ala.
TV: 12:30 p.m. NBC; RADIO: 12:30 p.m. MRN

Dale Jr. at Dega
Winston Cup starts: 6; best start: 3 (Sept. 2000); best finish: 1 (April, 2002; Sept, 2001)
This race last year: Start: 6; finish: 1; laps led: 67

The Bud team has won the last two races at Talladega, including this event last season. In six starts, they have led five races for a total of 259 laps, including an even 200 laps in the last two events. (The only Talladega race they did not lead was their first race here in 2000 after being involved in a crash on the first lap.)

The No. 8 Budweiser team and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are eligible to win a $1 million bonus from Winston if they are able to win this weekend at Talladega. The team has won the last two races at Talladega, including this event last season, where the earned the $1 million bonus for the first time.

"Wait… a million dollars? OK, I take it back. DON'T forget the money… I might need a new tractor for the land I just bought. What makes that deal (the Winston bonus) so cool is not that the teams win a million, but that a fan can win a million as well. You know, it's a lot of money for anybody, but can you imagine making $40 thousand a year and all of a sudden getting a million dollars? That has to be unbelievable." (From Dale Jr. race preview)

Quick fact
If Dale Jr. wins, he will become just the second driver to win three straight Winston Cup events at Talladega, joining Buddy Baker who swept the events in 1975 and won the 1976 spring event.

Weekend schedule:
Oct. 4: Bud Pole qualifying, 4 p.m. SPEED
Oct. 5: NWCS Happy Hour, 12 p.m., TNT

*All times eastern

"Somehow we took a first or second place car and finished sixth... NASCAR needs some sort of award or stat for passing the most cars, because I think we would have won that award at the last five or six races. We had a nice little race car - a great car -- today. We were never too far off of the set-up all afternoon. At times, it was really easy to pull up and pass cars in traffic." (From Kansas race report)

Sept. 29: Dale Jr. and the Bud team finished 6th at Kansas.
Laps led: 10; Started: 1st

2002 Winston Cup stats
    Poles: 2
    Starts: 29
    Wins: 1
    Top 5s: 7
    Top 10s: 11
    Current points standing: 13th (-528 from leader)

  • Dutton's Dozen: Earnhardt and Waltrip superspeedway superiority; Monte Dutton, (10/3)
  • Another Earnhardt moving to put career in higher gear; Sandra McKee, (10/2)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.: "I love running at Talladega..."; Neal Sims, Birmingham News (10/2)
  • Kannapolis set for Earnhardt tribute; (10/1)
  • Dale Jr. the obvious pick for Talladega; Amanda Brahler, (10/1)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr Pre-Talladega Winston No Bull Teleconference; (10/1)
  • NASCAR life never boring for native son; Topeka Capital-Journal (9/30)

  • Dale Jr. will race in the February Busch race at Daytona. He will drive a #8 Oreo/Ritz car that will be fielded by the joint venture between himself Teresa Earnhardt. [See the car]

  • Dale Jr. may test at Daytona in January. [more info]

    Dale Jr. Pit Board Charity news
    This week, the Pit Board Charity will donate $450 to Speedway Children's Charities. The year-to-date total is $18,529. For information on donating, visit the Web site.

  • Oct. 3: First Annual Sterling Marlin Race for Charity, benefitting The Hope House in Columbia, Tennessee. The benefit, scheduled for from 4-6:00 p.m. at Columbia State's Billy Webster Gym, includes a NASCAR/celebrity lineup of great drivers, including Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Michael Waltrip, Steve Park, as well as Columbia's own Sterling Marlin. Only 400 admission tickets will be sold at $25 each. These tickets will be good only for autographs for the four drivers. There will also be 100 tickets sold at $75 each, which will include the autograph, as well as a photo with the drivers. Tickets went on sale on Friday, September 13. They will be available at by calling The Sterling Marlin Fan Club at 931-363-0433.

    Oct. 24: Appearance at The Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World store at Discover Mills Mall in Lawrenceville, Ga. Autograph seekers must fill out a form between 9 a.m. & 1 p.m., and 250 people will be selected to get an autograph. The actual session is from 5-7 p.m. For information, call the store at 678-847-5500.


  • On last Friday's Trackside (SPEED channel, check local listings), Mike Joy said Dale Jr. would be a guest on the Talladega edition of Trackside this Friday (Oct. 4). Not sure if it has been confirmed.

  • Kerry Earnhardt will be appearing at Racing USA's store at the Galleria in Alabama on Oct. 3. Kerry should arrive at 6:30 PM, but Racing USA will give out tickets for autographs beginning at 7:00 a.m.

    Have information on a Dale Jr. appearance? 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!

  • Coca Cola Racing Family: Dale Jr. is a member of Coca Cola's 'extended family.' This site is a great place for photos, games, appearance information, and more.

    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 spotlight is on Laur from Ohio. She gives some really great insight on what it's like to be a Dale Jr. fan today. Here's what she's thinking: "I really love watching Jr. each week . I have been watching for a long time and have been impressed with him and his team. It breaks my heart that he is under so much pressure constantly. We always strive to exceed expectations. The expectations set for Jr. are incredible and it must be hard to cope, especially with his disclosures about the California wreck. I am glad he still gets to "play". I loved hearing about "clearing the land"...the bush-hogs...four wheelers...and yes, God help me...the chainsaw, with a muffler yet...I can hear the Tim Allen grunts now! What a mental picture...I am cracking up just thinking about it." [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
    Will smaller fuel cells at Talladega lessen the chances of 'The Big One?' Oddly enough, I received only one response, and it came from 15-year-old Christie R. in Atlanta, Ga. She says she's afraid smaller fuel cells might increase the chances of 'The Big One' because "a lot of pit stops are made under cautions, which means restarts, and restarts can be seriously rowdy." She went on to commend NASCAR for doing whatever it takes and testing out various options to keep our favorite drivers safe. Thanks for the reply, Christie!

    This week: Should NASCAR add more races and/or make changes to the schedule to accomodate it? Speak Out

    Should there be a change on Dale Jr's crew?
    Cast your vote here. The final results will be posted here next week. If you have an idea for a poll question, please e-mail me.

    Last week's poll
    Should Jr. run in more BGN races next year? 50% of voters said 'yes,' while 25% said 'no' and 'not sure.' Thanks to all who voted!

    Trivia question
    Congrats to Shannon of Oregon who was the first to correctly answer last week's question: Dale Jr. started (and finished) in this position in a 1998 NASCAR exhibition race in Japan. 6th (Editor's note: Dale Sr. started 8th and finished 8th in that same race.)

    This week's trivia
    Dale Jr. got his third straight victory of the 1999 Busch season here. 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

    Describe the most interesting piece of Dale Jr. memorabilia you've come across.
    Amy K in New York said she was once touring a flea market and ran across Dale Jr. doorknobs, in the shape of an 8. They now adorn her bathroom cabinets.
    Another New Yorker, Paula R., said she uses her Dale Jr. & Sr. salt & pepper shakers every day. (I wonder which one is salt and which one is pepper?)

    This week's challenge
    Oct. 10 is Dale Jr's birthday. If you were going to give him one gift, without cost in mind, what would it be? Keep in mind it should be something for 'the guy who has everything.' Some of the best replies will be in the next issue.

    It's Dega, baby!
    In light of last week's confession by Dale Jr. that he suffered a concussion after a vicious California wreck, the articles (good and bad) kept coming. I could have included them in this week's newsletter, but I really think this is something that needs to be put to rest. I commend Mike Helton for stepping forward and making a change to ensure it doesn't happen again. If anything good came from Jr's admission, it was that. But personally, I think the media went a little too far.

    Kansas is an awesome track (unless you're one of the 'wall huggers'), and Jr. proved he has what it takes to be The Dominator of speedways. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be this year, but I can't see Jeff G. taking home a third straight win at the still-fresh track win next year.

    That being said, excitement is in the air in NASCAR country, and Jr. fans are anxiously awaiting that moment when Jr. raises his arm in triumph, winning a cool No Bull million, and winning it for a fan as well. Jr. should be the clear cut favorite going into this weekend's race.

    With the off-season coming up, I'm looking at revamping the FBDJ Web site. I'll be sending out a survey later this week to everyone who receives this newsletter. Please take time (if you wish) to read it and give me some feedback. Without the fans, there obviously wouldn't be a reason for Fans Behind Dale Jr, so your input is important!

    Til next time, go Junior!

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