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Fans Behind Dale Jr.

Sept. 4, 2002

Issue #3  

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

Dale Jr. has a busy weekend coming up, scheduled to compete in two races. Click here for information and to see the special paint scheme.

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.



"I thought we were going to win this one last year. We were in third place and the 29 (Kevin Harvick) and the 28 (Ricky Rudd) cars were beating on each other big time. I was kind of hoping they'd take each other out and I'd just slide on by with a wave. I went over to Victory Lane and congratulated Ricky… he had a big ol' surprised look on his face. That night is an example of fun racing. Yeah, I wanted to win, but you have to be happy when the car is good and team keeps you in contention all night long. If we're competitive and have a shot at the win is when I'm happiest out there, and we sure need to get back to having that opportunity each week."
        Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Richmond race preview)

Sept. 7: Chevy Monte Carlo 400, Richmond Int'l Raceway, Richmond, Va.
TV: 7 p.m. TNT; RADIO: 7 p.m. MRN

Dale Jr. at Richmond
Winston Cup starts: 6; best start: 2 (May 2002); best finish: 1 (May, 2000)
This race last year: Start: 8; finish: 3

Dale Jr. has been fantastic at Richmond, starting with two victories in the Busch Series. His first Winston Cup race there in 1999 resulted in the first top-10 finish for the No. 8 Budweiser team, and then they followed that up with a sparkling victory in May, 2000. It was the second win for Dale Jr. in only his 16th Winston Cup start, which tied him with Davey Allison as the quickest multi-race winners in NASCAR Winston Cup's modern era. In his first six Cup races at Richmond, he has recorded four top-10 finishes. (From Dale Jr. race preview)

Catch Dale Jr. in Friday's Funai 250 BGN race at Richmond (8 p.m. TNT/7:30 p.m. MRN). Along with brother Kerry, Jr. will be racing a special Looney Tunes paint scheme (pictured at left) featuring the big, orange and hairy monster Gossamer. (I don't know who he is either. See article below!)
Click here for a large view of the BGN car.

Weekend schedule:
Sept. 6: Bud Pole qualifying, 3 p.m. TNT/MRN
Sept. 6: NWCS Happy Hour, 6 p.m. SPEED
Sept. 6: Funai 250 Busch Series, 8 p.m. TNT/7:30 p.m. MRN

*All times eastern

Sept. 1: Dale Jr. and the Bud team finished 16th at Darlington Raceway. (Editor's note: Darlington was Jr's 100th Cup start. He finished 16th in his first Winston Cup race: the Coca Cola 600 in 1999.) Laps led: 0; Started: 15th

2002 stats
    Wins: 1
    Top 5s: 7
    Top 10s: 8
    Current points standing: 15th (-650 from leader)

Darlington high point: Rain delay coverage. Not as good as the FOX crew, but it was entertaining. (See low point)
Darlington low point: Maybe it's just me, but this race was boring, which is why the rain delay coverage was my high point. I don't often sleep through a race. In fact, I recall only sleeping through one other, and that was Pocono in June.

From: Deb Tortorea, Daytona Beach, Florida
Bristol high point: Drivers showing their passion and emotion when things do or don't go their way.
Bristol low point: Drivers throwing things at other drivers cars this season. No matter how justified or angry a driver might be this should be strictly fined by Nascar. I don't care what they throw, it is a potential distraction for the driver on the receiving end and will cause someone harm if it is allowed to continue.

If you have a high and low point from the weekend you'd like to share,
drop me an e-mail.

  • Earnhardt Jr. Ready For FUNAI 250 ; Richmond Int'l Raceway
  • Who is Gossamer?; Robyn Snell, (8/31)
  • Earnhardt Jr. stepping up to bolster on-track success; David Poole, The Charlotte Observer (8/31)
  • Name brings Junior increased scrutiny; Lee Spencer, The Sporting News (8/30)

    Other news
  • In the July/August issue of Sports Illustrated for Women, more than 15,000 female readers were polled to determine what male athlete they would like to see in a swim suit. Dale Jr. ranked seventh in the voting. Who came in first? Olympic gold medalist speed-skater Apolo Anton Ohno.

  • Dale Jr. may race the Oreo paint scheme again at Daytona in 2003. (Stay tuned!)

  • This came to me in e-mail: Give the man a break: a petition to give Dale Jr. a break, a day off known as 'Junior Appreciation Day.'

  • Sept. 4: Dick's Sporting Goods store, Chesterfield Plaza, Richmond, VA, 5 to 7 p.m. appearance
    The word: Dale Jr. (and Steve Park, among others) have finally officially signed to appear at Beach Bash 2002, but packages for this year's Bash have sold out. If you're planning on going and would like to share your experience, e-mail me when you return.

    Have information on a Dale Jr. appearance? E-mail me and the information will appear in the next newsletter.

  • Dale Jr. Pit Board Charity: All the information you need to get involved in a great effort that supports several charities (some picked by Jr. himself). Donations from Dale Jr's fans come from weekly challenges and contests. (Beginning with the next issue, I'll include updates on what the DJPB Charity is doing.)

    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 Ashley, in Chicago: "I'm 13 and Dale Jr. has been a good influence in my life. People have actually tried to tell me not to be a fan of his, to become a Gordon fan (like THAT's ever going to happen) because he is a better 'role model.' But I love Jr. He stands up for what he believes in. He has matured a lot since he started racing. He says what is on his mind. He had to live through great tragedy and opened up his life for all of us to see. I watch racing to see him win. My friends have started watching racing just to see Dale Jr. People may not like him, but I believe Jr. is a great person and I will be a fan of his for as long as he is racing (hopefully a long, long time)."

    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.


    What the heck was NASCAR thinking by fining Ward (Burton) $5000 after the Bristol incident? I'm a huge Jr. fan, but so were most of the people in stands that night, and we all heard their reaction: they love it when drivers are so passionate about their job that they get mad when it doesn't go their way. True, it was dangerous for him to approach the cars on the track, but who wants to see a wimpy race car driver, just wrecked, put his head down and walk away? Not me! I love this sport!
    Deborah, Decatur, Ill.

    Got something to say? If it's racing-related, it belongs here! Check out the contact section below for submission information.

    Would you like to see Dale Jr. race a Bud Light car? Cast your vote here. The final results will be posted here every week. If you have an idea for a poll question, please e-mail me.

    Last week's poll
    Which Dale Jr. paint scheme has been your favorite? No surprise here, but the ol' red Bud machine took the top spot with 32% of votes. Each of the MLB All-Star cars had 26% of the votes, while the 2002 Oreo/Ritz BGN car garnered 16%. My personal fave? The Oreo/Ritz machine. Thanks to all who voted!

    Trivia question
    Congrats to Antoinette of Louisville, Ky. who was the first to correctly answer last week's question: Dale Jr. spent time racing in the street stock division at this short-track (sister Kelley raced here too). Concord (Motorsport Park). Editor's note: Jr. was 17 at the time, and in a bit of foreshadowing, the car he raced at Concord was a red Chevy Monte Carlo that he built.
    A few fans e-mailed with the answer of Myrtle Beach Speedway (in SC). Jr. made his first Busch Series career start here on June 22, 1996. He finished 14th.

    This week's trivia
    Dale Jr. won his first BGN championship by how many points over Matt Kenseth? 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

    If you had to choose one song for Dale Jr. to listen to in the car during a race, what would it be?
    Jennifer R. of Phoenix, Az. suggested "L.A. Women" by Jim Morrison and "Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin. Several e-mails suggested the song "Without Me" by Eminem.

    This week's challenge
    This photo needs a caption! Click here to view the photo, then e-mail me with your caption! I'll select some of the best and include them in the next issue. Have fun!

    As I said in my 'low point' listed above, this race at Darlington was just a tad boring. I'm glad that Jeff Gordon's losing streak has ended (don't kill me!), and that we don't have to hear about it anymore. The live ARCA race from DuQuoin, Illinois on Monday was great though, with Tony Stewart closely chasing Frank Kimmel to the finish line. (Ken Schrader raced as well, along with some other Cup affiliates.) Does anyone else think NASCAR should consider running a Cup race on a dirt track at least once during the season? It would be a welcome sight for fans, and a lot dirty, I'm sure. Let me know what you think!

    It's been 16 races since Jr's last win (17 if you count The Winston). I'm still as much a fan now, if not more, as I was when he won at 'Dega. The Bud team has shown they have preservance and heart, despite the highly-publicized changes at DEI. I'm pretty sure they're on the upswing again and it's only a matter of time before race fans everywhere see them in Victory Lane.

    One more small note. On Trackside (usually on at 7 p.m. EDT on SPEED) this last Friday night, Jeff Gordon made his second consecutive appearance. Followed by...his second consecutive win. Do I see a pattern here?

    Til next time, go Junior!

    P.S. Contest update: I've come up with a contest, but since the racing season is almost over (boohoo), I decided to wait until the start of next season to begin the season-long contest. Details out soon!

    Look below for submission information.

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