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Fans Behind Dale Jr.

Sept. 25, 2002

Issue #6  

   Photo by Greg Gage
"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.



"It’s like any new track, you hope and expect that the second year around will be a much better surface to race. We had some wild moments last year getting out of the groove and just hanging on for dear life. The low groove had so much grip that you could just stay down there and haul butt. No one wanted to go to an outside groove."
        Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kansas race preview)

Sept. 29: Protection One 400, Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, KS.
TV: 12:30 p.m. NBC; RADIO: 12:30 p.m. MRN

Dale Jr. at Kansas
Winston Cup starts: 1; best start: 22 (Sept. 2001); best finish: 33 (Sept. 2001)
This race last year: Start: 22; finish: 33

Dale Jr. and the Bud team led three laps in last year’s inaugural race at the Kansas track, and were in the third position when a blown tire sent the Budweiser car hard into the outside wall.

"We had a great car here last year. It would almost drive itself. I was so mad when we hit the wall (after a blown right front tire) because the car was haulin’ and we were really going to challenge for the win. We’ve tested at the Kentucky track several times, so we’ll see how it translates to the Kansas track." (From Dale Jr. race preview)

Weekend schedule:
Sept. 27: Bud Pole qualifying, 4 p.m. SPEED
Sept. 28: NWCS Happy Hour, 1 p.m., TNT
Sept. 28: NBS Mr. Goodcents 300, 2 p.m. TNT/MRN

*All times eastern

"We had some awesome pit stops early on. We had a great pit stall and we were kickin' butt getting in and out. People like Tony (Stewart) were pitting in the middle of the pit lane, so even if their stop was quick, it was like bumper cars for a lotta guys leaving the pit lane. The car was really fast early on, but after awhile it would be bouncing and skating through every corner. Eventually it was just out of control." (From Dover race report)

Sept. 22: Dale Jr. and the Bud team finished 24th at Dover.
Laps led: 116; Started: 3rd

2002 Winston Cup stats
    Starts: 28
    Wins: 1
    Top 5s: 7
    Top 10s: 10
    Current points standing: 14th (-579 from leader)

Dover high point: Another great pre-race show. But the best part of the day was watching Dale Jr. sail around the track in the lead.
Dover low point: Two words: evil tires. From Jr's Dover race report: "...that set [of tires] must have been made a couple of years back. Maybe they needed to get rid of some old ones that were sitting in the warehouse or something."

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

  • Earnhardt Jr. says he hid concussion; USA Today (9/25)
  • Earnhardt Jr. ponders adulthood; USA Today (9/25)
  • It's not easy rollin' with Junior; Kansas City Star (9/22)
  • Marlin is Earnhardt Jr.'s title pick; That's Racin (9/21)
  • A groove of his own: Junior faces difficult task in making a name for himself; (9/19)

  • #48-Jimmie Johnson, #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #31-Robby Gordon, #15-Michael Waltrip, #4-Mike Skinner, #1-Steve Park and #55-Greg Biffle capped a two week Cup test period at Kentucky Speedway that saw 16 series drivers, including five of the top 10 points leaders, prepare their machines for the season-ending eight-race run.

  • The NASCAR Winston Cup Most Popular Driver Award voting has become a two-man race between Bill Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Elliott trailed in the early going in the voting, which is being held online at (link below). However, a surge in voting by fans has pushed Elliott into a near-tie with Earnhardt Jr. Nearly 2,000,000 votes are in, and voting continues until Nov. 17.

    Dale Jr. Pit Board Charity news
    This week, the Pit Board Charity will donate $408 to Give Kids the World. The year-to-date total is $18,079. For information on donating, visit the Web site.

  • Sept. 26: Jade Gurss will be signing copies of "Driver #8" in Topeka, KS; 5 until 7 p.m. at the Barnes and Noble bookstore on Wanamaker Road.

    Sept. 27: Dale Jr. will be signing autographs at the Kansas City, Mo., Cabela's store (right next door to KS Speedway), 6 - 8:30 p.m. Info: 913.328.0322

    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.


  • Dale Jr. will make an appearance in a special one-hour event titled "NASCAR'S Fantastic Fantasy," scheduled to air on FOX on Sunday, March 2, 2003 at 1:30pm ET/10:30am PT, leading into the NASCAR Winston Cup race in Las Vegas, NV!

  • Dale Jr. is in the Oct. issue of GQ magazine.

  • The 2003 edition of NASCAR Thunder, with Jr. on the cover, is on shelves. The EA Sports release can be found anywhere video games are sold. (Editor's note: I saw it the other day at Toys 'R Us.)

    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!

  • TJ This site is currently under construction, but keep an eye out for it. TJ is making a move up the ladder in racing, and just won an Auto Inspector Cup Limited Stock race at Concord in a street stock owned by Dale Jr.

    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 Ted & Anita from Ohio. Here's what they have to say: "We receive emails from our membership in Club E Jr. In August this year we noticed that Dale Jr. would be testing at Kentucky Speedway on August 20. Hubby asked his boss for the day off since he had some unused vacation time and we took off on the 2 hour drive down there in hopes that we'd get a good observation spot to watch him test." [read more] (There is also a photo with this story, which is on the story page.)
    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
    Should fans be allowed in the garage area? Deb Tortorea from Daytona Beach: I have never had the privilege but personally I don't think fans should be allowed in there. Not even VIPs . There needs to be an area where the crews and drivers can just do their jobs. With all the PR & charity-related appearances the drivers, owners, and even the crews must do there is plenty of opportunity for fans to have access to them. I recently took advantage of pit passes at Daytona and it was a blast to say the least but the garages should be off limits to anyone but NASCAR officials, drivers, crews, & owners. I can't stand someone hovering over me when I'm at work, what they have to endure is ridiculous. Talk about distractions and how do they know someone isn't spying on what they are doing ? I don't blame Tony Stewart for getting upset. It would drive me out of my mind to have people pawing and shoving microphones and cameras in my face all the time. Yeah they knew that was part of the deal but it doesn't have to be everywhere, it should be confined to certain areas and I don't think the garage should be one of them. They have their coaches and stuff to get away but the garage should be considered their office and access should be to the teams only.

    This week: Will smaller fuel cells at Talladega lessen the chances of 'The Big One?' Speak Out

    Should Jr. run in more BGN races next year? (Editor's note: Jr. has said he'll run a very limited BGN schedule in his own car, with Steve Park and another as of now un-named driver manning the machine in other races.)
    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
    Did Jr's win at Dover last year help you heal after Sept. 11? 92% of voters said the win did help, while 8% said the win only helped 'somewhat.' 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. won his first Busch Series pole here, and finished 2nd in that race behind which fellow Cup driver? Bristol, Elliott Sadler

    This week's trivia
    Dale Jr. started (and finished) in this position in a 1998 NASCAR exhibition race in Japan. 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

    Tell me in 20 words or less why Dale Jr. is the most popular driver.
    The best answer came from Laurie: Talent, determination, pride, adventure, imagination, faith, open-mindedness, exhilaration, laughter, honesty, joy, sincerity, passion, courage, excellence, teamwork = success & magic.

    This week's challenge
    Describe the most interesting piece of Dale Jr. memorabilia you've come across. Some of the best replies will be in the next issue.

    A sunny day, but....
    What can I say? Once again our favorite driver was bitten by the bad luck bug, and all because of a bad set of tires. Onward and upward though, and in two weeks, south to 'Dega. No explanation necessary. We'll see you in Victory Lane, Jr.

    A big pat on the back to T.J. Majors and the DMP. Majors piloted a street stock car owned by Dale Jr. to Victory Lane in Concord (NC) on Saturday night. The weekend wasn't a complete downer for the Posse.

    I'd like to say thanks to everyone who has e-mailed nice words about the newsletter. I've managed to turn my love for NASCAR and journalism into a cool hobby, plus I've gotten to correspond with some great folks. Thanks, guys. Keep the letters coming!

    Til next time, go Junior!

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