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Fans Behind Dale Jr.

Oct. 16, 2002

Vol. I ~ Issue # 9  

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

A special Challenge begins this week!

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.



"These short track races are like a championship fight. It feels like they've added two or three rounds of fighting to the usual distance. It's a marathon. You think you've got a great car and you're leading the race and sailing along and then you realize 'damn! I have 300 more laps to go!' "
        Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Martinsville race preview)

Oct. 20: Old Dominion 500, Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va.
TV: 12:00 p.m. NBC; RADIO: 12:00 p.m. MRN

Dale Jr. at Martinsville
Winston Cup starts: 5; best start: 2 (Oct. 2001); best finish: 5 (April, 2002)
This race last year: Start: 2; finish: 27

The Bud team has qualified in the top three at the last two races at Martinsville. At the most recent race there in April, Dale Jr. finished fifth, his best ever finish at the small Virginia track, and one of eight times this season that the team has ended the day in the top-five. The Bud team also led 41 laps in April, the first time they had led at Martinsville.

"I'm hearing a lot about the grinding they did to the surface of the turns, but I don't know what to expect as far as the race. I hear the race speeds may be up to a full second slower. I'll be happy if it's smoother than it was, but we'll see. I think most of the rubber builds up on the painted lines on the inside of the corners. That is always slicker than anything in the racing groove. I suppose we'll find out what it's like when we get there on Friday." (From Dale Jr. race preview)

Weekend schedule:
Oct. 18: Bud Pole qualifying, 3:05 p.m. SPEED/3 p.m. MRN
Oct. 19: NWCS Happy Hour, 12 p.m., SPEED
Oct. 19: BGN Sam's Town 250, Memphis Motorsports Park, 2 p.m. NBC/1:30 p.m. MRN

*All times eastern

"Another top 10 is great. We were fast, but just didn't do it in the pits. At the end there, we stayed out for a long time before pitting because we were out of sequence, and if we had caught a yellow flag, we would have put most all of those guys one lap behind us. But, we didn't get the yellow we were hoping for and I think we made up five or six positions in the last 20-some laps. It's fun to race like that when you have a fast car and you can make passes and race hard with guys like that. The field got a little spread out at the end, so we had to go out and just track down each guy one-by-one." (From Charlotte race report)

Oct. 13: Dale Jr. and the Bud team finished 9th at Charlotte.
Laps led: 6; Started: 13th
Money won:$89,300

2002 Winston Cup stats
    Poles: 2
    Starts: 31
    Wins: 2
    Top 5s: 8
    Top 10s: 13
    Current points standing: 13th (-504 from leader)

  • Will the other Earnhardt ever make it to Victory Lane in Atlanta?; Atlanta Motor Speedway (10/16)
  • Earnhardt's hometown unveils statue; (10/15)
  • Photos from Earnhardt statue unveiling; (10/14)

    2003 paint scheme has paint schemes for all 3 DEI cars.

  • Received an e-mail that Dale Jr's cat Buddy is in the 2003 Purina calendar.

    Dale Jr. Pit Board Charity news
    This week, the Pit Board Charity will donate $400 to the Winston Cup Wives Auxiliary, and an additional $400 to Sherrill's Ford-Terrell Fire & Rescue. The year-to-date total is $20,417. For information on donating, visit the Web site. To read a press release about the PBC surpassing the $20,000 (!!!!) mark, click here.

  • 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.

    (Editor's note: Thanks to 'MagMaven' Laura for keeping us up-to-date on the latest magazines/etc. that Jr. makes an appearance in.)

  • Ramp (a men's magazine): In the premiere November/December issue, article titled 'NASCAR After Dale Earnhardt.' Laura said it didn't have pictures of Jr, but it had a picture of the Bud car, and a photo of the pit crew contest with the NYPD at Jr's Macy's appearance in August. A portion of the article was devoted to New Breed, of which Jr is the figurehead."

  • Stun (another men's magazine): "Need To Know NASCAR" article explains the sport and culture of NASCAR to an audience it assumes knows nothing about it. The tracks, the cars and teams, the points system, and the drivers (Junior mentioned, of course!) are all covered in this crash course on NASCAR.


  • "Young Guns--Celebrating NASCAR's Hottest Young Drivers" (a new release) by the Charlotte Observer ($17.95). There are eight drivers featured. Laura says "Junior gets 18 pages, with loads of awesome color photos! If you're any kind of Jr. fan, you will "race" to your local bookstore and order this book, if it's not on the shelves already"

  • "Fixin' to Git" (another new release) by Jim Wright ($26.95). Laura says "What I like about this book is that the author is not only a professor, but he's a die-hard NASCAR fan, and this book is all about busting the myths and misperceptions people have, who don't know or "get" NASCAR. He focuses not just on the sport, but the culture, the fans, etc... Jr. gets 10 mentions."

    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
    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 smaller fuel cells be used at every restrictor-plate race?

    Kelly, Ohio: The only noticeable difference was the fact that there were more pitstops, which did keep the race a little more exciting. Not that Talladega can get much more exciting. But as suspected, it didn't take long for the packs to become one huge wad again. I don't think it would hurt to use smaller fuel cells as Daytona in February, just to see if this is something that should become a regularity at restrictor-plate races.

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

    Should Jr. take on more of a leadership role at DEI now, or wait?
    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
    Would you like to have seen Tony Stewart challenge Jr. for the win at Dega? 47% of voters said 'yes,' while 53% said 'no.' Thanks to all who voted!

    Trivia question
    Congrats to Jenny, of Benton, La., who was the first to correctly answer last week's question: Dale Jr. captured his first Winston Cup win at Texas Motor Speedway, his ? WC career start. 12th

    This week's trivia
    Where did Dale Jr. clinch his first BGN championship? 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

    This week's challenge is located in the From the editor section.

    Where did HE come from?
    Congrats to Jamie McMurray for doing the unthinkable: winning in only his 2nd Cup start. Before him, in the modern era, Kevin Harvick held that honor, winning in only his 3rd, while Jr., as the answer to last week's trivia question states, won in his 12th. I find it odd that last week's question served as an omen of sorts to this week's race!

    With only 5 races left this season, I'm beginning to reflect on the season, going all the way back to the Daytona 500. The year held a lot of promise for our favorite driver, and while it hasn't gone as planned, he's gained not only more fans, but more respect from all sides. Jr. and team have proven several times that anything is possible with a little persistence and no looking back.

    That being said, I'm putting out a call to you, the readers of this newsletter, to begin looking back on the season. Starting with the next newsletter, if I receive any responses, I'll begin including your reflections in the FANS section. They don't have to be Jr.-related, so go ahead and share whatever is on your mind.

    Also, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of ARCA driver Eric Martin, killed in an accident last Thursday at Lowe's, and also to Deborah Renshaw. On behalf of FBDJ, I've sent Eric's family and Deborah a card.

    Til next time, go Junior!

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