Find the Latest News on Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: Darlington

JR Motorsports | Race Preview Published 4/8/2014

EVENT: Bojangles' Southern 500
DATE: Saturday, April 12, 2014
TRACK: Darlington Raceway
LENGTH: 1.366-mile oval
TV: FOX (Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET)
RADIO: MRN (Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET)

News & Notes

POINTS REPORT: Dale Earnhardt Jr. currently ranks sixth in the driver standings. He trails leader and teammate Jeff Gordon by 31 points. After seven NASCAR Sprint Cup races in the 2014 season, Earnhardt has recorded one win, four top-five finishes and four top-10s.

AT DARLINGTON: In 19 Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Earnhardt has recorded three top-five finishes and eight top-10s. He has completed 98.4 percent of all laps he's attempted at the 1.366-mile track (6,467 laps of 6,571 total) and has led 171 of those laps. Earnhardt matched his best Darlington finish in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in 2008 after scoring a fourth-place result. He previously finished fourth there in March 2002.

LOOP DATA: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks eighth among drivers in laps run in the top 15 at Darlington. During the last nine races there, the Kannapolis, N.C., native has spent 68.8 percent of the events (2,277 laps of 3,310 total) running in the top 15. Earnhardt also ranks eighth in the average running position category with a 12.2 average spot.

DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks 10th in the driver rating category at Darlington with a score of 91.4 during the past nine races. The driver rating is a formula that combines the following categories: wins, finishes, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum points a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-745. Earnhardt last raced this chassis to a 24th-place finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in March.

TESTING: Earnhardt and the No. 88 National Guard team are scheduled to participate in a Goodyear Tire test this Tuesday and Wednesday at Michigan International Speedway.

HENDRICK AT DARLINGTON: In 51 events (158 starts) at Darlington Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports has earned 14 wins, 42 top-five finishes and 68 top-10s. Jimmie Johnson most recently won at the historic track on May 12, 2012, to claim Hendrick Motorsports’ 200th Sprint Cup victory. Gordon leads all active drivers with seven wins, 19 top-five finishes, 22 top-10s, a 6.8 average start and 1,736 laps led at the 1.366-mile oval. Kasey Kahne leads all active drivers there with four pole positions.

30TH ANNIVERSARY: In 2014, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 30th anniversary in NASCAR. The organization began in 1984 with five employees and 5,000 square feet of work space. It has grown to more than 500 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres. Driver Geoff Bodine won the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway spring race on April 29, 1984, marking Hendrick Motorsports’ first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

30TH SWEEPSTAKES: To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Hendrick Motorsports is giving away 30 prizes in 30 days from March 27 to April 25. The sweepstakes launched at In addition to 30 daily prizes, fans can enter to win one of the four grand prizes: the special-edition 30th anniversary firesuits worn by Hendrick Motorsports drivers Kahne, Gordon, Johnson and Earnhardt recently at Martinsville Speedway.

After Ford EcoBoost 400
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 +3 Kevin Harvick 5043 0
2 +1 Ryan Newman 5042 -1
3 -2 Denny Hamlin 5037 -6
4 -2 Joey Logano 5028 -15
5 -- Brad Keselowski 2361 -2682
6 -- Jeff Gordon 2348 -2695
7 -- Matt Kenseth 2334 -2709
8 +2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2301 -2742
9 -- Carl Edwards 2288 -2755
10 -2 Kyle Busch 2285 -2758
11 +2 Jimmie Johnson 2274 -2769
12 +2 Kurt Busch 2263 -2780
Full Standings