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Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: Watkins Glen

Hendrick Motorsports | Race Preview Published 8/5/2014
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RACE: Cheez-It 355 at The Glen
DATE: Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014
TRACK: Watkins Glen International
LENGTH: 2.45-mile road course
TV: ESPN (Coverage begins at noon ET)
RADIO: MRN Radio (Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. ET)

News & Notes

POCONO RECAP: Last weekend at Pocono Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. powered his No. 88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS to his 22nd career victory and third win of the 2014 season. It was Earnhardt’s second win at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania track this year and his first season sweep since 2002.

POINTS AFTER POCONO: The driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS currently ranks second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings after winning Sunday’s race at Pocono. He trails teammate Jeff Gordon by 17 points.

AT WATKINS GLEN: In 14 Sprint Cup starts at Watkins Glen (New York) International, Earnhardt has recorded two top-five finishes and three top-10s. He has completed 92.2 percent of all the laps he's attempted (1,165 laps of 1,264 total). The 39-year-old driver has led 46 laps there.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-747. Earnhardt first raced this chassis at Watkins Glen in 2012. Most recently, he drove this car to record a third-place finish at Sonoma Raceway in June.

SO FAR THIS YEAR: Earnhardt has recorded three wins, 10 top-five finishes and 15 top-10s in the first 21 Cup events this year. He leads all drivers with the most top-five finishes and is tied for first with Gordon with the most top-10s.

BACKWARD PIT STOPS: Earnhardt and other Cup drivers will enter pit road from the opposite direction on Sunday, and that will give the Nos. 48 and 88 pit crews a reverse view of the stop. Pit coach Chris Krieg plans to leave the front-tire changer/carrier combo and rear-tire changer/carrier combo in the same spots on the car. The athletes will pit the same parts of the car as they do on a typical race weekend.

ROAD COURSE STATS: In 29 combined Cup starts at Watkins Glen and Sonoma Raceway, Earnhardt has scored three top-five finishes, four top-10s and led 55 laps.

HENDRICK AT WATKINS GLEN: In 28 races (96 starts) at Watkins Glen, Hendrick Motorsports has six wins, 18 top-five finishes and 34 top-10s. Gordon ranks second on the all-time win list at WGI with four victories. He earned Hendrick Motorsports’ most recent victory at the road course when he won the 2001 event. With 233 laps led, Gordon is the all-time leader in that category at the serpentine track.

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 approximately 600 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres. Driver Geoff Bodine won the Martinsville Speedway spring race on April 29, 1984, marking Hendrick Motorsports’ first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Quotes

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (ON WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL): “I definitely have more confidence going into the Glen then I do Sonoma. Sonoma is a much more technical track and a lot more challenging for me as a driver. When we run the Glen, it’s straightaway then turn, straightaway then turn. I think I can be more of an asset to [crew chief] Steve [Letarte] and help him with the car more so then I can at Sonoma. I’m looking forward to it. I’m not going to get too overly confident. We are just going to go there with no pressure and have fun and try to get a great finish.”

Standings
After MyAFibStorycom 400
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Brad Keselowski 2059 0
2 -- Jeff Gordon 2052 -7
3 +2 Joey Logano 2049 -10
4 +2 Kevin Harvick 2047 -12
5 -2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2042 -17
6 -2 Jimmie Johnson 2041 -18
7 +1 Kyle Busch 2041 -18
8 +1 Denny Hamlin 2041 -18
9 +1 Kurt Busch 2039 -20
10 +1 Kasey Kahne 2034 -25
11 +3 Matt Kenseth 2034 -25
12 -5 Carl Edwards 2030 -29
Full Standings