Found September 13, 2012 on Start 'N' Park Blog:
Checker_oreilly_auto_d97a

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, will be seeded seventh to start the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. This is the fifth season and second straight in which Earnhardt has qualified for the Chase. The driver of the No. 88 Chevy has 2,003 points and trails leader Denny Hamlin by just nine markers going into the 10-race playoff, which begins this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

AT CHICAGO: In 11 Cup starts at Chicago, Earnhardt has one win, three top-five finishes and four top-10s. He has an average start there of 18.2 and a 14.8 average finish. He has completed 97.9 percent of all the laps he’s attempted (2,878 of 2,940 total) and has led 121 laps at the track.

WINDY CITY WIN: Earnhardt reached Victory Lane at Chicagoland Speedway on July 10, 2005. The then 30-year-old Earnhardt lined up 25th for the event and cracked the top 10 within the first 100 laps. He led the final 11 laps en route to securing the win.

LAPS IN THE TOP 15: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks ninth among drivers for laps run in the top 15 at Chicago. During the last six races at the 1.5-mile oval, the Kannapolis, N.C., native has spent 63.8 percent of his laps (1,195 of 1,872 total) running in the top 15.

DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt is ranked 11th in the driver rating category at Chicago with a score of 89.2. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, 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 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.

CHICAGO CHASSIS: Crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-726 this weekend at Chicago. Earnhardt raced this car twice this season at Pocono Raceway, notably recording an eighth-place finish in June.

HENDRICK AT CHICAGO: In 11 races (46 Cup starts) at Chicagoland, Hendrick Motorsports has two wins, 16 top-five finishes and 22 top-10s. Jeff Gordon earned Hendrick Motorsports’ first Cup win at the racetrack in 2006.

FOUR-FOR-FOUR: Kasey Kahne, Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Earnhardt all qualified for the 2012 Chase, marking the first time that Hendrick Motorsports has had all of its drivers earn spots in the postseason playoff. To date, the organization’s best overall result happened in 2009 when three of the four drivers qualified and finished one-two-three — Johnson won the Cup, Mark Martin finished second and Gordon took third.

TEAM EFFORT: Hendrick Motorsports is the only organization to have all of its drivers qualified for this year’s Chase. Kahne, Gordon, Johnson and Earnhardt account for one-third of the 12 spots. Johnson is seeded second with 2,009 points; Earnhardt is seeded seventh with 2,003; Kahne and Gordon, wild card recipients, will begin the Chase in 11th and 12th, respectively, with 2,000 points.

DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 AMP ENERGY/NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET (ON HIS CHANCES IN THE 2012 CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP.): “I feel we’ve got a good shot at it. We’ve been consistent all year long, and I think our chances are as good as they have ever been for me. I had a pretty good shot at it back in ’04, but I think this year is a better opportunity. We’ve got the team, and we’re poised to make a run at it. You’ve got to put the guys that have won the championship at the top of the list as the favorites but we are in the conversation, and we’re going to work hard to still be in that conversation at Homestead (Fla.).”

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Is Dale Earnhardt Jr Getting Married?

The National Enquirer posted a story online today saying that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is getting married to girlfriend Amy Reimann. Could it be? Is NASCAR’s most popular driver getting married at the end of the year? (photos and more after the click ...)

Earnhardt says Diet Mountain Dew scaling back

Dale Earnhardt Jr. says sponsor Diet Mountain Dew is going to ''back off a little bit'' next year, leaving a small gap to fill on Hendrick Motorsports' No. 88 Chevrolet. Earnhardt said Friday the majority of the season is set with the National Guard, but that there's a ''balancing act'' with multiple sponsors because everyone wants to be the...

Junior, Letarte have been on same page

Team building has been at the core of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s success this season. On Sunday, Earnhardt Jr. celebrated his second consecutive Chase for the Sprint Cup berth with his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports squad at the home of crew chief Steve Letarte. While Junior likely focused more on the Washington Redskins game than frolicking by the pool at Chez Letarte, the activity...

NASCAR sends championship contenders on Chase tour

Even standing alone in a Philadelphia sports bar, Kasey Kahne kept an eye on the competition. Kahne watched a Dale Earnhardt Jr. interview shown on the giant big screen TV before he answered questions from a pack of NASCAR fans. Drivers in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship crisscrossed their way across the country Tuesday to promote the 10-race playoff that will...

NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship wide open, but there’s one ‘popular’ pick

  Wide open. That’s how they’ll race. And that’s how this Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is shaping up. Twelve of the best drivers in the world congregated at the House of Blues in downtown Chicago today for the annual Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Day. Media outlets from across the country representing print, broadcast and online outlets participated, with one...

Who Ya Got?: Crystal Ball Cloudy On Chase Media Day

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Wide open. That’s how they’ll race. And that’s how this Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is shaping up. Twelve of the best drivers in the world congregated at the House of Blues in downtown Chicago today for the annual Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Day. Media outlets from across the country representing print, broadcast and online outlets participated...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.