Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, currently holds the second position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship standings after finishing 15th at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. He trails leader Matt Kenseth by 25 points.
2012 SEASON: Earnhardt maintained his streak of completing all 5,187 laps during the 2012 season by finishing on the lead lap last week at Daytona. He is the only driver to hold this distinction. Earnhardt, Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson lead the series with 13 top-10 finishes. After 18 races this year, Earnhardt has scored one win, seven top five-finishes and 13 top 10s.
AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: In 25 Cup starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has six top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. He has an average start of 16.8 at the 1.058-mile oval and an average finish of 16.7. Earnhardt has led 351 laps there.
LAPS IN THE TOP 15: Earnhardt ranks fourth among drivers for laps run in the top 15 at New Hampshire, according to NASCAR’s loop data statistics. During the last 14 races at the 1.058-mile oval, the Kannapolis, N.C., native has spent 74.5 percent of his laps (3,103 of 4,167 total) running in the top 15.
DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt is ranked fifth in the driver rating category at New Hampshire with a score of 96.5 during the past 14 races at the track. 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.
NEW HAMPSHIRE CHASSIS: Crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-721 this weekend at New Hampshire. This is a new chassis that has not been raced.
HENDRICK AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: In 34 Cup races (122 starts) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has eight wins, 34 top-five finishes and 53 top-10s. Jeff Gordon leads three statistical categories among drivers all-time there. He owns the most top-five finishes (15), most top-10s (19) and has led the most laps (1,304 total).
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on New Hampshire: “I really like New Hampshire, and it’s a lot of fun to race. There’s lots of ways to get around a corner. It is really hard to pass, but it is a fun racetrack, and I look forward to coming here every time we get the opportunity.”