Found September 15, 2012 on
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start from the back of the field in Sunday's Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway -- the first race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup -- because of a post-qualifying engine change.
Earnhardt, seventh in the point standings, qualified fourth on Saturday, but his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team then elected to change engines, automatically putting Junior in the back.
"I don't think we are super concerned," crew chief Steve Letarte said. "We had a great car in practice and qualified really well, so we showed we have good speed.
"Fortunately, this is a race track that there are multiple pit strategies, and it's not a really simple, straightforward pit strategy to call. I think there will be a lot of opportunities to use our good pit stops and place on pit road to get back towards the front."
Earnhardt echoed Letarte's "good speed" assessment. Following qualifying, he described his car as "awesome, real good grip." He was "happy" with his car on Friday and felt the car is good enough to finish in the top five on Sunday. However, that was before the engine change.
"The car is good, it's got good speed," Earnhardt said. "We liked the changes we were making, like the way the car was responding. We got a good starting spot. Should be able to maintain our track position all day and have a good time."
Earnhardt has enjoyed success on the 1.5-mile track in the past. He won at Chicagoland in 2005 and finished third last year.
For Sunday, Letarte selected the 38th pit stall -- the seventh stall off of Turn 4 -- with an opening in front.
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JR Motorsports has released Tony Eury Jr. from his duties as crew chief for Danica Patrick and the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Nationwide Series team.
Eury was told Monday morning he was being replaced by Ryan Pemberton. Eury joined JRM after working as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Sprint Cup team at Hendrick Motorsports.
"They're trying to fix the competition...
JR Motorsports has parted ways with crew chief Tony Eury Jr., two weeks after his father was ousted as competition director.
Eury Jr. was crew chief for Danica Patrick and is a partial owner of the Nationwide Series team.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in a statement Monday that a difference in ideas for the direction of the company led to Eury's departure. He and Eury Jr. are cousins...
The following is a statement from Dale Earnhardt Jr., founder and owner of JR Motorsports, regarding the departure of crew chief Tony Eury Jr.:
“Unfortunately Tony Jr. is no longer with the company. I had hoped he would be here for a long time, but as we’ve discussed the direction of JR Motorsports moving forward, it was clear our differences in ideas were too vast to overcome...
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If Dale Earnhardt Jr plans to start the NASCAR Chase off with a win he will have to do it from the back of the field. After qualifying fourth for Sundays race, Earnhardts crew chief Steve Letarte opted to change the engine of the No. 88 Chevrolet.
“I don’t think we are super concerned,” Letarte said. “We had a great car in practice and qualified really well, so we showed...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. opened the Chase with an eighth-place finish…
JOLIET, Ill. – Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Sam Hornish Jr. overcame an early speeding penalty that put him a lap down in today’s GEICO 400 here at Chicagoland Speedway to finish 11th. It marked his third consecutive 11th-place finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition.
“Another solid day for the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge,” Hornish said after the race. “We had a fast race car...