Fastenal Returns to the Track with Dale Jr.
July 1, 2009AT DAYTONA – In 16 starts at Daytona, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has five wins, eight top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. He has led 481 laps and earned an average finish of 10.4. In his last Daytona outing in February, he finished seventh after a 24th-place start.
UNDER THE LIGHTS – Earnhardt Jr. led at least five laps in five of his six career night races at Daytona, for a total of 234 laps. In 2003 he led every lap (100) en route to victory in the Winn-Dixie 250.
QUALIFYING SUCCESS STORY – Although starting up front isn’t paramount to a strong finish at Daytona, it certainly helps. Each time Earnhardt Jr. has qualified in the top-10 for Daytona’s summer event, he has finished third or better, culminating into an average finish of 1.6.
NO. 5 IN VICTORY LANE – The most recent win at Daytona for the No. 5 Chevrolet Impala SS dates back to the summer of 2007 with previous Hendrick Motorsports driver, Kyle Busch. He led 65 laps in the victory.
DYNAMIC DUO – The JRM pair of Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski combined to lead 42 of 105 laps in last year’s night race at Daytona. In three Daytona races in which Keselowski is his teammate, Earnhardt Jr. has two top-three and one top-10 finish, with an average finish of 4.3.
JUNIOR IN THE 5 CAR: Friday’s race will be the sixth of seven scheduled races for Earnhardt Jr. in the Nationwide Series this year. In his first five races, he has an average start of 14.6 and an average finish of 10.0. Earnhardt Jr. has two top-fives (Talladega and Las Vegas) and three top-10s in five races this season. His final race in the No. 5 this year will be Sept. 5 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Degree V12 Chevrolet. Degree is the title sponsor for the race.
CHASSIS INFO – The No. 5 Fastenal team will run chassis 279. This chassis lead the field for eight laps at Talladega last spring and finished fifth.
THE SUNSHINE STATE – Front tire carrier Ryan Buscaglio, calls the sunshine state home. Buscaglio hails from Lake Worth, Fla., just outside of West Palm Beach.
EARNHARDT JR.: “Of all the tracks I go to, this is my favorite. The place is special to me for a lot of reasons. These restrictor-plate tracks are so much fun when you have Tony Eury Sr. on your side, because he knows this stuff better than anyone. Even though he’s Brad’s crew chief, I feel we all benefit from having him in a JR Motorsports shirt. I know him and Brian Campe (crew chief for No. 5 team) work closely together, and it’s an advantage. Brad has done well at these plate races, too. I feel like the JR Motorsports cars can contend for a win any time we show up at a restrictor-plate track.”
EARNHARDT JR (on running for Fastenal): “This is Fastenal’s fifth race on board with us, and my second in the Fastenal car. We’ve had some really good races with Fastenal, but not locked down the solid finishes like we should have. I think (Scott) Wimmer has done better than any of us. I look forward to running this car – it’s a sharp looking car. I think it will look good under the lights at Daytona this weekend. Hopefully we’ll give the Fastenal folks something to cheer about.”