NSCS Phoenix Preview: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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AT PHOENIX: In 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won twice and recorded four top-five finishes and five top-10s. He won back-to-back races in 2003 and 2004, when the venue hosted one event during the season. Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet Impala SS, has led 310 laps around the track.

'WHISKY RIVER' OPEN FOR BUSINESS: The public grand opening for Earnhardt's newest business venture -- a nightclub -- will be held April 18. The club is located at 210 East Trade Street in Charlotte's EpiCenter. Patrons can eat, drink, listen to a mixture of rock and country music and even ride a mechanical bull. Log onto www.whiskyrivercharlotte.com for more information.

DALE JR. 'THE REPORTER': In an effort to enlighten himself and his fans, Earnhardt has decided to forego the role of interviewee to play reporter for his official Web site. The interviews will be conducted monthly and featured exclusively on www.dalejr.com. Earnhardt's first interview was with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. and is available now. Look for his next installment -- an interview with Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick -- to be posted soon.

HENDRICK AT PHOENIX: Hendrick Motorsports won both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway last year. In the last two seasons, Hendrick Motorsports teams have combined to earn nine top-10 finishes at the one-mile track.

GET YOUR AMP: Earnhardt and his No. 88 Chevrolet currently are featured on cans of AMP Energy, which is launching three new types of energy drinks this month. The line includes AMP Energy Elevate (mixed berry flavor), AMP Energy Relaunch (citrus flavor) and AMP Energy Traction (grape flavor). Visit www.AMPEnergy.com for more information.


DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER OF THE NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON THE PHOENIX TEST.): "The test was horrible, but the tests aren't really a sign of how we run during the race. We always seem to rebound pretty well. The fact that we did struggle really puts all the guys and Tony Eury Jr. into overdrive when they go back to the shop. It's also a reality check for us so that keeps us motivated."

EARNHARDT (ON HIS SHORT TRACK SKILLS.): "I love short track racing, but short track racing is nerve-wracking. There are so many factors that go into it -- you can get run over at any time. You have to constantly be watching out for stuff to happen."

EARNHARDT (ON THE OPENING OF WHISKY RIVER.): "We've been working real hard on my new club, Whisky River. A lot of hard work has gone into this by a lot of people. I'm excited it's finally going to be open and look forward to hanging out there some."

TONY EURY JR., CREW CHIEF OF THE NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD/AMP ENERGY CHEVROLET (ON PHOENIX.): "Phoenix is unique. It's got a lot of banking when you go down into Turn 1. It's got a little dogleg in the back straightaway and then the other corner is really, really flat. You've got two obstacles there that you have to overcome. We have to have a soft flat-track package to get through Turns 3 and 4 to make it turn really well there, and then you drive down into a bank where you need spring and you need shocks. You always have to give up one or the other. You have to pick which part of the track you want to be good at."