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Chevy Chat: Dale Earnhardt Jr (Daytona practice).

Dale Earnhardt Jr only narrowly missed out on claiming a guaranteed front row starting spot for this weekend's season-opening Daytona 500, and the Budweiser Chevrolet driver had a lot to say as practice for the Twin 125s and the big race itself began.

Dale Earnhardt Jr:

on tyres:
"The tyres are wearing out pretty fast. Everybody has the same tyres so everybody is dealing with the same problem."

on handling the pressure of being the favourite:
"I just hang out. There's not much to it. But I don't know if I'm the favourite. I think [DEI team-mate] Michael [Waltrip] is the favourite. He's won two out of the last three years."

on working with John Andretti:
"We were just out there drafting together. He's a good team-mate. Some guys have their own agenda but, when you put him in the car, he knows how good a race car driver he is. He doesn't have anything to prove. If you give him a good car, he's going to run good. He's out there to help us and we're going to help him."

on strategy for the Twin 125s:
"You don't know that until the last lap. You just try not to crash and try to be toward the front. There are a hundred different ways. You don't know what the plan is until it's all laid out in front of you. If the cautions come out, you're going to come down and get tires more often. So we'll be pitting more often. Other than that, I don't know what else we have to worry about."

on the chance of teamwork between Earnhardt and Waltrip:
"I don't know. I haven't really worked with Michael in the draft since we've been down here. If we end up toward the front, we'll definitely be helping each other. You've got to help your team-mate before you help anybody else. So, if he's up there and I'm up there, there is a good possibility we'll be drafting."

on concerns over the Roush/Yates ford engine partnership:
"I don't think either one knew more than the other. You definitely like putting all your eggs in one basket and that's going to be more organisation and a smoother organisation. Their programme will be more powerful company-wise, but I don't know if they can actually build motors better than anybody else. Everybody knows about the same stuff."

on whether the union was the result of DEI/Chevy domination:
"I don't think so. I think they did it because Roush motors don't really run good anywhere. Maybe he just wanted somebody to build his motors for him."

on the new Chase for the Championship:
"I like it, I guess. I don't have a choice whether I like it or don't like it. I didn't think it was something that was necessary to change, but it's pretty exciting how it sounds. It'll be neat to see how the season plays out.

"It's uncharted territory. I don't know what we can expect. It's a tough sport for a driver going week in and week out and having to continue to mould himself and adjust himself to the pace of it. And now we've got to really realign everything with this new system. How do we race? What's the plan? What's the mentality going in now? We don't know."

on giving president Bush political advice during the Daytona 500:


Related Pictures

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Dale Earnhardt Jr, DEI Budweiser Chevrolet.
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Butterfinger/Coffeemate Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, leads Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 2, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, races to his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career win with a victory lap and checkered flag, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory with a wave of the chequered flag Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

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