Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Rallies to Finish Fourth at Bristol
Bristol, Tenn (August 20, 2010) – It was the "Tale of Two Races" for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. behind the wheel the No 88 Realtree Outfitters Chevrolet under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway. After a rocky start the first half of the race, he ultimate outcome was a very solid fourth-place finish in the Food City 250 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS).
"The Realtree Chevrolet ended up running real good there at the end," said Earnhardt, Jr. on pit road following the 250-lap/133.25-mile race. "We struggled a little bit on those last restarts being on the inside, you wanted to be up high. It seemed like if you restarted fourth (on outside of row two in a double-file restart) you were second by the time you came off of turn two. We didn't need that green-white-checkered there at the end sitting there in fourth spot. Maybe we could have gotten a few spots back but it is so hard to pass once you get in the top-five. But, feel good about the way we ran. The guys did a good job building the car and getting it ready. We made a lot of good adjustments tonight, good pit stops. I want to thank Realtree and all of our sponsors for supporting us."
In his first appearance with the Realtree Outfitters colors on his own JR Motorsports (JRM) entry, Earnhardt, Jr. was paired with former long-time crew chief Tony Eury, Sr. After qualifying in the 34th starting position, both driver and crew chief knew they had their work cut out for them. At the start of the race, the car wasn't up to the liking of either. It took less than 50 laps for Earnhardt, Jr. to be a lap down to the leader fighting a very loose, ill-handling race car.
"I really wasn't worried about getting a lap down," Earnhardt, Jr. continued. "I knew this race was going to have a lot of cautions and we could get a wave around or something. I really wasn't worried about it, we were thinking about staying out. I told Pops (Eury, Sr.) we were probably going to have 10 chances to get our lap back so no big deal. We just raced hard and got the lucky dog. The car was really bad loose on that first run. Then the next set of tires, it was great. I just drove right by all those guys trying to get the lucky dog. The car was fast. Real happy."
As the race progressed, every adjustment improved the car and Earnhardt, Jr. made steady progress toward the front of the field.
"I enjoyed racing out there because I was racing some of my buddies!" he concluded. "We weren't running really good at the start so it was really a lot of fun driving up through there and show them guys that we had a good race car because at the start of the race, it wasn't very good. We just drove right through the field up until that top-three. The No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and the No. 22 (Brad Keseloswki) were the class of the field, they were all night long."
When the checkered flag flew, the two-time NNS champion finished much better than he started and had a great time driving the Realtree Outfitters car to the best finish to-date.
Realtree Outfitters will return to the No. 88 at Dover International Speedway (Sept. 25) and Gateway International Raceway (Oct. 23). Elliott Sadler will return to the cockpit for the Dover race. An announcement will be forthcoming regarding the driver for the Gateway race.
The Realtree Outfitters/JRM five-race relationship was announced in June in conjunction with Delta Apparel – a leading activewear and headwear manufacturer. Realtree, the camouflage brand made famous by its long-running outdoor-themed television programming, recently signed Delta Apparel to an exclusive apparel and headwear licensing deal with its Realtree Outfitters brand.
Earnhardt, Jr. will participate in a video chat on August 31, 2010 on NASCARNationwideSeries.com. In conjunction with the chat, the site will feature a flip-cam video from the race weekend at Bristol for fans to enjoy.
Realtree is the world's leading camouflage designer, marketer, and licensor with over 2,000 licensees utilizing the Realtree camouflage brand. Thousands of outdoor and lifestyle products are available in Realtree camouflage patterns. In addition, Realtree is committed to supporting individuals and groups that work to ensure our outdoor heritage, the conservation of natural places, and the wildlife that resides there. In fact, Realtree is one of the nation's leading contributors to conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Realtree promotes its products and relationships widely on ESPN2, Outdoor Channel, and other television networks, as well as through Realtree.com and many other outlets. For more information on Realtree, visit www.realtree.com.
About Delta Apparel, Inc.:
Delta Apparel, Inc., along with its wholly-owned subsidiaries, M. J. Soffe, LLC, Junkfood Clothing Company and To The Game, LLC, is an international design, manufacturing, sourcing and marketing company that features a diverse portfolio of high quality branded and private label activewear apparel and headwear. The Company specializes in selling a variety of casual and athletic products through most distribution channels for these types of goods. Its products are sold to specialty and boutique shops, upscale and traditional department stores, mid-tier retailers, sporting goods stores, screen printers, and private label accounts. In addition, certain products are sold to college bookstores and to the U.S. military. Its products are also available direct to consumers on its websites at www.soffe.com, www.junkfoodclothing.com, and www.deltaapparel.com. The headwear products can be viewed at www.2thegame.com. The Company's operations are located throughout the United States, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico, and it employs approximately 6,500 people worldwide. Additional information about the company is available at www.deltaapparelinc.com.