|Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Sept. 22, at 4:30 p.m. local time in the New Hampshire Motor Speedway media center.
LOOKING FOR A LOBSTER: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has yet to win and claim the prize rock lobster traditionally given away at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS has racked up some solid stats at the 1.058-mile oval. In 34 starts, he has eight top-five finishes, four of which have come since his transition to Hendrick Motorsports. He missed both races at New Hampshire last year while recovering from a concussion, but he’s scored top-10 results in five of his last nine starts at the Loudon, New Hampshire, facility. While his career average finish at the track is 15.4, in his most recent nine races dating back to 2012, the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS has improved that number to an average finish of 11.6.
DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics since 2005, Earnhardt has the sixth-best driver rating among active drivers at New Hampshire with an average of 96.4. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
LOOP DATA: Additionally, NASCAR’s loop data stats have Earnhardt ranked second among active competitors in quality passes (743) and third among active competitors in green-flag speed (125.116 mph) and green-flag passes (1,321). The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native ranks sixth in average running position (11.483) and ninth in fastest laps run (274). Earnhardt is fifth on the chart for laps run in the top 15 at New Hampshire with 5,180 laps. Since 2005 at the 1.058-mile oval, the 42-year-old has spent 75.3 percent of his laps running in the top 15.
NATIONWIDE PET PROMOTION: This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Earnhardt will have a four-legged friend riding with him on the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS for the first time. Marshall, a 1-year-old German shorthaired pointer from Stone Mountain, Georgia, was the winner of Nationwide’s Paws and Racing Sweepstakes. His image will be featured on the TV panel of the No. 88 Chevy. When Nationwide launched the sweepstakes earlier this summer, tens of thousands of pet owners from across the country posted photos of their pets on the Paws and Racing website. Marshall was selected at random as the winner. Marshall’s owners will be treated to a VIP race experience this weekend, including travel to the New Hampshire race and a meet-and-greet with Earnhardt. Additional first prize winners will receive a Nationwide pet accessory kit plus a No. 88 Nationwide die-cast car signed by Earnhardt.
‘TRACKSIDE LIVE!’ APPEARANCE: Earnhardt will be stopping by the “Trackside Live!” stage at New Hampshire for a portion of Saturday night’s show, which runs from 6 to 7 p.m. local time, for a Q&A session. “Trackside Live!” will also be broadcast on NASCAR.com. The stage is located across from the Fan Zone near the entrance to the infield tunnel.