POINTS AFTER DAYTONA: After finishing eighth last weekend at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. advanced one position to fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. He trails leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson by 110 points.
HONORING SEAN COLLIER: Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Johnson and Earnhardt will carry a special decal this weekend on their Chevrolet SS race cars in memory of Sean Collier, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer who was killed April 18 in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. Collier’s brother, Andrew, is a machinist in the Hendrick Motorsports engine department. The decal resembles the MIT police badge and includes Collier’s badge number in the center. New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host first responders and their families during the track’s July 11-14 NASCAR weekend.
AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: In 27 Cup starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Earnhardt has seven top-five finishes and 11 top-10s. He has an average start of 16.4 at the 1.058-mile oval and an average finish of 16.1. The driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet SS has led 351 laps there.
LAPS IN THE TOP 15: Earnhardt ranks fifth among drivers for laps run in the top 15 at New Hampshire, according to NASCAR’s loop data statistics. During the last 16 races at the 1.058-mile oval, the Kannapolis, N.C., native has spent 73.5 percent of his laps (3,505 of 4,768 total) running in the top 15.
DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt is ranked sixth in the driver rating category at New Hampshire with a score of 96.9 during the past 16 races at the track. 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.
NEW HAMPSHIRE CHASSIS: Crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-721 this weekend at New Hampshire. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a 10th-place finish at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on April 27.
HENDRICK AT NEW HAMPSHIRE: In 36 Cup races (130 starts) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has nine wins, 39 top-five finishes and 60 top-10s. Most recently, Gordon won the pole position at the 1.058-mile track in September 2012. Gordon recorded the third-place result and finished inside the top 13 with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates Johnson (second), Kahne (fifth) and Earnhardt (13th).
LOUDON LEADERS: Three-time victor Gordon ranks first among drivers all-time at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with 16 top-five finishes, 21 top-10s and 1,316 laps led. Johnson, also three-time winner at Loudon, ranks second among active drivers with an average finish of 9.5.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS (ON NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY.): “New Hampshire is track I enjoy racing on. I’ve really loved running there. It is so challenging to pass with how the car has to roll the center. You work so hard trying to get that to happen all day. I enjoy short-track racing, and the corners and the speeds there kind of lend itself to that style. It’s just a little bit frustrating that I haven’t won there because I feel like it’s a track that I should be capable of doing that.”
-Hendrick Motorsports PR