Concrete or asphalt? Junior will take asphalt any day

Updated: September 30, 2009, 10:15 AM ET

AP Photo/Sandy Macys

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s chances of winning Sunday at New Hampshire went up in a cloud of smoke.

One-groove racing at the Monster Mile

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the keys to success at Dover International Speedway: "Dover has basically one groove, and it's right on the bottom. So trying to get around the bottom of the racetrack and trying to keep the nose down and keep the front of the car turning and gripping is really the most important thing. There's really not a second or third groove that works all day long. The guy that runs around the bottom and can do it the quickest is the best."

Lance McGrew, interim crew chief, on the challenges of running on concrete: "I never look at it as being much different. If anything, the track stays a little more consistent. You don't really fight, 'OK, it's sunny now so the track is going to free up or tighten up or whatever.' It's very similar to racing a regular asphalt track. There's a little more stability in the surface, and that kind of lends your setups to be a little more stable over time."

McGrew on how his relationship with Earnhardt has grown since the last Dover race: "I think it's going good. It's definitely been challenging because of the way he describes things, and the way I am used to things being described is different. So that's been an adjustment. But I think as a whole, at the racetrack we are performing better. We still aren't getting the finishes I feel like we deserve, but I'm definitely seeing progress."

Compiled from Hendrick Motorsports news release.



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Junior said it

"I like asphalt. Concrete's rough. You put joints in concrete, and eventually over time it turns out like an old deck that hasn't been treated and the joints sort of bend and flex and makes it real, real bumpy and rough. So I really like the asphalt better."

Junior on ESPN

By the numbers

1: Sprint Cup wins at Dover (Sept. 23, 2001)
4: Top-5 finishes at Dover in 19 career Cup starts
366: Number of laps led at the Monster Mile
88-526: The chassis the 88 team will run at Dover