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February 19, 2017

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Daytona Beach, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Dale Earnhardt Jr., the driver of the No.88 Nationwide Chevrolet, who has qualified second for the Daytona 500 and will start on the front row alongside his Hendrick Motorsports teammate. Dale, take us through your qualifying run out there.
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Ain't much to it. The car does all the work. You just kind of get to the‑‑ the transitions are kind of important as far as feeding the car into the corner and also running as tight as you can on the apron without bouncing the skirt off the apron or giving up any speed, or just time adding feet to your lap by running high, at least a little bit, can make a big difference. But other than that, the driver, I don't think he's feeling like he's in control of too much. The car is doing most of the work.
I didn't know where we stood against the competition yesterday in practice. It's real hard to figure out what guys are doing, how they're trimming their cars out, and whether to trust the speed you're seeing from people. Alan I don't think had a ton of confidence in what they had yesterday, but when it came time, both of us were able to show up, and it's good to be on the front row.
I certainly would have loved to have gotten a pole, but my boss man is happy. I just talked to him on the phone, and he's got to be thrilled with having his cars up front.

Q. Are you excited about where you're starting, or are you worried after seeing Jimmie spin out twice on his own in the race earlier today?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Well, obviously having seen‑‑ I spun out twice last year, Alex spun out once in our car. All of them really similar situations. Jimmie had an issue twice today. 24 wreck in the 500, same thing.
We're definitely aware of it, and we're looking at our notes from over the years. We dominated‑‑ I thought we ran great in 2015, so we'll look at what we did then and what we're doing now and sort of go through the process of elimination, and that's kind of what we've been doing until we fix it.
It's going to be real hard to get enough practice. We're going to practice as much as we can, but you've got to have guys out there, enough guys out there to kind of put yourself in enough situations to get the confidence in the balance of the car, and so I don't know if we'll really achieve that because people don't really practice that much for this race. They might, considering how the balance is changing with the track and stuff and it's getting a little slicker. But hopefully a lot of guys will practice. We'll get out there and practice. We're not worried about tearing our car up. We've got good cars, good backups. So we'll go out there and practice hard, try to figure out if we can help our balance.
Like I said, Greg has already changed a lot of things, going over our notes for the past several years, so that's built my confidence. I've had some conversations with him even today that's actually built my confidence on us remedying that problem.
And then the qualifying race, too, with the points on the line, we're going to race, try to win, so we'll get an opportunity to see how the balance is working there. If I've got any concerns, we'll try to address it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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