Junior Hopes For Talladega Triumph

Dale Earnhardt Jr. hasn't won a NEXTEL Cup race in 55 starts. But he's still confident coming into Sunday's UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Earnhardt Jr. has won five times at the 2.66-mile superspeedway and is looking for a sixth trip to victory lane in his final start as a member of the DEI team.

"I’m here to win," he said. "I think I’ve got a good enough car. And I’m good enough. I’m the best here. My car’s good enough and my team’s great, we’ve got a great shot.”

The day of lasts will also include the final time Earnhardt Jr. and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. work together as DEI teammates. Eury Jr., who will work with Earnhardt Jr. next season at Hendrick Motorsports, will leave DEI after Sunday's Talladega race to get srarted with his new employer.

"I so badly want to win one for my fans and sponsors and especially for my entire team, but this will be Tony Jr's last race as our crew chief before he heads off to join Hendrick Motorsports," Earnhard, Jr. said. "It would be so great to get out of the car and give him a big hug after a win. That's what this is all about: making the people around you happy. I mean, that's the best is to see they smiles and how satisfying it is for them."

Although Sunday's race is the first at Talladega with the new Car of Tomorrow, Earnhardt Jr. thinks the unknown will actually be in his favor during the race.

"If you thought it was wild with the old cars, wait until Sunday," he said. "The bumpers on these things match-up and they're built like a tank, so the bump drafting is going to be big time! These things punch such a hole in the air, so we'll be bottled-up 43 deep all day."

"The closing speeds are so fast, no one will be able to get away from anyone else. I like to think I'm pretty good at those sorts of things, so maybe that gives us a big advantage when the flag falls."

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