Earnhardt Jr On The Defense

BROOKLYN, Mich. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. is defending not only his Lifelock 400 win of 2008 this weekend at Michigan International Speedway but some of his fans and their battle with Kyle Busch.

Busch has lobbed several comments at Junior Nation over the last several weeks including last week's uproar over the Nashville guitar-smashing celebration.

"A lot of people hated it and I guess those are the ones with 88 tattooed on their arm, or maybe still 8s," Busch said. "I've got no issues with Junior, it's his fans that are crazy, but that's all right."

Earnhardt backed up his fans.

“I think the guy is just trying to direct a lot of people to his website or to his column and generate ad revenue for said website I suppose," Earnhardt said. "My fans will handle themselves they’re good people. We’ve got a lot of great fans that follow this sport and they’re very loyal to us and we need them more now than ever right now so I think anyone who would be calling them out and stirring them up is causing problems not only for himself but everyone else in this sport.”

Earnhardt would rather concentrate on getting back to victory lane at MIS this weekend and working with his new crew chief Lance McGrew.

"We had a really good car in practice at Pocono and when the race started it felt pretty good for about 20 laps and then it just got so loose and we couldn’t fix it all day," Earnhardt said. "We came back to the shop and found that part in the front suspension that had failed. It was good and it totally made sense. Actually in the middle part of the race I commented over to my engineer that I thought that part had failed. It was pretty good to be able to point at something and go well here’s the problem. At least you can start forming better solutions when you know what your problem is.”

Earnhardt has had good success at MIS. Earnhardt has led at least one lap in his last seven starts at Michigan for a total of 103 laps. Earnhardt has held the top spot during 12 of his 19 starts at Michigan, and the last time he failed to lead the field was June 15, 2005.

“It’s a good track," Earnhardt said. "Believe it or not, it’s a real challenge to find side-by-side racing in this sport, but you will find it at Michigan. That track is really wide, and it has a lot of grooves through the corner. You’ll see cars trying different lines, and guys can run side-by-side and have fun. It’s a fun racetrack to race on, and they put on a great show. I’ve always enjoyed running there and have had some pretty good success there.”

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2009

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