Does Earnhardt's winless skid end at Phoenix?

Updated: November 18, 2009, 9:02 AM ET

AP Photo/Mike Fuentes

Win, lose or draw, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's most popular driver.

Key to Phoenix: No mistakes

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway: "The car is really important at Phoenix. It takes something special to make a car work really good there. I think it's real important to have a good-handling car because each corner is so different. It's tricky trying to be real good through Turns 1 and 2. There will be one or two guys that really get their cars to get through the center of the corners, and those are the guys that will be racing for the win. That seemed to be what we did when we won there. We beat everybody right down in the middle."

Lance McGrew, crew chief, on running at PIR: "Phoenix is kind of a different racetrack because both ends are so different. It's cut real tight in [Turns] 1 and 2. You can get the car turning real good in 1 and 2, but then you might be loose off in 3 and 4. Your brakes are real important, and it's all about getting the car to roll. The best-handling car generally is going to win that race. Because getting through traffic is difficult, it's hard to pass there. There's only a couple of passing opportunities, so it's very important to have your car handling as good as it possibly can be."

McGrew on the keys to winning at Phoenix: "No mistakes. A bad pit stop will do you in, a loose lug nut will do you in, a bad decision on the racetrack will do you in."

Compiled from Hendrick Motorsports news release.


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Lance McGrew said it

"I think we have to stay focused as a race team and not have any mistakes [at Phoenix] because it's so hard to recover."

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Junior by the numbers

2: Cup wins at Phoenix in 14 career starts.
460: Laps led at PIR.
37: Top-5s in 173 Cup starts on intermediate tracks.
5: Victory streak by Hendrick Motorsports drivers at Phoenix.