For Immediate Release
DALE EARNHARDT JR. SET FOR QUALIFYING RUN AT JIFFY LUBE 300
Defending NASCAR Busch Series Champ Rebounds From Shoulder Injury, Prepares for Second Winston Cup Race in No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet
LOUDON, N.H. (July 8, 1999) _ Less than a week after sustaining-a chipped shoulder blade as a result of a practice session crash, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be behind the wheel of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet attempting to qualify for his second NASCAR Winston Cup race this weekend.
Earnhardt Jr., who made his Winston Cup debut on May 30 in the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, NC, will make his qualifying run for the Jiffy Lube 300 an Friday at New Hampshire International Speedway. The Jiffy Lube 300 is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. (Eastern -time) on Sunday at NHIS.
"I can’t wait to get back into the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet and race in front of all the fans here," said Earnhardt Jr., the reigning NASCAR Busch Series champion. "I was pretty banged up after the wreck. I'm still a little sore now, but I'm ready to go."
Earnhardt Jr., 24, suffered a chipped scapula in his right shoulder as a result of a crash during a practice session for the Busch Series DieHard 250 on July 3, at the Milwaukee Mile. His No. 3 ACDelco Chevrolet spun while he was attempting a pass on the first turn, and the passenger side of his car hit the track's outside retaining wall. He was taken to a local hospital for X rays and released later that day.
Ron Hornaday, who drives for Dale Earnhardt Inc. on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, qualified Earnhardt Jr.'s car for the DieHard 250 on July 3. The next day, Earnhardt Jr. felt well enough to compete and raced to a third-place finish after starting at the back of the field for the July 4 event.
Earnhardt Jr. has undergone daily physical therapy treatments since the crash and credits two therapists for his quick recovery. Beckie Kern, a certified trauma therapist who regularly works with seven Winston Cup drivers – including Dale Jr.'s dad, Dale Earnhardt – flew to Milwaukee after the accident on July 3 and performed physical therapy on Earnhardt Jr. for two hours before the DieHard 250.
Kern, who owns Indianapolis-based The Indiana Holistic Center, Inc., has given Earnhardt Jr. daily treatments since July 4 and will continue therapy throughout this weekend.
Earnhardt Jr. also was treated by Carolina Panthers Assistant Trainer Al Shuford on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Richardson Sports Complex in Charlotte, NC. Shuford, who has treated several Winston Cup drivers in the past, fitted Earnhardt Jr-. with a protective pad that he will wear when racing this weekend.
"We're really fortunate to have this many people to tend to this sort of thing as quickly as they did,' said Earnhardt Jr.", the current Busch Series points leader. "The caliber of people who worked on my injury is among the highest anywhere.
"The worst thing about getting hurt was spending three days in therapy that I could have used doing stuff I wanted to do."
Earnhardt Jr., in his: first season driving for Budweiser, will attempt to continue his recent hot streak this weekend. During his past seven races, he has posted seven consecutive top three finishes, including three straight victories on the Busch series - the MBNA - Platinum, 200 at Dover, DE, on June 5, the Textilease Medique 300 in South Boston, MA, on June 12 and the Lysol 200 in Watkins Glen, NY, on June 27.
Earnhardt Jr. started eighth and finished 16th in his Winston Cup debut in the- No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet at the Coca-Cola 600.
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