Ahead of Sunday’s Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. sat down with NBC Sports’ Nate Ryan to look back on his 2005 win at the track.
The victory snapped a 20-race winless streak for Earnhardt, who was in his sixth year driving the No. 8 Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. He was on his second crew chief of the year with Steve Hmiel after having parted ways with Tony Eury Sr. after 2004.
“That was a long year for us,” Earnhardt said. “You got to remember this was Michael Waltrip‘s team. … I had never worked with most of these guys before I had been with the same team out of the Xfinity Series into the Cup Series with Tony Eury Sr. and Tony (Eury) Jr. Then I moved over to an entirely different group of guys. Not only a new crew chief, everybody was new.”
Earnhardt had only seven top fives in 2005 and only two of them would come after the win at Chicago, which was the 18th race of the season.
“I don’t even remember how the rest of that season went, but I know this was pretty much the highlight of the year,” Earnhardt said.
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