Dale Jr.: "I didn't think I had the guts."

January 23, 2008

Concord, N.C. (WVLT) -- It's a whole new ball game for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

NASCAR's most popular driver enters the 2008 season with a new team (Hendrick), a new number (88), and a new sponsor (Amp/Mountain Dew).

Wednesday afternoon Dale Junior compared the 2008 season to his rookie season.

"I remember when I was a rookie, I was really nervous about making that announcement and getting the year started. I wasn't able to enjoy it because of the nerves coming in. It feels like that all over again without the nerves."

When Dale Junior announced he was leaving his father's company, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, he became the most sought-after free agent in NASCAR history...a far cry from when he first got behind the wheel.

"When I started out," Junior told members of the Lowe's Motor Speedway Media Tour Wednesday afternoon, "I just wanted to pay the bills. I was a couple of months behind on my power bill living in a double wide trailer and I just wanted enough to get caught up. Now, I'm with the best opportunity a driver in this sport has."

It's that opportunity with dominant Hendrick Motorsports that has raised the bar for Dale Junior. He has 17 career wins, but zero in 2007.

Click on the above video icon to watch Daryl Hobby's report on Dale Earnhardt Junior from Concord, North Carolina.

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