What's buzzing:

From the Marbles

Earnhardt’s tires will be the difference at Michigan, Letarte believes

Jay Busbee
From The Marbles

View photo

.

Steve Letarte and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Getty Images)

The Sprint Cup series returns to Michigan, where one Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored his first win in a looooong time the last time we came around. And he didn't just win, he thumped the field. So there's an understandable sense of optimism around the 88 camp this week ... tempered with caution borne of years upon years of disappointment. What worked before might not work again, particularly with a slightly new tire and a track that's undergone a recent repave.

Letarte recently spoke with Frontstretch about the repave and the way it eliminated the high groove: "It is going to be years before you get back up to the wall again. You used to run up high because there was a little bit more banking and a little bigger radius to the corners, which was a little bit easier on your lateral load. Now that there is a tremendous amount of grip about one groove up, where there is the first groove with banking and that is where the preferred groove is. That is where you're going to see the majority of your cars." (That sounds like the threat of a one-groove track.)

On the plus side, Letarte noted that the cars have plenty of go: "I really think people underestimate just how much power we lose when we go to a restrictor plate track. We have a ton, a ton of power when we go to an open track."

Junior will be the odds-on favorite to repeat at Michigan. It won't be easy, but the fact that Letarte isn't taking anything for granted is a good sign for the 88's fans.

View Comments (6)
  • Serena downs Venus to reach Wimbledon quarters

    Serena downs Venus to reach Wimbledon quarters

    LONDON (Reuters) - Serena Williams stood three wins away from hoisting her fourth successive grand slam title by trumping elder sister Venus 6-4 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. A contest featuring two women who between them have … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 47 seconds ago
  • Tennis-Serena downs Venus to reach Wimbledon quarters

    Tennis-Serena downs Venus to reach Wimbledon quarters

    LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) - Serena Williams stood three wins away from hoisting her fourth successive grand slam title by trumping elder sister Venus 6-4 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. A contest featuring two women who between them … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago
  • Yemen forfeit World Cup qualifier over ineligible player

    Yemen have forfeited their World Cup qualifier against North Korea, a match they made a Herculean effort to take part in, after fielding an ineligible player, FIFA said on Monday. Yemen, officially the home side for the match played in Qatar, lost … More »

    Reuters - 18 minutes ago
  • Watford sign Capoue from Spurs for club record fee

    Watford sign Capoue from Spurs for club record fee

    Newly-promoted Watford have signed France midfielder Etienne Capoue from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur for an undisclosed club record fee, they said on Monday. Watford announced the deal on their website and said Capoue, 26, had signed a … More »

    Reuters - 19 minutes ago
  • In crisis during FIFA bribery scandal, CONCACAF details rules to rebuild trust and operations

    Plunged into crisis by a second FIFA bribery scandal in four years, the CONCACAF soccer body wants to pass sweeping new leadership rules to help rebuild. The North and Central American and Caribbean governing body published anti-corruption … More »

    The Canadian Press - 30 minutes ago