posted on Jul, 23 2004 @ 12:05 PM
Dale Earnhardt Jr. chose to sit out Friday at New Hampshire International Speedway, taking another day to allow burns on his legs and face to heal
while allowing rookie Martin Truex Jr. to qualify his car.
Earnhardt plans to get into his No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet for practice Saturday and will start Sunday's Siemens 300 to earn the NASCAR Nextel Cup
championship points before giving up the driver's seat to Truex.
Truex, who drives a Busch Series car for Chance 2 Motorsports, co-owned by Earnhardt and his stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt and is leading the points in
that series, will be racing in his first Cup event when he relieves his boss on Sunday.
Earnhardt spent Sunday night in a Sacramento, Calif., hospital but was released on Monday. The second-place driver in the Cup standings said he never
thought about skipping this race, even though it would probably not hamper his chances of winning the Cup championship under NASCAR's new system,
which will have the top 10 in points race for the title over the final 10 races of the season.
Even though Earnhardt will have to start Sunday's race from the rear because someone else is qualifying the car, Gilmore said a strong qualifying
effort by Truex is important to give team a good choice of pit stalls.