Daytona win should motivate Dale Jr. at The Rock

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Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.

As we head to Rockingham, you've got to look at the contenders during Speedweeks to do well this week. While .'s best finish at The Rock is 13th, he will be highly motivated to succeed where he has struggled. Winning at Daytona with some new team members, who seem like they're doing a great job, could be the springboard he needs to win on Sunday. doesn't normally start so strong. The 20 team didn't have the race car that it needed during the early part of Speedweeks, but the crew definitely adapted as the week went on. It's unfortunate for Stewart that he ran up against the toughest group in the history of superspeedway racing, Dale Earnhardt Inc. How about somebody like doing well this weekend? His crew chief, Frankie Stoddard, only gave the rookie two tires which looked like it was going to be a pretty bad call, but it turned out to be a very good result. Wimmer couldn't win, but Stoddard put his guy in position to bring home third place. That's pretty impressive for a driver who a lot of people didn't know a whole lot about. It looks like Bill Davis made a good choice when he put this young man in the 22 car to contend for rookie of the year. He finesses his car around the track, and if you've got a good feel for your race car, you can be surprise at Rockingham.
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While some cats who are ready to continue what they started at Daytona or pick up the pieces and go on. I thought had a really strong Speedweeks, winning the 125 and sitting on the outside pole. He ran very competitively on Sunday, and although he almost went a lap down, he was able to stay in front of the leaders, catch a caution and come back around for a top-10 finish. It just looks like a new group is flexing its muscles early on, but veterans and in the Dodge camp didn't really have a chance to show what they had on Sunday because they got caught up in bad situations.

FOX race analyst Jeff Hammond led to two of DW's three Winston Cup championships as his crew chief. They also teamed to win the 1989 Daytona 500. For Jeff Hammond's "Real Men Work in the Pits" magnets, Hollywood Hotel hats and more, check out www.dwstore.com.

For photos and appearances, visit Jeff's web site www.jeffhammond.com.

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