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Iron Cowboy

Someone has to do it - - -Todays article on Jr

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Dont kill the messanger eekeek I just thought this was a good article. I dont know how the loyalists (ones that are sober anyhow )can keep defending this guy and mentioning him as one of the elite guys...

Earnhardt going nowhere fast

Scott Serrano

PA SportsTicker Auto Racing Editor

Cover your ears Junior Nation, the myth that is Dale Earnhardt Jr. is about to be exposed as just that - a myth.

It’s about time the vast legions of Earnhardt fans finally wake up and realize that being NASCAR’s most popular driver does not equal being the best. Or even worth being mentioned in the same breath as the best.

The only thing Earnhardt leads the field in is merchandise sales. He most certainly does not win on the track, as his one victory (thanks to fuel mileage at Michigan last season) over the past 99 races can attest.

For those keeping score, NASCAR’s favorite son has a mere three wins since 2004.

Maybe the pressure of living up to his father’s legacy is becoming too much for Junior to bear.

Or maybe the weight of all the expectations heaped upon his shoulders to finally break through and win a championship has finally cracked him at the ripe old age of 34.

One thing is for sure - Earnhardt certainly is not improving with age.

Despite vastly upgrading his equipment by leaving his daddy’s team to become a member of the Hendrick Motorsports juggernaut, Earnhardt continues to spin his wheels.

Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500 was supposed to be Earnhardt’s time to shine. This was supposed to be the year he finally focused and got down to business of being a serious title contender in Season Two with Hendrick.

Instead Earnhardt made news at the “Great American Race” for all the wrong reasons.

Let’s be real folks, before we can tout the Golden Boy as a contender for the Sprint Cup, first he needs to master the all-too important art of pitting.

During Thursday’s second Gatorade Duel, Earnhardt slid through his pit stall on two separate occasions, costing him valuable spots on the track.

One would think that flaw would have been corrected in time for the most important race of the season.

Not even close.

Earnhardt completely missed his pit box on lap 57 - he drove right past it - and had to complete a full circuit before pitting again. That little snafu dropped him from third to 36th.

Almost comically, Earnhardt again had trouble in the pits on lap 121. This time his right-front tire was on the line while his team worked on the car, and he was penalized one lap.

“We had a pit stop where I was told the right-front tire was only an inch over the line,” Earnhardt said. “I was held a lap for that and I don’t feel like that was a fair trade. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate that rule.”

Listen up NASCAR - your favorite son wants the rules fixed. Maybe all the rules could be changed in Junior’s favor if it means getting him closer to being a champion.

Perhaps overly amped up over his second embarrassment on pit road, Earnhardt took matters into his own hands on the track. A lap down because of his lack of pitting ability, Earnhardt touched off the biggest wreck of the race.

On lap 124, Earnhardt got a run on Brian Vickers on the inside lane near the front of the pack, but Vickers blocked Earnhardt’s car down below the yellow out-of-bounds line.

That was all on Vickers. How dare he not simply move aside and let royalty pass?

When Earnhardt came back above the yellow line, he clipped - purposely or not, depending on whether you are a member of Junior Nation - the left-rear corner of Vickers’ Toyota, setting off a 10-car crash.

Forget all the talk off NASCAR potentially penalizing Earnhardt for rough driving, like when they sat Jason Leffler for five laps after wrecking Steven Wallace during Saturday’s Nationwide race.

You would get better odds of Earnhardt making a clean pit stop over NASCAR slapping its first son on the wrist.

Of course, Earnhardt, like the coddled superstar he is, pointed the blame everywhere else but him.

“Penalize me? For what? I got run into and sent below the line,” said Earnhardt, who wound up 27th. “I don’t want to go down there, I didn’t aim to go down there, I got sent down there.”

When told Vickers blamed him for the wreck, Junior lashed out.

“Tell Vickers if he wants to meet me in the garage to get his (butt) beat, I’m willing,” Earnhardt told his crew via radio during a caution period he caused.

The beatdown never took place.

Too bad for Junior Nation. That might have been the only chance to see their beloved driver beat anybody this year.

Feedback? E-mail scott.serrano@pa-sportsticker.com.

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We were talking about this a little last night. Could Dale Jr. be the next Kyle Petty? Always walking in his fathers shadow. A good start at first, but never realy amounting to anything? I believe they both had championships in the "lesser" ranks. Petty in ARCA and Jr. (2) in Busch right? But Petty's star fizzeled as he got older. So too may Dale's...

confusedconfusedconfused

Wanderers wife is going to be Madd as all get out if she reads that..........

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In my opinion ,Jr.doesn't have the kahunas that his oldman had and seems to get pushed around out there without any retalliation(sp). I think the guy needs to grow a set, good driver just too timid.

Jar Jar

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Jr. Can't be that far down the list of "elite" drivers. He was in the top 12 last year. I would consider myself pretty elite if I were in that list.

Gee, I wonder who the author considers the "elite" drivers?

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Jr. is in the top 10 (tied for 7th to be accurate) on the career win list of active drivers. Kenseth just tied him with his win yesterday.

Like apples? How do you like those apples?

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I agree Big Dave, Jr was higher than the majority of the drivers. I believe the fans believe that Jr needs to race as well as anyone ever and there are very few ever that could fit that bill.

The kid will be alright. As far as having the Kahunna's that his dad did, very few drivers had or have those also. Everyone is trying to place Jr on a pedastel.

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we all knew that jr went to hendrick that if jr started winning the haters would say it was because of the hendrick cars and motors and that if he didnt win they will say that he has no talent and i guess its finnaly starting GO JR!

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The M&M No. 18 car was cruising around Daytona and looking good to be in the hunt come the end of the race, but a 10-car pileup ended what was arguably the most dominant car of the day.

Who is Busch blaming? None other than Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"It's unfortunate that a guy that's messed up his whole day on pit road and screwed up that he has to make our day worse," Busch said. "It wasn't our problem that he was a lap down and fighting with another lapped car [brian Vickers]. I don't even know what they were fighting for because the outside line was coming."

The screw up he's referring to was Earnhardt's penalty in the pit for stopping outside of his spot. He and Vickers were a lap down, jockeying for the coveted "lucky dog" spot. In case you missed it, Earnhardt went for the pass, Vickers followed with a block and Earnhardt clipped the back of Vickers, sparking the accident.

There are many issues at hand here: Did Earnhardt try to gain position below the yellow line? Did Vickers force him down there?

I'm not sure Busch cares. He's just salty because he ruined a "One hundred percent" chance of winning the race.

Either way, the bad boy is mad at the golden child. Expect some extra boos for Busch at Fontana next weekend, warranted or not...

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Tony Stewart and Dale Jr. began their careers about the same time. Tony Stewart's record is 33 wins and 207 top 10s, Dale Jr.'s record is 18 wins and 137 top 10s. IMO, Dale Jr is in nascar because he grew up the son of a racing legend and had access to the best of everything, while most other drivers have more natural driving talent. How elite is Dale Jr, really?

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OK, there is Tony Stewart, Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon. They are the "elite" right now I think most would say. Dale Jr has been no worse throughout his career than any of the rest of the field.

An example of someone being in Nascar because of family members would have to be Kyle Petty and Michael Waltrip.

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Do you believe that if Dale Jr. was kid from an average middle class home he could have worked his way up into the Sprint Cup Series?

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How many of Juniors wins came via the CAR you know the Car that could make up multiple laps with only a few laps left...

Jimmy Spencer said......never mind I woulda won in that car also.

I guess I don't consider Junior an elite driver just yet.

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Jr has done more than many that now run within the series. The next 3-4 years will make or break him. Jr is good enough to run forever as he is better than Petty, Waltrip to name a few and they have reaced for many years.

Like mentioned above, if Jr wins it the car and if he loses, then its him. Jr cannot win with many of the haters or na sayers. he never will be able to and that is fine.

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Jr is like watching the Minnesota Vikings. You cheer for him and hope for the best, but at the end it's still the same result. He will let you down. Might just as well rout for a new driver.

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Junior, I have my opinion, maybe later.

On the whole NASCAR thing, it was stated a while ago in a article by ?. Sorry I can't remember, that 15-20 of the normal cup drivers do not belong in that series, because there is better drivers out there but because they are such an asset to the marketing of thier sponsor that is why they get put in some of the rides they do.

Ever ponder with some of the new equipment what a (these are examples) Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Schraeder, Jerry Nadeau, Todd Bodine, Mike Bliss...... could have done with the top ride in the owners stable instead of running with the 3rd or 4th seat.

Put a Joe Nemecheck, Jeremy Mayfield, Scott Riggs in a premiere ride, yes they had some good rides in the past, and they won. Let them stay in a premiere ride.

Is Jr as bad as he looks right now......probably not.

Is Jr as good as people think he is.....probably not.

Only thing I dislike with NASCAR and all sports, the supposedly superstars get the calls.

If it is wrong, it is wrong.... Make the correct call NASCAR and lets move on.

Whats going to happen when this happens to JR? He gets tagged and is out of the race. I believe this has to happen and lets see what happens.

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The day of "average" anybodies making it to the Nascar stage are LONG LONG LOOOOOONNNNNNNGGGGG gone.

Folks... take a look around the track. How many drivers out there share a last name to current or former drivers.. TONS.

the rest are friends of Mega car owners or linked by some line of marriage to the those owners...

Its a who knows who game.

That being said. For my 2cents I feel that Jr's crash with Vickers was unfortunate for the other 10 involved.. particulary Busch.. but the crash was not something that was done on purpose.

I am by no means a member of JR nation..

I started with Alan Kulwicki

and moved on to Mark Martin.... after he leaves... I am afraid there just isnt any of the "good old boys" left to cheer for..

I think the article above on Jr is hilarious though... that was well written.. I only wish the author would have made it clear whose side he was on! LOL

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Kyle Petty had 8 wins in an almost 30 year career. Jr. has 18 wins in 10 years.

I realize it is like comparing apples and oranges. They are not realy the same, but there is potential to draw some comparisons....

If Jr. Doesn't step out of the shadow, even if he wins a handfull of events in the future, people will always say he is there on name alone, alot like petty. Dale Sr. said in an interview once that of all his kids Kelly was the most tallanted driver of the 3. But NASCAR was not ready for a female driver, so they chose to groom Jr. instead. Mabe thats his problem, he was the second choice.

All I know is, if he is not carefull, he will fall into the second fiddle role. I am not saying he will be an "also ran" like petty was, just comparing the father/son similarities.

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Only thing I gotta say is how many has Busch or some others wrecked on purpose. As I remember Jr got wrecked by Busch leading last year. People can put Jr in any class they want but you gotta remember he did lead quite a few laps and was in contention for several races last year. And oh yeah he made the chase. Only to have failures in equipment or just lost the handle or being in the wrong spot at the wrong time. And did you not hear what Waltrip said. Jr is normally a clean driver. So the Golden Boy had a bad day, big deal get over it.

I guess I just get tired of everyone bashing him cause of who his daddy is. Yeah Sr was a 1 of kind and ranks as one of the best ever. But he is not his dad or anyone else. But 1 thing you have to consider is yeah Jr has been fortunate to have good equipment but I am sure I can find a list of others drivers in good equipment who didn't do squat. So no one can ever take away from him and his acomplishments. He will find his groove and he will still do great things and he will contend for championships.

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