Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s time is up. There are no hopes of a championship in sight and this is why.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – a beloved NASCAR driver and son of the late and great, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., who died tragically in a wreck during the Daytona 500 over 9 years ago. Dale, Jr is a well-known name. He is the most popular driver in the sport and, despite his lack of recent success, his fans continue to insist that his hopes of a championship are not over. Each week thousands of crazed fans cheer JR on only to be disappointed again and again.
Perhaps Jr’s biggest mistake of his career was his switch over to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008. Why? Well obviously his performance on the track hasn’t improved, but his happiness has certainly taken a toll. It’s no secret that Jr doesn’t fit in with the clean-cut and politically correctness that is Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. The only thing that JR brings to Hendrick Motorsports in an increase in merchandising sales. He should have never left his Daddy’s team, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated.
Another mistake was removing Tony Eury Jr as his crew chief and replacing him with Lance McGrew per Rick Hendrick’s wishes. All McGrew and Jr seem to do is argue and disagree and occasionally criticize each other’s skills. Its no question that Eury Jr and Earnhardt Jr were having performance issues, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that they would have eventually found what they were searching for. They’ve worked together for years and had more than just a professional relationship. They understood each other. Communication is an integral part of the driver-crew chief relationship and communication was something that Eury Jr and Earnhardt Jr definitely had. Now, with no productive communication between Earnhardt Jr and McGrew, the hopes of getting anywhere close to a championship have gone completely out the window!
On top of all the bad decisions made by Earnhardt Jr and on his behalf, his lack of success has to take a toll on his confidence. Confidence is as much of a necessity as good equipment in NASCAR. You have to believe in yourself and know that you can win, but lately JR just doesn’t seem to have that level of confidence. As much as his fans love him, many are questioning his abilities and that can hurt your pride and effect you on and off the track.
It seems clear to me…Jr’s time is up. He’s not winning races and he’s having poor finishes. Heck, he’s even having a hard time handling his race car on the track. If the 88 team wants to visit Victory Lane more often and get a hold of that championship, there needs to be some major changes made.