FanDuel - WFBC

August 03, 2006

Dale Jr. is 11th in the Nascar Cup Chase: will Dale Jr make it in the top 10, is he a chip off the old block or just a media darling.

posted by ptluigi to auto racing at 05:22 AM - 20 comments

I've always said it: Average, at best driver, top sponsor, lots of money, but his best attribute is the Earnhardt name. There are probably a couple dozen drivers that could do better behind the wheel of the Bud car if given the chance.

posted by dyams at 06:58 AM on August 03

agreed dyams, great guy,a good poster boy for nascar but i'd give him a "c+" for ability. he cant blame his crew this year like he did last .i think you'll see him slip down the ranks as the rest of the year unfolds.

posted by ptluigi at 07:10 AM on August 03

He started out well but has since been just an average driver. He qualifies for most races back in the pack but unlike his dad, he isn't able to work his way through the pack to the front and stay there.I was a big fan of his father and I root for Jr. It is dissapointing to turn on the race and find him way back in the pack.

posted by nspctrgnrl at 07:19 AM on August 03

Agreed on Dale Sr. I was also a fan of his. HE was a great driver.

posted by dyams at 07:22 AM on August 03

I have a feeling that Dale Jr. is going to end up a lot like Kyle Petty. They'll always be considered racing royalty becuase of the family name and tradition, the same way Chelsea Clinton and the Bush twins will always be the children of a President. That said, neither Junior nor Kyle will ever quite live up to the old man. The biggest difference between the two (as I see it, anyway) is that Kyle badly wants to win, but just doesn't have the skill to do so. Doesn't matter how much money gets poured into his team, he just doesn't have the technical skills it takes to win. Dale Jr. is the exact opposite. That boy can drive, he just doesn't have drive. Dale Jr. gets the love because his daddy died, which is entirely understandable. I don't think you can win the races Junior's won over the years without having talent. I just think he's a slacker who hasn't got a tenth of the drive and determination his dad had.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:40 AM on August 03

Jr. had one bad year (2005) due to mismanagement a DEI. This year he is a solid 3rd in points (breaks a timing belt) 43rd finish, (gets punted from behind running down the straight) another 43rd finish. Neither a result of poor driving or desire. Is on a 2 car team in a poorly managed organization. Hard to compete against the 4 and 5 car teams with as much if not more money not to mention better behind the sences people.

posted by Flip at 08:36 AM on August 03

There are a lot of smaller teams out there that compete. Perhaps Teams Penske and Hendrick ring a bell and you know Jimmy Johnson is not on a big team right? Dale is a good but not great driver. I would grade him at a B/B-.

posted by timdawg at 09:09 AM on August 03

Sorry, but I had to catch my breath before I posted this question. Since when would Team Penske and Hendrick Racing be considered "smaller teams"? Most teams would give their left one for their operations.

posted by BSUJIM at 09:22 AM on August 03

I wouldn't put him in the class of Kyle Petty. Jr. is a lot better than Kyle Petty. I think the biggest problem with Jr. is his dad. He was battling for the lead when his dad crashed trying to block for him. That would shake up anyone for a while. He is starting to get his groove back and he has just had some bad luck lately. He will win at least one championship before his career is done but I do agree that he won't be considered one of the best. He isn't that good.

posted by kidrayter2005 at 10:06 AM on August 03

I agree witht he poster who said Jr. doesn't have the drive. There are a lot worse things you could be going through than trying to make the Chase for a championship," he said Monday. "It's an honor to be part of this sport and part of this series. I'm grateful to have the chance, so I don't feel a lot of pressure. That seems to say to me that winning is nice but not the most important thing to him.

posted by scottypup at 11:10 AM on August 03

Like Hank Williams Jr. "E" is "standing in the shadows of a very famous man." I can't imagine the pressure that is put on him, and what he puts on himself to win. He came into Nextel Cup Series younger than his dad came into Winston Cup, so maybe it is just taking him longer to find his way. He has talent, maybe he just needs to drive for someone else. No, he won't ever be a great as his father (very few drivers will) but he will/already is better than Kyle Petty.

posted by steelergirl at 11:16 AM on August 03

sounds to me like he knows he can't make it.He makes more money than anyone in Cup and it doesn't bother him if he doesn't make the chase. Poor little rich boy.

posted by ptluigi at 11:19 AM on August 03

If they can avoid any more "bad luck", Dale Jr. will make the chase this year I do believe. His team is working in the right direction this year and he has just enough talent as a driver to get back in the top 10. And rememder when comparing Jr. to Kyle, everyone mentions Dale Sr.'s death. Kyle lost his son Adam in a very similar accident. We might expect to out live our parents but the loss of a child would be devistating, and the fact that he still races impresses me more than anything Dale Jr. will ever do.

posted by Folkways at 11:35 AM on August 03

Small in team size, not financial. Even the richest team only gets so much test time though. Roush and their, what 6, drivers get more test time as a whole. Penske gets 1/3rd of that and so does Hendrick. Yeah the money is their for them but even deep pockets can't get them more "legal" testing. That is where DEI is, and I think Michael Waltrip was probably not a good test buddy since I believe he has enough trouble driving a track in a car that is set up right. Imagine him shaking out a new car...yikes!

posted by timdawg at 11:40 AM on August 03

Give the guy a couple of years to compete... even The intimidator finished out of the top ten a time or two.

posted by everett at 11:52 AM on August 03

The funny thing is, the most talented driver of the bunch is his sister. Kerry couldn't drive out of a paper bag. Jr. has the talent. I just wonder if the death of his dad still doesn't have some affect on him.

posted by dbt302 at 11:56 AM on August 03

Small in team size, not financial. Even the richest team only gets so much test time though. Roush and their, what 6, drivers get more test time as a whole. Penske gets 1/3rd of that and so does Hendrick. Yeah the money is their for them but even deep pockets can't get them more "legal" testing. That is where DEI is, and I think Michael Waltrip was probably not a good test buddy since I believe he has enough trouble driving a track in a car that is set up right. Imagine him shaking out a new car...yikes Hendrick has 5 cars not 2 (5, 24, 25, 44, 48) and who gives a S*** if Jr isnt in the cahse

posted by your-money9388 at 12:25 PM on August 03

Jr will be in the chase there is no doubt about that, winning may be another story, but my complaint is why must people/media prey on teams and individual drivers that are major icons when they have a couple bad races but when the are doing well not much is said

posted by coltsfan314 at 07:38 PM on August 03

Well since JR. is the most popular driver in NASCAR at the moment there are a lot of people who care if he gets into the chase. It is good for the sport.

posted by kidrayter2005 at 09:36 PM on August 03

Jr will be in the chase there is no doubt about that Actually, there's plenty of doubt about it. That's why the freakin' article was written in the first place. Did you watch NASCAR last year? You realize, Dale Jr. didn't make it last year, right? And to say that Junior only gets coverage when he's doing bad, well, that's just plain wrong. Junior is the most covered driver in NASCAR, and very close to being the most covered driver in all of motorsports (at this point, probably second only to Danica Patrick).

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:30 AM on August 04

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