Is Dale Earnhardt Jr becoming another Kyle Petty?
As a Dale Jr fan, this past year in Nascar was disappointing and boring to say the least. Towards the end of the year, I began to wonder is Dale Earnhardt Jr becoming another Kyle Petty?
At some point in his career, Kyle Petty became no threat to race leaders and seemed content to float at the back of the pack almost every race. He would basically drive around the track advertising for whatever company would sponsor him. I could never understand how Petty fans could get so excited when their driver raced past them in the stands, because he was usually in last place. I mean what's the point of racing? To win right? Seriously, were they yelling because they really liked the sponsor. Just Kidding. Of course not, but seriously, Go Wells Fargo Go. I mean, I know Petty has a huge following because of his father and so does Dale Jr, and that's where I'm heading with this.
Lots of the money that Nascar drivers make are from endorsements, and Jr is making his fair share. The problem is, that when a person becomes content with the other cash they are making, which in some cases is a lot more than from racing, they become satisfied with that income and hang back in most races.
Remember Rusty Wallace? He basically was in charge of advertising for Miller Lite. That's it! He got to the point where he never won races anymore, and didn't seem to be bothered by it either. But he always pulled out his long thank you list after the race, and got those brownie points. Of course he got paid, and Miller Lite got noticed as well. He probably said, "You give me a car to drive and I'll hook you up on T.V. after the race, I promise". And his fans say "No problem, Rusty, I'll drink a 12 pack of Miller Lite just so I can forget that you're my sorry driver".
At times this past year it felt as though Dale Jr had lost something. I know he didn't lose his talent. He is one of the most talented driver out there, right beside teammates, Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon. It's in his genes. Just like Kyle Petty, Jr got it from his dad. I just hope Jr isn't losing the desire to win. His dad never lost the desire to win, and his dad made huge jack off endorsements. But Earnhardt Sr never, never, NEVER stopped wanting to win.
So what if Dale Jr starts driving a car that is poop brown and gets a sponsor like Tidy Bowl. Would people still cheer for him, even if he never won. I pull for Jr., but a brown car? And I wouldn't wear a Tidy Bowl hat either, unless he won of course. I mean, in Nascar, winning is everything to the fans. Hey, we spend three hours or more watching those guys go a round and round, until we're cross eyed, at least they can do is win sometimes. I mean, we're all getting brain damage listening to Ned Jarred slur talk us through the race, so please give us something to cheer about. And Darrell Waltrip, I don't care if so-and-so's car is drifting, so is my attention span. Just win Jr.!!!
Anyway, I hope Jr never becomes totally satisfied with the money from his Wrangler commercials. I hope he drinks more of his sponser's AMP! Maybe then, he might get a boost, and feel like winning sometimes. Heck, take a Viagra if you need to. I wouldn't even mind if Jr drove the Viagra car, as long as he wins sometimes. Just don't expect me to wear a Viagra hat.
By: Charles J Asbury II