Friday, November 21, 2008

Was Dale Jr. a failure at Hendrick?

Jimmy Spencer is never at a loss for an opinion, which is a good thing because Speed pays him to give his opinions on television.

Before last week’s final Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Spencer’s opinion was that Dale Earnhardt Jr. had been “a failure” in his first season at Hendrick Motorsports. We had him on “The Morning Drive” on Sirius NASCAR Radio Friday morning and he talked about why he felt that way.

“I had really high expectations for Junior this year,” Spencer said. “But I don’t think his performance this year was a whole lot better than it was when he was in the 8 car. He did make the Chase this year, but that was because he didn’t blow up a lot of engines.”

Earnhardt Jr. did win one points race, at Michigan, and the Bud Shootout at Daytona. But he finished 12th in the Chase standings.

“I think it’s a lack of focus,” Spencer said. “He’d be running in the top five and then he’d start arguing with his crew.”

Spencer said he speaks from experience from his own years as a driver.

“I lacked focus,” he said. “We were leading a race at Bristol and I made a pit stop and had to come back in and get a loose lug nut fixed. I was mad at the crew and I lost focus on doing my job and got into a wreck.

“Focus means you have to keep your head on. If you make a mistake or if the team makes a mistake you have to deal with it. It’s like in golf. If you hit a 7-iron you can’t be thinking about what went wrong the last time you hit it. Boris Said told me that on a road course if you miss a turn you can’t go back and do it again, you have to keep going.

“When your car is off a little bit and the team makes a chance and it doesn’t react the way you wanted it to, you can’t blow up. You have to stay clam and feed information back to the team and you have to let them do their jobs and keep doing your job.”

Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief, Tony Eury Jr., is the driver’s cousin and sometimes they fight like brothers. If they were winning races and contending for the championship, people would be talking about how honest they are with each other in their communication. But when things aren’t great, their relationship is often construed as a detriment to the team.

Earnhardt Jr. has steadfastly stood by Eury Jr. He said he doesn’t want to race against him and get beat by him, he’d rather race with him and win together.

Until they start winning at the same kind of level that Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch won at this year, though, the No. 88 team isn’t going to get where it wants to be.

Is it fair to say that team was a “failure” this year?

Well, I don’t think anyone would say that Earnhardt Jr. and his team attained “success” in 2008. And in this context, isn’t “failure” the opposite of that?

115 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Ricky Bobby theory "If you ain't winning your losing." I'm not part of the JR nation but his stats this year compare well to another top veteran driver well established in Hendrick organaztion. So does that make Jeff's season a failure too

Anonymous said...

I am a fan of Jr, but NOT Hendrick. He should have stayed put.

Anonymous said...

When Jimmy Spencer becomes the most popular driver in NASCAR, then he can comment. Until then let him sit on the announcers stand and spout sour grapes. Dale, Jr. did a great job this year transitioning to a new team while still running JR Motorsports and all his other accomplishments this year. Jimmy Spencer is sounding more than a bit jealous.

Anonymous said...

Remember Dale jr. only drives the car and receives setups and pitstop directions from his so-called crew chief. Six laps short on gas, crazy pit strategy on road courses, etc. are not driver problems, they're crew chief problems. I place more blame on Eury and until he learns to break that tie true success will not come.

Anonymous said...

i think him moving from DEI was a good thing and for him to have a so-so year is i think normal because he has a new team probably better and faster cars then what he was dealing with so i think it was a learning curve for him....but if he doesnt get his act together this year then we can speculate.......but i think for any driver as long as Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards are around it will be difficult.

Anonymous said...

Leave it alone. He trasitioned well and had success this year. Hendrick is way better of an organization than DEI. There is alot more drivers to talk about having a bad season repeatedly.

Jim Nance said...

JR is in love with high line.

You can not win races running the high line. It is hard to protect the lead if one can drive the low line.

Also, it seems they are not capable as a team to improve the car during the race.

Anonymous said...

I for one was not a fan of Jr moving to Hendrick. But at the same time he had to do something other than DEI. Anyone saying that this season was a failure is just being ridiculous. There are 40+ other drivers that would have loved to finish 12th with a win this season. All that matters is JR is happy with the move and he performed better this year than he had in several. What DEI car was even near being in the chase?

Anonymous said...

Lack of focus? Heck the man's got bars and restaurants to open!

Anonymous said...

JR is rideing on his dad name. Sr never said anything about his car set up he just drove it right or wrong and still won when others drivers had better car. No one like SR.

Anonymous said...

When you go to a dance, you dance with the one who brought you. In cards, you play with the cards you are delt. They have chemistry. However, Dale has to learn to get along while in the high stakes of NASCAR because everyone is watching and everyone has high expectations of the "TEAM" including Dale. For a first year at Hendricks, the Team did not do that bad. In fact, they did much better than the year before with winning a race and being more consistent. If they can build on those things that are positive and not dwell on the negitive, then they too will experience success and have a chance at a championship. Then they can say, "I told you so!"

Anonymous said...

Just because he didn't win more than one race doesn't make it a failure. Just look Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Elliot Sadler,among others didn't win does that make them losers. I don't think so. How many races did Mr Spencer win in his career? Not to many so he don't have a right to talk. He would of won more in the chase if he had better luck and would have and could have won Talladega if Carl Edwards didn't make such a bone headed move and took out half the chasers.

Dgodfadda said...

Dale Jr must come to the realization that Tony Eury Jr, while being his cousin, is NOT a Cup caliber crew chief. He may do well in Nationwide, but he is way behind on Cup knowledge. Rick Hendricks is a master at finding talented crew chiefs. Dale Jr quite possibly has more talent than his dad had, but until he gets a Cup championship crew chief, we will never see it. Leaving DEI was necessary due to Theresa, but until he cuts free from Tony Jr, he will never have the success he is capable of.

Anonymous said...

He's not a failure, just a victim of all the pressure his fans, NASCAR, and idiots like Jimmy Spenser put on him. Lets face it, everyone was putting him on a pedestal and expecting him to win everything & get the title his first year.

He had a bit of bad luck all right, but so did Jeff Gordon & Jimmie Johnson at the beginning, and for awhile at the start of the season Jr was the top team in the Hendrick org. ;)

And Mr Nance, I seem to recall Dale Senior winning a few races using the High Line, so to say no one wins racing the high line is a bit confusing to me.

Anonymous said...

I don't put a lot of stock in what Jimmy Spencer says.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dgodfadda. Tony Eury Jr just isn't going to help Jr win championships. I was surprised Rick Hendrick let him come over.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Junior fan; however I'm not a Tony Junior fan. The only thing that really stayed the same in his move was Tony, Jr.; maybe it's time Junior try another crew chief. I know he tried this before, but maybe it's time to try it again. I also don't think that most 2nd or 3rd generation drivers aren't as good as the father. I know there are a exceptions like that Jarrett's; Kyle Petty isn't as good as his father or even his grandfather. Maybe this is part of Junior's problem. Fans expect him to be as good as his father

tjay said...

What has Jimmy Spencer done to be such a "expert"! Oh I'm sorry, he won ONE race!

Anonymous said...

Both Jr and Kyle did better than I expected this year with new teams. I think Kyle took the rabbit's foot with him when he left his old ride. Both needed better luck during the chase. And who really listens to Jimmy.

scjoe said...

Who's the failure? Jimmy Spencer is. His driving career was a failure and he is annoying and useless on TV. Jr's move to Hendrick's was the right thing, look where the former DEI is now. Could Jimmy just go away?

Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for his last name and who his father was (and how he died) he'd still be doing oil changes at a chevy dealership (which his daddy had to get for him too). The only reason he's at Hendrick is because the name brings in lots and lots of sponsorship $$$ to fund Johnson and the Schrub. He's not a racer on par with them. He's a neauvou rich redneck who's enjoying the ride (and the p&*%y) for as long as it goes.

As far as his driving goes, his talent ranse right up there with Michael Waltrip, John Andretti and whatever Bodine you care to chose. In the end he's be known for being Kyle Petty Lite with a little less firmer grasp of the English Language.

Anonymous said...

Spimmy Jencer is a fool with a dead muskrat on his head!

Anonymous said...

I admire Jr. and consider myself a part of Jr. Nation, I suppose. However, it is increasingly difficult to support Jr. when we get absolutely nothing from him. I am aware that he has had two horrific accidents and that would change anyones mindset. I would be much prouder of him if Jr. would simply get out of the car and support the sport. At that point, he would be unbeatable and unmatched. In the meantime, lets simply give him the 12th spot in '09 and be content that he made the chase. In all fairness, I do respect him as a person and feel that Sr would be extremely proud of the individual Jr. has become.

Anonymous said...

Junior peaked as a driver 3 years ago. He is terrible at giving feedback to his crew and I think he's not as hungry as he was.

canucken said...

I don't think he was a 'failure' but I also don't think it was the season they were expecting. He won a race so that was good but overall I think he was expected to challenge for the title and well, obviously didn't. There can't be any "well it was his first season with the team" commentary because he effectively brought his whole team with him and had better equipment. I think Jr's legacy will be one of a semi-successful driver who had a lot of fans. I don't think he'll ever win a championship but he'll have had a solid career when he retires.

Anonymous said...

EASE UP SPENCER! You don`t have much to brag about or to qualify as an expert to give your opinion. DE Jr is still learning and could NOT be with a better group than THE HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS TEAM! Time will tell as Jr. matures and quits barking at his crew.

Anonymous said...

I think he is very much over rated. Dale Jr. is @ best a good driver, not the icon that everyone makes him out to be including NASCAR.

marc said...

Jim Nance - "You can not win races running the high line. It is hard to protect the lead if one can drive the low line."

Tell that to Richard Petty and a few others that had highly successful careers running the highline.

As for Spencer - let me guess - he one of many that made the prediction Junior would win 4-6 events in 2008.

As for this anon[idiot] - "The only reason he's at Hendrick is because the name brings in lots and lots of sponsorship $$$ to fund Johnson and the Schrub. He's not a racer on par with them. He's a neauvou rich redneck who's enjoying the ride (and the p&*%y) for as long as it goes."

Hatefull much? It's nitwits like you who give the sport a bad name.

And BTW just how many other "neauvou rich redneck[s]" could you pick out of a crowd that could match what he or any of the other 50 plus Sprint Cup drivers do week in and week out?

Anonymous said...

By general standards, one win and making the Chase makes this a successful season for a driver. I would say he deserves a B.

However, this is "Dale Earnhardt, Jr." that we're talking about, and the expectations of the media and of Juniornation were not met. Of course, those standards can't be met unless Junior is winning every other race, and finishing in the Top 5 when he doesn't win. Whether his ability will allow that is not important.

I've read that Rick Hendrick wasn't overly pleased about the 12th place points finish the 88 team pulled down, and, really, with all the resources that team has, who can blame him?

Jimmy Spencer may not have been the most successful Cup driver out there. But, his insight is something that most of us sitting here reading this will never have - it comes from the inside, from having been on the same tracks, from having raced for years in NASCAR. I believe he may be right.

How many races did Junior make the last adjustment on the car himself, by running into the wall? How many races did he give Eury Jr. incomplete or incorrect information, resulting in changes that didn't fix the underlying problem with the car? How many races did his information cause the car to fall off from the start to finish of the race? How many races did he crawl out of the car, too spent to even interview coherently?

The truth is somewhere in there, and Jimmy Spencers comments are probably a good place to start.

And since Tony Eury Jr. is always on the hotseat, I'll end this by reminding people of the failed "Fire the Eury's" experiment at DEI, which left Michael Waltrip looking like the star of the stable, and Junior with 3 or 4 different crew chiefs.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with a few of the posters about Eury Jr. He is the Jr's weak link due to bad calls all season. It's time for Junior to move on to a cup caliber crew chief that knows what he's doing because he's now with one of, if not THE, best team in Nascar. You can't blame Theresa, blown engines or the sun was in my eyes for bad pit strategies this year.

Anonymous said...

I said it for 2 years now..give him the best car available, which Hendrick did.... just ask Jeffie .. bottom line guys...he ain't that good ! he will NEVER be more than a top 15 driver ...!

Anonymous said...

WHO CARES WHAT JIMMY SPENCER THINKS.IF HE HADN'T SLUGGED KURT BUSCH HE WOULD HAVE FADED INTO THE SUNSET A LONG TIME AGO.

Anonymous said...

PEOPLE HIS LAST NAME IS HENDRICK. NOT HENDRICKS.

David...can you please correct the people that call into your show. It drives me crazy when I hear it.

Richard in N.C. said...

I'm a big NASCAR fan, but there are more important things - like I'm sure Ironhead would be proud of him.

Kurt2 said...

I see that for one time I agree with Poole on something. Find it ironic tht Junior Nation for the most part sits back ( since it cant be Teresa's fault or DEI's) and blames Tony Eury Jr.

PLease reflect when Jr, was without him. Same story, he wanted Eury Jr back and it could be a growing pain, but face facts he will not win a Championship.. Sorry to be honest.

Will he make Chases? Oh yes he will. Will he be the 24? No. Will he be upper echelon of CUP per his fan base? Yes.

Champion? NO..

But I dont have to be ANON to post this as many see fit to

Anonymous said...

The best thing Jr. can do is change his name, have plastic surgery, and start over in racing from the bottom.

He never has been and never will be as good a driver as his dad. He's a fair driver, but will always be compared to his dad and will continue to be found to be lacking a little bit.

Maybe with a new name and a new face he'll finally be somewhat successful. Because as long as his name is Dale Jr.,he'll always be coming up short.

I think Teresa has more foresight than people thought!

Monkeesfan said...

The expectations for Junior with Hendrick were huge, especially after he won The Shootout at Daytona. But the reality was that Junior was never a good fit in the Hendrick way of doing things - he certainly raced well but nowhere close to what was expected of him, and where he was supposed to shine brightest - the plate tracks - he looked more pedestrian than muscular.

For what was expected of him, I'd say Junior was a flop in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Dale Jr. will never win a championship as long as Tony Jr. is the man to fix his car.I would not ask Tony Jr. to fix my coster wagon.

Monkeesfan said...

To those Junior fans who attack Tony Eury Jr. - then who should be his crew chief?

Kurt2 said...

This proves the point:

" Anonymous said...
Dale Jr. will never win a championship as long as Tony Jr. is the man to fix his car.I would not ask Tony Jr. to fix my coster wagon.

11/21/2008 3:50 PM"

When does anyone have the balls to look at SAID DRIVER and state it could relate to him as well..

Teresa, DEI, Eury Jr, the wind, the rain, the fog, how many excuses can you make?

Monkeesfan, agree on your last post..

David said...

This is why Jimmy Spencer writes, raves, and sits on his tail outside of a car.

Anonymous said...

He's on the best team with the best equipment. So it comes down to driver and crew chief. The 48 team has show they have the best combo...especially when it comes to the crew chief. Maybe its time Eury to step down. If Dale still can't win it all then he just need to stick to opening up bars.

Heather said...

It was a transition year. He was third in the points before the reshuffle for the Chase. He won a race in a year when 24 out of 36 races were won by three guys. If it was any guy BUT Junior, Jimmy Spencer would have said he had a solid but not spectacular year. As competitive as the sport is, solid is what you need before you get to great. Here's hoping other drivers with new teams have solid years next year. (And let's see if Spencer will say that his good buddy Tony is a failure if Tony doesn't make the Chase with Stewart Haas.)

fast34me said...

His head isn't in the game. Never has been.

What's the score of the redskins game? etc.

The only way he finishes in the top 5 is if he messes up in a car that should've won.

The only way he get's a championship trophy, is if Jimmy or Jeff sale him one.

Anonymous said...

Major error on Jr.s' and Hendrix's part.

maddog said...

Chagne his name, have plastic surgery and GET A NEW crew CHIEF, that would solve all his problems. There is a great, smart crew chief at Hendrick's that had to put up with a smart mouth kid for a couple of years and this years had a driver using his family name to drive(?). Mark Martin will really give him a great change next year.

Kurt2 said...

For some reason I havent seen Smoke blame Zippy, his team, owner etc.

Major difference, Smoke has the chance to OWN 50%, drive and make decisions. Tony will build on SHR, he has a great lineup on team, CC's, director etc.

To compare Smoke's change to Jr's change is a null point.

? is when does Junior Nation look at the driver, not anyone else?

So lets see, if Eury Jr gets canned, it would be the new CC's fault for the failure. If not it would ALWAYS be someone elses fault. Hell it is 50/50 alot.

But damn can you ever say the driver made errors, f'd up, and isnt all the "promised one" as many see him?

Anonymous said...

Jr. had a bad year...it happens, especially when the equipment isn't the best.

Anonymous said...

Well David, you got your hits.

Now let's see...we've got every variety of Junior cliche, basher and supporter on here. I guess that was what you wanted, huh? Hits galore!

P.S. Jimmy Spencer is a maroon! If he's some sort of sage about NASCAR, then NASCAR is in more trouble than we thought! He didn't think that up until Rusty Wallace opened his big mouth a week or so ago. He's just riding on that stupid comment's coattails. LOL

Anonymous said...

Not only did Jr help to speed up the demise of DEI this year, he also proved to all that he is not a winner, even with the so-called best team in NASCAR. If it were not for Dale Sr and Teresa, can there be any doubt that he would never have gotten a ride anywhere else? What a way to thank them...just tear down what they worked so hard to build! He got a bit to greedy way to soon.

Greg said...

Well let's see Jr 1 Kyle I think 8 wins.To me this was a complete wast of time for Rick Hendrick.
Dale is a ok driver when all is great but when he has to work and communicate with people he is in big trouble.
If he has a season next year like this one, Tony jr will be gone and we will see Dale for what he really is a ok driver and season 3 will be no beter.
And when anyone whats to compare him to Jeff Gordon and the season he had JEFF 4 time champ and Dale 0,you cant compare the two.

Anonymous said...

First, let me laugh at some of the comments left here.

Second, was the season as successful as many would have liked (including Junior himself)? No

Third, if Junior truly didn't want to do this...I'm sure he is quite capable of walking away from the driver's seat and stepping it up more in the owner's seat.

Fourth, I've said this elsewhere and I'll say it here. Mr. Hendrick needs to take the entire team to a sports psychologist. It is okay to disagree; it is okay to talk about other things on the radio during the race (Junior is not the only driver that does this); it is NOT okay to miscommunicate constantly...one asks for something, the other says 'okay' and then doesn't do it; or one insists and the other talks him out of it. That list goes on and on...and is the fault of both people involved (if you listen, even the spotter seems confused as to what is going on when they are getting ready to pit).

As for Jimmy Spencer.......blah, blah, blah.......I've no respect for a man that I watched deck a guy from behind at a local short track (AFTER moving up to Busch and Cup)....

Chrissy

centurion8 said...

It was a lousy year anyway you look at it. The crew chief was awful...too many bad calls. Forget about loyalty, this is a business (yes, I know its a sport too). Clean house for 2009.

drizzle4real said...

Can call it a failure because he has never won a championship.The racing community has high exceptions of him due to his last name that's it.He's a average driver that drives for good owners.DEI was good fit for him and he showed when he switched teams he's a average driver at best.He's gonna have more opportunities presented to him than other average drivers just based off his name.So to say the season was a failure is a overstatement he has to consistently compete in the top 5 year and year out to be considered a failure when finishing 12th.His final standing is good considering he has reached his peak as a driver.What's the old saying you can dress a ugly girl up and take her to the dance after the dance she's still the ugly girl.After it's all said and done he's the most overrated driver in the sport who hasn't done anything to live up to or earn the hype.

Anonymous said...

As you all know that Rick has bought more Championships than he has earned. To see Jr go to work for a felon only shows that he is in it for the money. I am surprised that the money Rick (the felon) had to pay for Jr., he didnt buy his championship this year. I guess it was more important for Rick(the felon) to make history to win 3 championships in a row. Only done once before.
As for Jr. you all are right, he is a mediocre driver.His name has gotten him about everything he has. Without it I just wonder where he would be. He put his pocketbook in front of a dream. The one his Daddy had. Money meant alot but I am sure if Jr. had to do it the way his daddy did he would be bagging groceries somewhere. He didnt even do very well in school. This new school of racing really sucks. This is why I dont go to the track anymore. I sure miss the old days of real stock cars.

Anonymous said...

Who is Jimmy Spenser, a person in the past, a has been and no championship won period. How can he judge anyone, not on his merits anyway!!!!!!!

David B said...

And yet MORE of Poole's inane drivel. I don't know why I even bother to read the (expletive deleted) he writes. Try a breath mint Poole.

David B said...

I think I finally figured it out. Poole spends far too much time playing squat-tag in the asparagus patch.

David B said...

As far as who for a new crew chief goes... he should have taken Tony Gibson before Stewart/Haas got him. Tony Sr would also be a good pick. I agree with those who believe Tony Jr isn't up to the task. He just doesn't seem to be able to "keep up with the track".

Anonymous said...

What the H*ll does fat *ss Spencer know????? how to eat! why not just stick to that!

Anonymous said...

Why are you all knocking Spencer?
He ran races we wish we could have, he won like we wish we could have. Leave him alone when the SUBJECT is Jr.
Jr did what he thought he had to do. I'm NOT happy it was with Hendrick, but wish Jr well. I will never hope for a Hendrick car to get the checkered, but do hope the best for Jr.

Signed
Still confused

Anonymous said...

Jr. hangs out with and hires losers, mostly old school chums who ride his coat tails and keep him down. My advice would be get a new PR person, make over his image, surround him with successful people and hire successful people. He's got the ability and the equipment and there's plenty of money to take care of family without giving them jobs their not qualified for. Just look at what happened to Michael Vick when he couldn't give up some losers from his past. Junior's got to cut some anchors to move forward.

Jimbacca said...

He won a point race and another race this year. Gordon did not. What did mears do?
Spencer always seems to be either picking on jr or his sis. Or did people forget his comments last year? When spenc drove what did he do? Yes those are valid points as it shows its the pot kettle syndrome. Many other drivers have analysis careers and combined I bet they make less stupid and misinformed comments then Jimmy does. Just a blowhard trying to feel important. Call it 'honest and upfront' but its not. Its jealousy and bitterness. Flip the coin. People that are saying bad things about jr, what equipment did they drive in? Why didn't they win more?
And DEI's failure was coming. They combined with Gynn last year. THat should have been a red flag. They performed rather poorly this year. So is that his fault that something he left is performing bad? May as well blame Waltrip for taking Napa with him for killing DEI too. Jr didnt even take a sponsor with him.

So basically no matter what Jr does its his fault. If he suddenly starts winning everything then im sure he's cheating.

I'm not even a jr fan. But the ridicule and double standards are just special in a shortbus kind of way.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of people saying that Dale Jr is "over rated." All you have to do is to look at the numbers and they speak for themselves. According to the Driver stats for 2008, Dale Jr is ranked 4th! It is:

1. Carl Edwards
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Kyle Busch
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Jeff Gordon
etc.

http://www.nascar.com/races/cup/2008/data/stats/season_driver_rating.html

I don't think that his season was a failure. Could it have been better? Yes. Just think, he probably would have been rated #1, if they had better luck.

Did they make mistakes this year? Yes, but we learn from our mistakes and they will be a better team next year. There is always room for improvement, no matter who you are and what you do.

The man has 18 point cup wins, several non point wins and 2 Busch Championships, back to back!

I think that Jimmy Spencer needs to look at the facts before he opens his mouth!

And to anyone who says that Dale Jr fans are disappointed in him better think twice, because they are not talking about this fan. I am proud to be a Dale Jr fan and part of the Junior Nation!!!

Anonymous said...

Dont hate Jimmy because he's beautiful--hate him because he speaks the truth! God forbid anyone say anything derogitory towards or about "God Jr", and Jr Nation goes nuts! This same "blog crap" is the same lines from the blog on the Yahoo Sports from the past 2 races,they all hate Rusty on that one--OMG, dont say anything bad about the "I'm only in racing because my last name is Earnhardt" driver. Its not all the crew chief's fault---it starts with the driver....

Anonymous said...

For all of you putting Dale JR. down, you need to remember that Jr. has never said he was a great driver or anywhere as good as his dad. Never!

Just because we, his fans, are crazy about him and vote him the most popular driver, is not Jr.'s doing. He never asked for this and I am sure there are times he wishes his name where Smith.

You all seem to have a need to put him down. If you want to put someone down then put his fans down, not him. He never asked for this. I, as a fan of him never, never said he was the greatest driver, I am his fan because I like him much better that the others. That is my right.

You can't blame Jr. when he fights for spots and then comes to pit andj loses 10 spots, this happened over and over. Not a good crew chief or a good crew. For that you can not blame Jr.

Who could blame Jr. for quitting when all of you talk about how bad a driver he is when he never asked for all this attention. Let him be and enjoy a small part of his life without your bull.

Anonymous said...

He should have gone to Childress. they spend more time on work and less on hype. 12th in the points is an 11th place loser!

Paul Stagg said...

I don't understand how you can consider a season where you scored the 7th most points (throwing out the stupid chase reset), won more races than Jeff Gordon, scored more points than Jeff Gordon, and made millions of dollars for your boss a failure.

He was the second best Hendrick driver this year. I think leaving DEI was the right thing to do (DEI will not exist 5 years from now).

So he didn't contend for a championship. In reality, only 3 guys did (Johnson, Edwards, and Busch)

ElyBoy said...

I'm a JR fan, but I have to say, that if Jr. is running in the top five at the beginning of the race, I figure that one of two things are going to happen.

His Cousin won't be able to keep up with track conditions, so the car will fade as the race progresses, or Junior will do something dumb, like too fast in the pits, or hitting the wall that he likes so much to hug during the race.

Richard in N.C. said...

If you follow David's logic, there were over 40 Cup failures for 2008 and only 2 successes - Jimmie J and Carl E.

Monkeesfan said...

Richard In NC - Post #70 - ain't that at least a good percentage of the truth.

Brady said...

I'm a Dale Jr. fan and I have to agree with Spencer. Jr. complains about the cars, he complains about the length of races, he complains about every little thing. It seems like Tony Jr. is a good target when the 88 is bad fast at the beginning of the race and then junk at the end. SURELY, that is due to the wrong changes being made on the car...... but then we see Jr. doubled over and out of breath barely able to stand, and I have to figure that Jr's poor physical conditioning is one of the problems this team has had at the ends of races. Jr. needs to get on a excercise regiment and be forced to stick to it. No other driver, even drivers much older than he is, are that winded after races. Something is wrong there. He is a professional athlete, sponsored by an ENERGY drink at that. It's embarrassing. If he doesn't care enough about his racing career to get himself in better shape and be able to go the 500 miles without complaining, I will have to find a driver to cheer for who will.

Anonymous said...

Crew chief and driver are both overrated and overpaid and laughing all the way to the bank. As for driving ability, Dale Jr. fits into a category his old man created back in the day: He ain't got enough horsepower between his legs.

Anonymous said...

How can Dale Jr live up to his Dad's exaggerated legacy?

I know he is laughing all the way to the bank but NASCAR, media, marketing has put unreal demands on the boy.

At best, Dale Jr is an average driver. Being in the best equipment now reveals this.

Anonymous said...

Exaggerated legacy of Dale Sr?

You moron. Such ignorance. It was Earnhardt Sr who made NASCAR a mainstream sport and brought billions in big TV and cable contracts with worldwide popularity. Earnhardt is the Babe Ruth of NASCAR. Petty the Ty Cobb of NASCAR. Both were equal. Both are the stuff folk heros are made of especially Earhhardt who gave his small mill town notariety.

Earnhardt was formerly poor textile mill town real southerner unashamedingly from Kannapolis NC and a nitty gritty blue collar "Ironhead" as they nicknamed him because he was so hardheaded and indestructible like a piece of iron.

Such ignorance in this sport. He won 7 titles by age 45 and had he lived would have ended up with 7 more.

Earnhardt and Petty were KINGS of racing. Neither of their pampered rich kid sons have done much but thats the way things go since its always the trailblazer who cuts the path the hard way and the offspring only cash in on the namesake. Earnhardts wife is the same. She did nothing to deserve all she got and its falling apart.

Very rarely does an offspring equal the feats of the parent but thats ok too since both come from different environments and cant be judged in this way. Different strokes.

Had Earnhardt lived you would not be seeing these other drivers dominate but the sport has changed and become mainstream pretty much taking over all other spectator sports in America.

Earhnardts death actually balloned the size of NASCAR to dimensions never though possible completely wiping out foreign sport car INDY racing.

In every respect Dale Earnhardt Srs life and death, who owes a lot to his smalltime racing dad Ralph, put NASCAR on the national and international map and opened the door for to increasing its size 10 times over on bigtime scale since people outside the former regional size began to immediately take notice and its popularity became an avalanche nationwide.

The death of icon Earnhardt proved to be the #1 catalyst ever for NASCAR in general and propelled it heights it never thought it would attain.

The newer drivers dominating the sport like Johnson, Stewart, Edwards, both Bushes, Kayne, Truex, Biffle, Kennesth, Gordon, etc etc would not be where they are had it not for Earnhardt.

They need to get on their knees and worship the ground DE SR walked on for without him blazing the path for NASCAR in the modern age there would be no bigtime status for the sport and no million dollar paychecks.

NASCAR like everything else is a work in progress and will suffer in the bad economy but will survive and be bigger and better than ever.

We actually look for another competing NASCAR equal to take form in the coming yrs like having 2 major divisions as in any big pro sport and this will open up and double the number of racetracks in the future and in the end there may be a World Series Super Bowl type race to crown a world racing champion.

Anti -Crook said...

First of all, the ONLY reason he went to Hendrick, is because Hendrick did what he always does: Buys people. That crap about "He was just like a father figure to me" is just that. Crap. Hendrick realized he could finance the rest of his life with Jr's merchandise sales. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with racing, he knew his grandfather, etc. It was all about money, and Little Teresa, er, I mean, Kelly Earnhardt, rolled over, and took the money. Hendrick always was, is , and always will be a crook.

Anonymous said...

Three things must change for Junior to contend. First, his team needs a new crewchief, family aside, the 2 juniors do not work well together. Dale needs a strong crewchief on the box that can keep his emotions in check AND communicate clearly. As it is now, the 2 juniors talk to each other but don't necessarily communicate. Second, Dale has too many irons in the fire, too many distractions and too many interests outside driving a race car. I agree with Jimmy Spencer, Dale lacks focus. Lastly, Dale needs to be better conditioned, both mentally and physically. The last 2 years are clear evidence that he fades during the last 10 races of the year. This last problem is directly related to the first 2 I mentioned. Think on that for awhile.

Anonymous said...

Jr is the Michelle Wie of NASCAR and survives off the Earnhart name which Dale Senior and Teresa made.

Anonymous said...

Jr is clearly an elite read: Top 3 in the world at Super Speed Way Racing, period. IF he had won Daytona and Talledega at least once each we'd be a lot more forgiving. I'm a purist but winning on the grand stages is what we expect of Jr like him or not. I'm a Harvick fan and am very happy with his season despite not winning b/c he put a great product on the track and raced with passion and focus that seems the be the prevailing theme Jr lacked this year. Harvick was as consistent as anyone not named JJ or CE in the chase and was as good as anyone when he raced in the Nationwide. Jr has won on most set ups but the chase format, as it stands now, does not set up well for him so lets call it like it is he is a lousy chase racer. Is Eury the problem? If he is Hendrick will fix it but its clear that you don't see the 48, 99, and 29 opening bars and spending as much time building the Jr brand as he does. So lets again call it like it is, Jr looks at NASCAR as a cash cow for his lifestyle and goals in life which are to win Daytona and Talledega, be competitive enough to keep the Jimmy Spencers of the World on his side and party like a Rock Star! In this economy, I ask anyone, who would you want in your stable of drivers and there is only ONE choice: The 88 Car, period. Theresa could have given him 51% and DEI could have turned it around by maybe 09', probably 10' but now DEI and Ganassi are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and Jr is laughing all the way to Whiskey River. Jr need to heed the words of the song in 'Cars': "shut up and drive"! If he doesn't do that in the offseason and going into Daytona we'll all know its another year of making the chase and finishing 10-12 b/c as a chase racer he sucks and its as much to do with his one dimensional focus, super speedway racing, as it is all the other theories. I didn't say he can't win on 1/2 mile, 1.5 mile, or a road course...well, like I said. He has one dimensional focus but the sad thing is he is very talented and could make the chase every year and push for a top 5 finish. I live in Huntersville and know lots of people in the sport and they will all tell you he likes to party like a rock star with his inner circle crew and that alone, not all the rest of the theories, will keep him from ever winning a title. He will never win a title unless he gets married, settles down, and focuses on one thing: racing. I don't care if he does or not I'm just getting to the real root cause, he needs something to happen like that to get him out of being MC Hammer to all of his entourage. Jr Motorsports is actually running well and his sister, who is a tough bird, is the only the best thing in his life. If he didn't have Kelly we might be talking about James Dean here, who knows. Enough babbling but Jr is the real Ricky Bobby b/c its all about Talledega & Nights at Whiskey River!

wild bill said...

nascar has shot itself in the foot over the last few years with cot(can you say iroc),the lucky dog,and RESTRICTOR PLATES.
this man jr has been handed everytrhing just because of his name.face it jr nation he is very average.can you guys say kyle petty?i would not be suprised if rh shuffles some crew chiefs in his organization.all this being said it was a great year for him

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder what the loss of Dale, Sr. did to Juniors coincidence. He won 2 Busch titles while his dad was alive and now struggles to keep up in cup. He also my have to much on his place with Jr Motorsports, restaurants and other sponser commitments. I agree with others that part of the problem is in Tony Jr. He "came up thru the ranks" so to speak and does not have the technical background of the other big time crew chiefs.

Anonymous said...

My belief is everyone put too much emphasis on "now, Jr will get cars and will win, win and win some more". This was a transitional year (Kendrick is a much different organization than DEI - and both Jr and Tony had a lot of change to get accustomed to. It really bothers me when they compare Jr. to his Dad (I'm a fan of both). They are totally different type of drivers and should stand on their own. I love all the Monday morning quarterbacks out there - if they are so good, why are they not driving? All of us can say anything we want re: Jr (both good and bad), but I hope he remains his own man and does what he thinks is best for him AND his team (and that includes Tony).
Jr. in 2009!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a big jr fan! I think he needs a crew cheif that he can talk to instead of argue with and act like spoiled brat!Hendricks is a smart man,He needs to make a change!!!! Control jr and you can have a champion!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

For everybody that doubts JR, Put him with zippi and see what will come!He needs a crew cheif not a cuz to fight with.I believe MR.Hendrick will see that. He is a smart man.He runs a empire in nascar.

Anonymous said...

all I can say is that KYLE BUSCH can win with anyone.Junior needs tony sr. to come on his box.Junior is a good driver but gives bad feedback about the car.You also have to learn to adapt to this car.can he do it???Big move to hendrick puts even more pressure on him.as said he's a good driver but he's no KY. BUSCH EDWARDS JIMMIE GORDON STEWART KENSETH BIIFLE.

Anonymous said...

Let me preface this comment by saying that I am a Dale Jr. fan so don't think I am saying these things because I don't like him. In fact, the fact that I do like him is the reason I'm saying this. At the start of the 2008 season, I felt each week that Junior had a chance to win each race but as the year wore on and they continued to worsen, I felt they had no chance at all to win. How did this happen over the course of the year? Well, I have come to realize that Tony Eury, Jr. had no idea what he is doing as a crew chief. He can't set the car up properly, can't adjust for a changing track during a race and is terrible at making strategy calls during a race. Unfortunately, as long as Eury, Jr. is allowed to remain as Junior's crew chief, the results of this seaon will be the results of future seasons. It is painfully obvious to me, and I sincerly hope to Rick Hendrick, that a change is necessary. And now that the number 5 team is getting a new driver next season, this would be the perfect time to make the switch. Who cares if Junior likes working with his cousin? This is big business and the whole world doesn't revolve around him. Just ask Amp and the National Guard who are pumping $30-$35 million into this sponsorship annually if it's OK with them to keep achieving mediocre results from this team. Junior is the most popular driver at this time but that is subject to change if he doesn't pick up the pace. And I feel his attitude has something to do with this situation. When things don't go his way, he gives up and pouts about it. None of these scenarios are conducive to a championship team. What makes the #48 team so superior year in and year out? They don't make mistakes and the can handle the pressure both of which the #88 team could learn from if they had the proper chemistry within the team. And it is so obvious that they DO NOT. So to Junior's fans, I beg you to contact Hendrick Motorsports somehow and plead with them to give Junior a new crew chief. I think Alan Gustafson would be a great fit for Junior. And this change could probably change Junior's attitude of being so down all the time. Have you seen the big change in him as the year went on? He is just like he was at DEI, seeming to be focused on something other than the job at hand. And what could it hurt to try the switch? If it doesn't work, they can always switch back. I'm no fan of Roush-Fenway Racing but Jack Roush is never afraid to move people around in search of the perfect combination of team chemistry and he has found it many times. So, why can't Rick Hendrick do this? Is he afraid of offending Junior or Tony Eury, Jr.? As I said before, this is big business and it has no place for spoiled little boys in it.

Paul said...

With all of Spencer's wins and championships, his opinion is very valuable. I wonder where his focus was when he was in premier equipment?

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #81 - Junior won thirteen races 2001-4; suggesting he lost confidence because Senior died is a stretch.

Anonymous #86, Alan Gustafson isn't any better than Tony Eury. People need to come to grips that perhaps Junior himself does not know what he wants in the car enough to win consistently.

wild bill, NASCAR didn't shoot itself in the foot with restrictor plates.

Anonymous said...

Could not agree more.

Insanity is... "Doing things the same way, over and over, and expecting different results."

Bringing Eury Jr. with him was insanity.

What made his season a failure is, he had cars that could win races all season long and he, and his team, found ways to lose races.

Even with his disastrous start in the chase, Kyle Busch still finished two spots higher in the points than Jr.

Jr. is a mediocre driver, with a medicore crew chief driving the best equipment money can buy.

Rick Hendrick, however, has made a lot of money from T-shirt sales.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord!!

Some of y'all should put your money where your mouth is and become team owners.......

I guess Jeff Gordon is just an average driver, at best, too, now...afterall, he didn't win a darned race all year...not one! He did that in 'the best equipment money can buy'......

GEEZ

As for Casey Mears...I hope he can do more wherever he goes....and I hope, if all teams at HMS truly do get the same equipment (no reason for me to not believe that, I'm just saying)....Mark Martin should definitely contend for the championship next year. It does, however, remain to be seen.

You see, we actually have to run all of the races....and, unfortunately for Junior and Jeff and Mark, and even Jimmie....no one has complete control over everything that happens at any time.

*sigh*

Chrissy

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #86, Alan Gustafson isn't any better than Tony Eury. People need to come to grips that perhaps Junior himself does not know what he wants in the car enough to win consistently.

>>>>>>>>>>>This is Anonymous #86. I never said that Alan Gustafson was any better than Eury. But he isn't Junior's cousin. That is my point with that comment. Junior needs to get away from family and do something on his own. He used to have DEI which was family and Eury, Jr.. Well, he still has that family connection and it is a detriment. Ask Bill Elliott how it is working with family when things are going wrong and you hate to fire them. As far as Junior's not being able to communicate about what is wrong with his car, I don't doubt that is true. But that isn't necessarily the driver's job. If the driver can do that, that's great. But it is still ultimately the crew chief's job to decipher what information he receives from the driver and make the changes needed to improve the car. But Eury, Jr. has shown time after time that he constantly makes the wrong changes. I have listened to plenty of drivers at the races over my scanner and Junior gives as much or more information to the team as most other drivers. It's not his job to set the car up for the crew. If so, they don't need the crew chief anymore. But what about the blunders Eury, Jr. has made in strategy this year? They had nothing to do with the driver. He views himself as a great leader but I suspect the other teams in the garage view him as a joke.
As I also said, what is wrong with switching crew chiefs just to see what happens? You know, if you're honest with yourself, that as long as Eury, Jr. is the crew chief of the #88 team, THINGS WILL NEVER IMPROVE.

Anonymous said...

Lay off of him! He isn't his father and he never claimed to be. Yes there team has some work to do if they one to run with the best of the best, but calling him a failure is a little steep. Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Elliott Sadler...did they even win ONE race?? Are they failures?? NO. It wasn't it the cards. Besides, Dale Jr should have won Richmond if not for the unfortunate stupidity of Kyle Busch. And Kyle Busch didn't do anything worth crap in the chase...does this make him a failure?? I believe Dale Jr was right in the top 2 or 3 for a majority of the season. Give the man a break. He is disappointed enough without idiots like Jimmy Spencer and David Poole talking crap about him. Every article I read from David Poole solidifies that is a THE BIGGEST IDIOT writing in NASCAR and VERY APPARENT DALE JR HATER. If I ever had the opportunity to meet him I think I would ask where the hell he gets the ideas that he writes because they are pure garbage.

Monkeesfan said...

Anonymous #86, communication depends on the driver knowing what he wants in the car that will make it fast. We continue to ignore that the crew chief has to get accuarte information from the driver to make changes that work. It's not Eury making the wrong changes as much as it's Junior not giving informtion that's accurate to what the car wants that will go fast with his driving style.

I've seen other drivers make this same mistake - watching Kyle Petty the last four or five years was embarassing because he'd make calls for changes and they wouldn't work (plus he'd invariably quit on the race once the green fell); they put McCumbee or John Andretti or Terry Labonte in the same car with the same crew chief and suddenly the car actually responded and they started passing people. Jamie McMurray has been notorious or insisting on his own calls even thugh he never gets it right. Rusty Wallace so often screwed up calls in this decade that he furiously lobbied NASCAR to cut downforce because he all but had no clue what the car wanted to go fast with his driving style.

You talk about blunders - what blunders? Most of the time they didn't win because they weren't strong enough to contend. Junior won races at DEI with Eury - now suddenly Eury's an idiot? It's ot that he's not decifeing, it' tht Junior' not giving him the right stuff to decifer.

Let's be honest - people want to blame Eury or Teresa Ernhardt or someone else, but maybe it's Junior.

Anonymous said...

I think the Speed program needs to
rig it'self of HASBEENS like Spencer, who really cares what the likes of Spencer thinks about anything, If he knew anything about the sport he'd still be driving, HELLO.

Anonymous said...

Exaggerated legacy of Dale Sr?

You moron. Such ignorance. It was Earnhardt Sr who made NASCAR a mainstream sport and brought billions in big TV and cable contracts with worldwide popularity. Earnhardt is the Babe Ruth of NASCAR. Petty the Ty Cobb of NASCAR. Both were equal. Both are the stuff folk heros are made of especially Earhhardt who gave his small mill town notariety.

You idiot i hope you don't beleive what you type do you.Hell you make it seem like ol Dale was in the hotel meeting with France Sr. when nascar was founded. I can't beleive that garbage you typed above what I brought down from your rant.The late Benny Parson's said many time's and I quote 'EVERY DRIVER IN THESE GARAGES AND PITS SHOULD WALK UP TO RICHARD PETTY AND SHAKE HIS HAND AND THANK HIM FOR PUTTING THIS SPORT ON THE MAP". What make's Dale so great hell he just equalled the King's cup's other than that what did he do hell Jeff Gordon has done a whole lot more than ol Dale did. Just look at the pole's won the race's won, how many more bigger race's won than ol Dale won, hell ol Dale didn't have to beat that many driver's as they got today. Even Francecar helped him win 2 of those cup's. And when Irvan got hurt real bad in 1994 that just handed the cup to ol Dale. But if anyone has brought new fan's to the sport it has been Jeff Gordon from mid nineties till now with the influx of fan's from west of the Mississippi and driver's from USAC etc.And finally I live in Kannapolis and there is nothing in this town that ol Dale did for it . Charlie Cannon yes in textiles, David Murdoch yes N.C. Research facility, but never ol Dale even the hospital in Concord has a major children's wing and who is that wing named after! it sure isn't any Earnhardt's. It's Jeff Gordon's Children's Hospital. So don't come on here with your rant's about ol Dale being the mesiah cause he's far far from it newbie.

Finally what it is with Dale is that he got caught up in the James Dean lagacy thing. Dean made what 3-4 movies and died tragically and young and his legend just grew and grew. Dale died unexpectedly and his legend keep's growing with the help of frenchie-car of course and keeping him a live through Dale Jr.
But remember Dale was hated by fan's as much as he was loved by them when he was alive.

Anonymous said...

All I can say (as a long-time Gordon fan) is that it's good to finally have the truth come out about Earnhardt, Jr. In reality he's the biggest whiner in Cup and now everyone knows it. For 15 years people have called Gordon a whiner, mostly unjustly. He says virtually nothing on the radio during races, yet the Holy Son does nothing but whine and blame everyone else for his problems. The thing I find so funny is whenever Jr. leads early, you just know that he won't be there at the end. Mostly because he can't communicate what changes he needs in the car to his crew because he's too busy whining and blaming someone else for everything. It's never his fault...

So glad to see so many people have finally seen him for the mediocre driver he has always been.

Anonymous said...

I said at the beginning of the season that it would be "business as usual" with Dale Jr and Tony Jr. Looking back it was well, "business as usual" in the 88 car. Definitely not the sucess that everyone had predicted.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #86 replies again to:

Monkeesfan said...
Anonymous #86, communication depends on the driver knowing what he wants in the car that will make it fast.
>>>>>>Then why do we need a crew chief?


We continue to ignore that the crew chief has to get accuarte information from the driver to make changes that work.
>>>>>>I agree with that. But at the same time, the crew chief has to know how to adjust the car to make changes that work. I have seen Eury make wholesale changes on their car during a race which only causes mass confusion when the changes don't work because he has no idea what helped and what made it worse. Then he is totally lost.


It's not Eury making the wrong changes as much as it's Junior not giving informtion that's accurate to what the car wants that will go fast with his driving style.
>>>>>That's why they need to switch crew chiefs between the #88 team and the #5 team. Then we'll see which one it is. But as long as they keep things as they are, you're going to keep blaming Junior and I'm going to keep blaming Eury.


You talk about blunders - what blunders? Most of the time they didn't win because they weren't strong enough to contend.
>>>>>>How about at the blunder at Indy when Eury thought he was so brilliant by bringing Junior in early to change tires when every body else came in a few laps later and then he left Junior out longer on tires to try to get him on the same pit cycle with the other cars which caused Junior to have a flat due to the excessive tire wear which Eury and the other crew chiefs knew all about on Saturday after practice?
How about the blunder at Watkins Glen when he left Junior out waaaaaaaaaay longer than all the other cars which caused him to be waaaaaaaaaay slower than the other cars and caused him to be a lap down when the caution fell and he was the only car left that hadn't pitted yet?


Junior won races at DEI with Eury - now suddenly Eury's an idiot?
>>>>>>I thought Eury was a damned idiot when he worked at DEI, too. I was hugely disappointed when I heard that he was leaving DEI to follow Junior to Hendrick Motorsports because I knew Junior's results would be the same as they were at DEI and I think this year has proved that. I was even more disappointed that Junior wanted Eury to go over there with him and I was flabbergasted that Rick Hendrick would even consider letting Eury come to Hendrick.


It's ot that he's not decifeing, it' tht Junior' not giving him the right stuff to decifer.
>>>>>>I'll grant you that you may be right on this point so let's switch crew chiefs and see for sure. Then we'll both know and so will the rest of the world!


Let's be honest - people want to blame Eury
>>>>>>There's a reason they blame him. He's the man turning the wrenches. Have you ever listened to the difference in an interview between Tony Eury, Jr. and Chad Knaus? Eury never says anything that sounds remotely intelligent whereas Knaus sounds like a college professor and I believe the difference in those two speaks volumes when their race cars go on the track. You can tell who knows what they're doing and who doesn't.


or Teresa Ernhardt or someone else,
>>>>>>I'm not blaming Teresa Earnhardt for anything except the fact that she has let Dale Sr.'s dream for a race team go up in smoke. As Tony Stewart replied when he was asked what he thought would happen to DEI once Junior left, "it'll become a museum." How right he was. And I'll bet Stewart would have agreed it was a mistake to allow Tony Eury, Jr. to leave DEI to continue to be Dale, Jr.'s crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports.

but maybe it's Junior.
>>>>>>Then let's give him a different crew chief and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that no one has actually commented on what was SAID, rather than on the headline.

Spencer never said Junior was a failure. He said Junior lacked enough focus.

He's probably right. Add stubborn to the mix, and there's a big part of why he won't win a championship unless HE changes.

If it were anyone but Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrecking himself week after week by running his car into the wall, it would be a no-brainer.

Dale Jr. is a good, not great driver. He stubbornly insists on running the high line, the very line another former DEI driver, Michael Waltrip uses. What's Mikey's record again? That exponentially increases the chances of hitting the wall and ruining the handling beyond the ability to fix it with an adjustment.

Junior could never be a failure at Hendrick - he sells too much merchandise for that to be. If his sales go down, then he's the weakest driving link in the organization. But, since his fans are loyal, that's not an issue, and Junior's a success there. :)

John H. said...

Junior needs to realize that all the success he's had in racing was when Tony Eury SENIOR was atop his pitbox, not Tony Jr. I also believe Junior is deceptively unfit. He can barely speak when he gets out of the car. This wasn't the case a few years ago when he was winning races. So, if the crew chief makes bad decisions while the driver is falling out of the seat toward the end of races, it doesn't matter if it's Hendrick equipment. At that point, it wasted equipment.

ri88girl said...

I agree with what Jimmy Spencer said about lack of focus, it just hurts a little to see it in print. I don't think he had a horrible year, but he did spend a lot of time shooting himself in the foot. Also if you compare his freshman year with Hendrick against Kyle Busch's with JGR, it makes things looke a lot worse than they were. It's seems Jr has a lot of personal issues (race related) he needs to work out and the dynamic of the whole team needs to gel better. Hopefully next year will show more of what he is capable of. Flashes of brilliance and echos of Dale Sr. appear throughout his season, but consistency is really the key to a championship IMHO.

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