The Frontstretch: Top Ten Reasons Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Didn't Make the Chase by Jeff Meyer -- Tuesday September 11, 2007

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Top Ten Reasons Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Didn't Make the Chase

Jeff Meyer · Tuesday September 11, 2007


10. After all that's gone on at DEI this year, Junior just didn't want the pressure. Now, he can just race!

9. Didn't want stepmom to have the satisfaction.

8. Didn't want to have to leave his Championship Trophy at the "Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Museum" that will be fielding cars in 2008.

7. Figured some of his winnings would be tied up in the lawsuit and used to pay off Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek.

6. Wants all of his championships to be with one team.

5. Well, when your average starting position is 13.9 and your average finish is 17… "You're going the wrong way! You're going to kill someone!"

4. In a cost-cutting measure, Teresa ordered the guys who build the engines for DEI's Busch teams to also build Junior’s. Too bad no one told them the races were longer.

3. Figures if Teresa won't let him use the No. 8, there's no sense winning her a championship in it…especially now.

2. Steve Hmiel, in a desperate measure to get his son, Shane, to stop asking him for money, talked Teresa into hiring him to work as a “helper” in the DEI engine department.

1. Maybe, just maybe, he's just not a good as the Busch brothers. (But at least he's got them on looks!)

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Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


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William T.
09/12/2007 05:49 AM

I agree with #1. Jr. is not that good. When you stop and think about it, he has the same equipment as Truex and he’s not blowing engines (5 races) this year. Looks like user error to me!

09/12/2007 06:30 AM

You folks are as bad as ESPN! Enough of Jr. and the “chase!” I think Jr. is a pretty good guy, even with the mess with Teresa, whom I respect greatly for her strength and ability, but enough is enough.

09/12/2007 08:08 AM

I love number #3 – Good top ten

09/12/2007 09:41 AM

Come on! Take a look at the articles today and two of the three are on Dale Jr. You must think that all we care about is Dale Jr. I have news for you, twelve people actually made the Chase and Dale Jr. was not one of them.

You are as bad today as ESPN and NASCAR. On yesterday, they had a poll question. The question was “Do you still care about the Chase now that Dale Jr. did not make it?” They seem to think that every single NASCAR fan is a Dale Jr. fan. There are 42 other drivers out there each week that we all root for and we are tired of only being told about Dale Jr.

09/12/2007 10:05 AM

Enough already. Jr may have a bunch of fans, but the rest of us are tired of reading, and hearing about him. I actually feel sorry for him, making all the millions and finding out “Maybe, just maybe, he’s just not a good as the Busch brothers” hell we already knew that

09/12/2007 10:59 AM

Thank you Scott and Donb. It is completely ridiculous to have the media shoving this to us. Most of us have had enough. We would really like to read about somebody else for a change.

Managing Editor
09/12/2007 11:06 AM

Just an editor’s note : Of the “three articles” that are focused on Junior today, just one – this Top Ten list – focuses exclusively on his plight. The other two include Junior indirectly as part of two larger stories – an argument of whether the Chase is doing its job in our “Mirror Driving” group chat article, and the success of Martin Truex, Jr. in Vito Pugliese’s commentary.

So, that makes this column you’re reading the only Junior-exclusive one we’ve had this week…and a pure attempt at humor, to boot! We couldn’t disagree more with your assertion we’re overly covering Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; in fact, we’re proud of the fact we’ve provided more balanced coverage than several of the other media outlets there that you have to choose from.

As always, thanks for picking us.

Sandra Canfield
09/12/2007 11:10 AM

where do you think nascar is going to be five years from now when these guys start retiring. Lets be honest if nascar didn’t have junior where would they be same way with the other top three JG JJ TS They would be in the basement and since it has been junior this year it will be next year when he starts winning races so get used to it. A jr fan

09/12/2007 11:48 AM


I hate to burst your bubble, but there are plenty of drivers that will keep NASCAR going after those four retire. You have Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne, just to name a couple. The “Red Army” needs to learn that there is more to NASCAR than simply Junior.

09/12/2007 12:11 PM


Dream on. LOL

09/12/2007 12:16 PM

I know you’re just having fun, but the real reason for not making the chase is obvious. The DEI engine shop is incapable of making goo quality engines. Martin blew an engine before they ever left the shop at one race, and he blew one yesterday at practice.

09/12/2007 12:25 PM

Jr. is so wonderful! Why did you read this article if you are tired of Jr.?? You knew it was about Jr.! Some of you talk so hateful. Junior has never done anything to you. He does not talk a lot on TV either, unless he is asked something. It is not his fault that he is the most popular driver in NASCAR. He never said he was a better driver than anyone. If you would stop worrying so much about Jr. and start supporting your own driver, he might get some attention too.

Jerry Bowden
09/12/2007 12:33 PM

Man what a bunch of haters.
There are plenty of good drivers in Nascar besides Jr, but no matter how much you don’t like it you don’t see a sea of any other dominate color other than red at the tracks. Last I checked it is a free country and a democracy at that, so that being said the majority rules for Jr and you are still free to pick whomever you want to as your favorite. Please get off of Jr’s back because the majority want to hear about him. How would you like it when your driver gets to the top and everyone bashes him for his success as a whole, besides what has he done to you, nothing? What has he done for the sport, tons.

#3, #8, #20, Kenny, and Mikey fan

09/12/2007 12:48 PM

This to Virginia! You talk about Martin’s cars blowing up before the race in the shop and also during practice. At least it doesn’t blow up when it matters. I myself find it strange that Dale Jr. has had 5 blown motors, this season, when he is leaving there. He said it best, for some reason when they plug them motors in his car, they blow up.hmmmmmm. Oh well He is and will always be my fave. so GO JR. The future is looking bright. Ya’ll have a great day.

09/12/2007 01:48 PM

I think the top 2 reasons are Lack or Talent, and DEI took his engineers away and gave them to truex mid season.

09/12/2007 03:10 PM

That’s funny, I don’t care where you’re from. Good job Jeff.

The Jr Era at TEI is almost over. Just a few more races and the new era begins. Now, will Jr do better, the same or worse? This is the question that will be answered (or have excuses made for) come this time next year.

Phil Stone
09/12/2007 04:25 PM

all funny stuff..Next yr Jr. nation finds out the truth about his highness. My prediction is he will be the only Hendrick car not to make the chase.. He sadly has no clue what it takes to setup a car or to tell poor tony jr how to fix a bad one..whens the last time u heard Jr say that the car was bad at the start but they kept working on it and it was awesome at the end of the race?? NEVER!!! because tony makes changes and Jr hasn’t a clue what they were..Y does he always look like he is about to drop dead at the finish when others hardly sweatin ?? ow well enough bashin the king

09/12/2007 05:01 PM

“I think the top 2 reasons are Lack or Talent, and DEI took his engineers away and gave them to truex mid season.”
sadly this happens alot in racing,the engineers not the engines
the 8 team might have been turning there’s aliitle more, maybe trying out some new parts.get a few more ponies to try to get in the chase
but DEI,now TEI">DEI pulled engineers from a guy a few years ago. its not the first time

09/12/2007 07:50 PM

I’ve been a NASCAR fan since the early 70’s. Fans come and go, but the Earnhardts live on forever. First they hated Ralph, then they hated Dale Sr., now they hate Jr. The question is why? Some of you think it is the name sake that Jr. is where he is today, but hasn’t he proved himself with 17 victories in the Cup, and championships in the Busch series? How about all them consective wins at Talledega? How many other drivers can boast about that feat? Oh yeah that’s right, they gave them Championships to him because he was driving his daddy’s cars, of course his “no talent” could not have possibly won him those championships. And his “No Talent” caused NASCAR to give him those 17 victories. Not to take anything away from the Stewarts, Gordons, Johnsons, Martins etc… but if you check the records, there are a lot of “Talented” drivers you fans out there pull for that has yet to reach 17 Victories. Keep on Hating Jr., I’ll keep on pulling for him no matter who he drives for, what he drives, and will continue to watch him add to his victory column while you other so called NASCAR fans pull for your week drivers “Kahnes, Sadlers, etc.” Also, there isn’t any more gracefull drive out there today. When he messes up, makes a mistake and gets into somebody, he is the first to jump on the radio and apologize. Not many other drivers do. So keep on hating but accept the fact that he is where he is and like it or not, he will be beating the snot out of the others very very soon. They called his dad the intimdator, soon you will be seeing the Dominator….Go Jr.

09/12/2007 08:29 PM

I don’t have a dog in this fight so let’s compare. First 9 years in NA$CAR, Jeff Gordon had 3 championships. Dale Jr, after 9 years has none. The 9 years they’ve been racing against each other, Jeff Gordon has 1 championship. Jr has none.

Jr may turn things around with his new team, he may not. He may end up being like Mark Martin. One of the greatest drivers to never win a championship. Or he may win a championship which would place him one up on a number of drivers. But because he has been made the face of NA$CAR, other race fans have to suffer through all the hype that NA$CAR has put behind him making him larger than life. It’s like anything in life. Everything in moderation. Not shoving it down everyones’ throats.

Not everyone is a Jr fan, a Chevy fan, or even a Cup fan. I know some folks may have a hard time believing that, but it’s true. So maybe the networks and NA$CAR need to back off and spread the coverage around. After all, there are 43 drivers who start every race, not just one.

09/12/2007 08:38 PM

and when the other 42 bring in the $$$$ like Jr. they will get the same coverage from the media!!!

09/12/2007 08:50 PM

Thank you once again for the laughs Jeff, you have done it again. Jrs tenure with Mother T is almost over, throughout the 2007 ordeal he has displayed class and dignity, Jr. will shine at HMS.

09/14/2007 12:50 PM

A person can’t miss the emotions of jr and the other drivers after the chase. I think the emotion was for Jr. It is hard to find that kind of love and emotion.Well earned.

09/14/2007 04:10 PM

To all those who say Junior is “no good” and “doesn’t belong is Nascar,” give him a break.

Yes, he gets more press than his on-track performance has shown. But, the previous king of the “Most Popular Driver Awards” was Bill Elliott and he kept winning the award long after his competitiveness dropped off.

Strictly looking at the facts, he has not proven he’s as good as his dad or Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart. But, they are past, current or future legends of the game. Dale has won 17 races in his nine seasons in the cup in substandard equipment, so he must have some talent, even if he isn’t a “legend.”

He hasn’t won a championship, but neither has the semi-retired Mark Martin and few people doubt he’s one of the best drivers of this era.

So, the next few years, in Hendrick equipment, will let Junior showcase his talent, however much it is.

The future is not to answer the question is he a bad driver or a great driver? But, is he a good driver or a great one? Even if Junior would quit or have to quit racing today, I would classify him as a good racer.

Only time will tell whether or not he can be as great as most of his fans seem to think he is.

If Junior was not held up to such a high standard and judged as any other driver, we would not be having this discussion.


Contact Jeff Meyer

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