NASCAR Announces Modifications To NASCAR Hall Of Fame Eligibility And Selection Process
posted by Mike Neff
Thursday December 5, 2013
The Sanctioning Body Also Creates New Award For Outstanding Contributions
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2013) – NASCAR today announced a number of changes to the selection process for the NASCAR Hall of Fame (NHOF), including a modification to driver eligibility parameters and the creation of a new award to honor significant contributions to the growth and success of the sport.
In all, six changes and updates will be made starting with the selection of the Class of 2015 – all designed to improve upon an already strong process that has led to the selection of 25 deserving inductees.
“We’re very proud of how the NASCAR Hall of Fame has evolved and believe the first five classes reflect the strength of the nominating and voting procedures, with voices from every corner of our industry included in the selection process,” said Brett Jewkes, NASCAR vice president and chief communications officer. “Based on feedback from voters, industry leaders, media who cover our sport and the fans, we believe the changes announced today are a strong recognition of the uniqueness of our sport and will make the overall selection process even stronger in how we honor those who have driven NASCAR to great success on and off the track.”
Following is a summary of changes:
Currently, drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for three years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. That will not change.
Moving forward, however, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF. Also, any competitor who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age.
Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.
Nominating Committee Will Select Five Fewer Nominees for Enshrinement
Throughout its history, the NHOF Nominating Committee has selected 25 nominees each year to be discussed and voted on for NHOF enshrinement. That number will be reduced to 20 starting with the selection process for the 2015 class.
Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR
Beginning with the 2015 class, a new award – Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR – will be initiated to honor significant contributions to the growth and esteem of NASCAR.
Potential Landmark Award recipients could include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners will remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.
Five nominees will be selected by the NHOF Nominating Committee and then be voted on by the Voting Panel. To win the award, an individual must appear on at least 60 percent of the ballots and no more than one award will be presented annually. Voting for this award will occur immediately following the voting for the NHOF class and be monitored by the same independent accounting firm that oversees NHOF voting.
Nominating Committee to Meet, Vote on 20 NHOF Nominees / Five Landmark Award Nominees
For the first time, the Nominating Committee will meet in person to discuss, debate and vote to create two ballots – the NHOF ballot and the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR ballot. Previously, the committee submitted nominees via mail to an independent accounting firm that tallies the nominations in order to create the final NHOF ballot.
The Nominating Committee will meet during Speedweeks at Daytona on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, and the nominees for both ballots will be announced later that day.
Nominees To Be Recused From the Nominating / Voting Process
Any member of the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel who appeared on the previous year’s ballot or current year’s ballot will now be recused from participating in the nominating and / or voting process for as long as he / she appears on the ballot. If an individual who is currently on the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel is inducted, or is no longer included on a final ballot, he or she is immediately reinstated to active participation on the panel(s).
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Added To Voting Panel
As was already announced on Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the annual NASCAR Championship Contenders Press Conference, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be added to the following year’s voting panel.
That means Jimmie Johnson, who captured his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, will be included in the selection meeting and can cast a vote for the NHOF Class of 2015 on Voting Day, Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
NASCAR Purchases Iowa Speedway
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday November 27, 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 27, 2013) – In a strategic move designed to expand its commitment to enhancing event experiences and fan engagement, as well as solidify the future of one of the premier racing and entertainment facilities in the Midwest, NASCAR announced today that it has purchased Iowa Speedway. The agreement, finalized today under a wholly-owned subsidiary, Iowa Speedway, LLC, is effective immediately.
“Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,” said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, strategic development. “The facility has the support of the region, it’s positioned well in the heart of the Midwest, and year in and year out it provides great short-track racing action for motorsports fans.
“NASCAR ownership will allow us to draw on the entire resources of our company. It also provides us with the opportunity to execute first-hand a number of entertainment ideas and engagement opportunities with fans – much of which we have outlined repeatedly as the core of our Industry Action Plan.”
The facility, located 30 miles east of Des Moines in Newton, features a fast, .875-mile asphalt paved tri-oval designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. The Speedway released its 2014 schedule earlier this month, encompassing three weekends, one each in May, July and August. The schedule will include two NASCAR Nationwide Series races, a combination NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and IndyCar Series weekend, plus two additional NASCAR K&N Pro Series support races. NASCAR has no plans for Iowa Speedway to host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next year or in the immediate future.
NASCAR will host a special event in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 12, to outline additional details on the purchase and plans for the future. Information on this event will be announced soon.
The 2014 Iowa Speedway season opens May 17-18, with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West Challenge on Saturday night. The stars and cars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series then will battle on Sunday in a 250-lap, high-speed contest. The race marks the only Sunday afternoon event of the season at Iowa Speedway.
The new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series / IndyCar Series race weekend at Iowa Speedway is slated for July 11-12. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race Friday night and feature short-track racing action that has become synonymous with the series in the American Ethanol 200. The first-ever Iowa Corn Indy 300 will follow on Saturday night.
On Friday, Aug. 1, a second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West challenge race will be held followed by a second NASCAR Nationwide Series 250-lap event on Saturday under the lights.
Season ticket holders may renew their tickets for the 2014 season, and will have an exclusive right to secure their current seats until Dec. 14. All other seats are available for purchase immediately, with season ticket prices starting at $95. All season tickets will include a guaranteed seat location, complimentary Casey’s Fan Walk pass and an opportunity to participate in pre-race ceremonies. Season tickets, parking passes and onsite camping options are available online at www.iowaspeedway.com, or by calling the toll-free ticketing hotline, 866-RUSTY-GO (787-8946).
Iowa Speedway’s ticketing office, located at 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive in Newton, also will be open to assist customers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, holidays excepted.
2014 IOWA SPEEDWAY EVENT SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 17 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Friday, July 11 – American Ethanol 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Friday, August 1 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Stewart-Haas Racing announces reorganization of their Competition Department
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 19, 2013
Stewart-Haas Racing is expanding to four teams in the Sprint Cup series for 2014. As a result, the organization is realigning some personnel into new roles within their competition department. The new assignments for 2014 include:
1) Greg Zipadelli has been named Vice President of Competition and will oversee all four Sprint Cup teams. The crew chiefs of the teams will report directly to Zipadelli.
2) Matt Borland has been named Vice President of Engineering. The role will involve Borland overseeing the organization’s technical initiatives and a myriad of research and development projects. As Borland moves into his new role he will become a mentor for the crew chief of the No. 41 Haas Automation team of Kurt Busch.
3) Race Engineer Daniel Knost is being promote to the position of Crew Chief for Busch’s No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet. Knost is an engineer with a Master of Science and PHD in Mechanical Engineering from VPI and Virginia Tech. Knost’s previous roles at SHR included running the team’s seven-post shaker rig, at-track race simulation support and race engineer for both the No. 10 and No. 39 teams.
4) Chad Johnston is going to take over the Crew Chief position for Tony Stewart’s No. 14. Johnston has spent the last three years as Martin Truex Jr.‘s Crew Chief at Michael Waltrip Racing. Johnston brings Hoosier roots to the organization like Stewart. He is a graduate of Indiana State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
5) The Crew Chief for Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 ride in 2014 will be Rodney Childers. Childers moved to SHR in October of 2013 from MWR where he was a Crew Chief for the No. 00 David Reutimann and then the No. 55 for multiple drivers. Childers Crew Chief resume extends back to 2005 when he was the head wrench for MB2/MBV Motorsports with Scott Riggs.
6) Tony Gibson will remain on top of the pit box for Danica Patrick in the No. 10 car for 2014.
Steve Addington is leaving SHR for other opportunities. The word is he will be the Crew Chief for the No. 51, working with his good friend Kevin ‘Bono’ Manion.
2011 Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 12, 2013
Daytona 500 winner and Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) driver Trevor Bayne has announced today that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bayne – 22 years old – has undergone extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic and has been cleared by doctors and NASCAR to compete behind the wheel.
“I’ve never been more driven to compete,” said Bayne. “My goals are the same as they’ve been since I started racing. I want to compete at the highest level and I want to win races and championships. I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I feel good,” added Bayne. “There are currently no symptoms and I’m committed to continuing to take the best care of my body as possible. I will continue to trust in God daily and know that His plan for me is what is best.”
In 2011, Bayne became the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win the famed Daytona 500. He is currently sixth in the NNS standings, having accumulated one win, six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes in 2013. He will compete again full-time for the NNS championship in 2014, driving the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang.
In 117 career Nationwide Series races Bayne has two wins, 18 top 5s and 50 top 10s with six poles. Bayne also has 45 career Sprint Cup series starts. In those starts he has the one win in the 2011 Daytona 500, one top 5 and three top 10s.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body. Symptoms range from reduced or lost mobility to numbness and tingling to blindness and, in extreme cases, paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, and each person diagnosed with MS experiences the disease in a unique way.
Penalties Issued Following Sledgehammer Throw
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 31, 2013
Last Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway will likely be best known for Darrell Wallace, Jr.‘s historic victory. However, late in the race, a crash involving Ty Dillon and Kevin Harvick, along with the pit road actions afterward, also made headlines.
Dillon got in the back of Harvick in Turn 2, spinning the Sprint Cup regular out, who then ran into the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet. Dillon then responded with a number of unsuccessful attempts to spin out Harvick. When both drivers got to pit road, Harvick blocked Dillon’s stall and threw down his window net, prompting a scrum where a sledgehammer was thrown by a member of Dillon’s team at Harvick’s truck.
On Friday morning, NASCAR responded with penalties stemming from the pit road altercation. Marcus Richmond, crew chief of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, has been fined $10,000 for failing to maintain control of his crew. Meanwhile, crewmember Adam Brown was judged by NASCAR to be the person who three the sledgehammer at Harvick and was suspended indefinitely.
In their press release, NASCAR cited violations of multiple sections of the 2013 Camping World Truck Series Rule Book. The sections cited were 12-1 (Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing) and 9-4A (Crew chief resumes responsibility for the actions of his driver, team owner, and team members in addition to himself).
There is no word as of yet from Richard Childress Racing as to whether they plan to appeal the penalties.
Marcos Ambrose to have new sponsor for Dover Cup race in September
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday October 29, 2013
The current economic environment has seen sponsors cutting back and even leaving the sport. Richard Petty Motorsports announced on Tuesday evening that they will have a new sponsor on the hood for the Dover Cup race and an associate sponsor for half of the season. Stanley and their associated brands Mac and Dewalt will also be back for 2014 on the No. 9 Ford for Marcos Ambrose.
Brian Moffitt, the CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports noted that the company is willing to run an alcohol sponsor on the No. 9 but will never do it on the No. 43. “Richard promised his parents that he’d never run an alcohol or tobacco sponsor on his car and that will hold true as long as we’re an organization.” When he was asked about how this came about he said, “This just kind of happened. There are relationships out there in the marketplace that are always talking with each other. We ended up going to Boston and having a discussion with the company and the next thing you know we are partners.”
Twisted Tea is a division of Boston Beer Company, most famous for the Samuel Adams beer brand. Jon London, the Boston Beer Director of Brand Development was on hand and loves the marriage between Twisted Tea’s customers and NASCAR. “We look at NASCAR and think that they, along with Marcos Ambrose, are just a great fit for the brand. Our drinkers love NASCAR and Marcos is a little bit different, our drinkers are a little different and Marcos is a lot of fun so he’s a great person to represent our brand.”
Moffitt also confirms that, while there are a few openings left on the 2014 calendar for RPM, both Ambrose and Aric Almirola will be back in 2014 and should have all of their races covered by the start of the season.
Darrell Wallace Jr. Scores Significant Victory at Martinsville
posted by Mike Neff
Saturday October 26, 2013
Darrell Wallace, Jr. etched his name in the NASCAR history book under two different columns on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace took the checkered flag first to become the second African-American driver in the history of NASCAR to win a National touring series race, and the first to win a Truck Series race. He is also the second graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity to win a national touring race, following Kyle Larson’s victory at Rockingham Speedway earlier this season.
Wallace led a race-high 96 laps en route to his win. He led three times including the final 50 laps. Wallace outran Brendan Gaughan, Jeb Burton, Ben Kennedy and Ryan Blaney to secure his win. The average age of the top 5 at Martinsville was 23.8 with four of the five drivers being under 22 years of age. Wallace is the second non-Cup driver to win in a Kyle Busch Motorsports truck following Brian Scott’s win at Phoenix last season.
Hamlin Picks Up a Pair of Poles in Martinsville
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
Denny Hamlin will start on the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway after setting a new track record with a lap time of 19.013 seconds, good for a speed of 99.595 MPH. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch ran identical second-place times of 190.61 seconds. Johnson will start on the front row after winning the tie-breaker, car owner points, where Johnson currently sits first. Busch will start third, and Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer round out the top 5. Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, David Ragan, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick complete the top 10.
The pole is Hamlin’s 17th in 288 races. It’s also his fifth of 2013, a career-best for Hamlin, whose season was interrupted by a back injury earlier in the year.
In all, 18 drivers broke the previous track record, set in the spring race this year by Johnson. Bowyer broke the 100 MPH mark in practice, but no driver was able to duplicate that in time trials. The Sprint Cup drivers will have a pair of practice sessions on Saturday before Sunday’s 500-lap event.
Seven Chase drivers qualified inside the top 10, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Carl Edwards clocked in in 12th and 14th, respectively. Other Chase drivers include Ryan Newman (17th), Kasey Kahne (25th), and Greg Biffle (33rd).
Hamlin wasn’t done after his Sprint Cup qualifying effort. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers took their time trials after the Cup teams had their shot, and Hamlin duplicated his earlier effort, snagging the pole for the Kroger 250 in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry. Johnny Sauter, Darrell Wallace, Jr., Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Ty Dillon round out the top 5 for Saturday’s race.
2014 Camping World Truck Series Schedule announced
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
NASCAR announced the 2014 Camping World Truck Series schedule today at Martinsville Speedway. The series will run 22 events in 2014 starting at Daytona on February 21st and concluding at Homestead on November 14th. The schedule includes stops at New Hampshire Motorspeedway and Gateway Motorsports Park next year. The series will once again turn right and left at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park along with slinging mud for the second consecutive year at Eldora Speedway.
2014 Camping World Trucks Series Schedule
Feb 21 Daytona
Tweet Lands Another Driver In Trouble
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 24, 2013
NASCAR announced on Wednesday that Corey LaJoie has been placed on probation after posting an inappropriate tweet on Twitter last week. He will have to attend sensitivity training as prescribed by NASCAR.
In their statement, NASCAR stated that LaJoie is being penalized for “an insensitive and intolerable communication” posted on Twitter on October 15. The tweet, which has since been deleted, suggested that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) should conduct a cavity search on a man wearing a turban.
Wednesday afternoon, LaJoie tweeted out a statement.
“I am very sorry for those offended by my recent remark,” LaJoie tweeted. “It was an immature & insensitive comment. I am upset with myself and how this has affected what has been a very positive year in my career.”
This incident marks the second time this season that NASCAR has penalized a driver for comments on social media. Earlier this season, Nelson Piquet, Jr. was forced to attend sensitivity training after using a homophobic slur in the comments section of an Instagram picture that Parker Kligerman posted.
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Full Throttle · Mike Neff · Monday July 23, 2007
When it comes to who’s a fan favorite in Nextel Cup, there’s no question Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has always carried the biggest legion of followers to each track the series visits. The winner of the Most Popular Driver contest for four years running, he dominates every vote about the sport that ever seems to take place.
All that might be about to change.
Six weeks after his groundbreaking announcement that he’s not only leaving the company that his father and stepmother built, but moving to the so-called “Evil Empire” of NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, there are cracks beginning to appear in the foundation of the house that is Junior Nation.
Right now, those cracks appear to be subtle in nature, although they’re visible nonetheless. This week, ESPN's online popularity contest known as Who's Now, a completely unscientific poll that pits modern athletes against each other in a bracket style tournament to determine which is the most “now,” paired Earnhardt against Peyton Manning, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, in a round of 16 matchup. This seemed like it would be a very close competition, especially considering the fact that Earnhardt usually wins every online voting contest in which his name appears.
When the final vote was tallied, 70.6% of the over 150,000 votes received were in favor of Manning, while Earnhardt only garnered 29.4%. Forget a nail-biting finish; this vote was a whitewashing. Junior was completely dominated in a contest that would have appeared, on the surface, to have been a perfect opportunity for Junior Nation to come out in force and show the amount of support that they have for their driver. It’s a scenario in which they’ve always come out full force in the past; for Junior to lose badly in so openly advertised a competition is enough to raise a question mark in my book.
Of course, this outcome may just be a blip on the radar screen, a cross-sport poll that shows the vast red army that follows Earnhardt as passionately as the black army that worshiped his father simply doesn't pay attention to ESPN or their gimmicky contest. But this could also be the first glimpse of the ramifications that Junior's decision to go to Hendrick might have on his popularity in the sport. As I’ve noted previously, Junior has been one of the most dominant merchandising players NASCAR has ever seen since he rose into the Cup level full-time in 2000. The sea of red in the stands every week speaks volumes to his popularity with his legion of fans, backing up the throngs of phone and online support which has led to his four consecutive Most Popular Driver trophies. No question about it, six years after his father’s death, Junior has emerged as a marketing force all his own.
A career decision is what’s threatening to change all that in a heartbeat. All of the molding of Junior’s image took place while he was driving for his father’s company, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. It was a safety net for him, a company which has allowed Junior to come into his own while, at the same time, seamlessly carrying on the legacy of the Earnhardt name for a legion of trusting supporters. But things are about to become very, very different. Junior has announced that he will break rank with both history and tradition, moving instead to the organization that embodied everything that both his and his father's core fans appear to have despised.
Junior’s move to the slick, corporate, big city team of Hendrick doesn’t jive with the way most of his fans think. Fielding cars for Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, old-timers see the organization supporting California boys who didn't pay the dues the way Earnhardt's father did on the dirt tracks and bullrings of the Southeast. The majority of those that root for Earnhardt are also ardent non-fans of Gordon, willing to disown their mother or child if they were to root for the No. 1 driver for Hendrick. Such hatred for the Rainbow Warrior became clear by the embarrassing scenes Junior fans have jumpstarted at Talladega. In 2004, several showered the track with debris when Gordon defeated Earnhardt after a questionable caution flag call at the end of the race. Not to be outdone, fans this year repeated the same unruly behavior when Gordon won there over Earnhardt again, doing the unthinkable by surpassing Dale Earnhardt, Sr.‘s all-time victory total in the process. Now, those same fans must stomach the fact the Intimidator’s son is going to be Gordon’s teammate, and – even more despicable in their eyes – his friend.
Such logic of not being loyal to Junior can be understood on some levels…but not all. It’s true that Hendrick Motorsports embodies the new image of NASCAR: very corporate, very politically correct, and most importantly, very successful. The organization has dominated the first third of this season, with Gordon currently leading the points by 303 over his nearest challenger. That’s the point that brings fan’s loyalty into question: if someone truly wants to see their driver succeed and win races and championships, it seems as though there would not be a better place for him to end up at than with the team who’s had the most recent success.
Hendrick has won HALF of the championships decided in the sport in the last 12 years, and 111 races over that time. Add to that another 10 races out of the first 19 this year, and you have to realize that there isn't a better choice to enhance the opportunity to win a championship than Hendrick. Any fan that is serious about wanting to see Junior win that title trophy has to realize that potential. With the best equipment on the track, not only could their man be the most popular in the sport, but he could earn a second distinction as well – most dominant.
Junior hopes all his fans will be able to see that in the end, and only time will tell if they follow through with what they claim. But if this first vote is any indication – as innocent as it may be – there are signs not all of Junior Nation has come to terms with the future.
©2000 - 2008 Mike Neff and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
That was a stupid poll! Even I knew Junior wouldn’t win over Peyton Manning. And no one will win over Tiger Woods! Junior is the most popular RACER. And his true fans will never leave him.
You’re basing this on an ESPN poll? You must be trying Nascar’s version of ‘how things really are’. As long as Junior isn’t sucked into the Hendrick clone machine, his fans don’t care where he drives. His biggst appeal has always been that he has no pretensions. As long as he doesn’t lose that, I can’t see things changing too much.
You need to do a little checking around on numerous message boards and chat rooms to find out just how many people did vote for Jr. and several times for each person, some over a 1,000 times. Everybody in the rooms and boards I have been on find it hard to believe that only a total of 150,000 votes came in in the first place for these two. Espn is a site that mainly caters to stick and ball sports and (stuart is a S.O.B, and I refuse to watch him)ESPN has shown little care for Nascar until now when there getting ready to start covering the next 6 races. I am some what surprised they purchased a contract to carry them at all, and there coverage sucks to say the least. And any fan that would ditch there driver for leaving a sinking ship with a absent owner that lacks alot to be desired was never a fan in the first place….wannabe fans move on and dont come back. Jr. and his nation will be just fine without them, time will reveal this!
I can’t help but laugh at your column. You obviously don’t know Jr fans very well. Sure, there will be a few rats who desert the ship, but the main core of Jr fans will follow him to the ends of the earth. Actually, we are proud that he had the courage to take charge of his life and sign with someone who will supply him with top-notch cars, someone who will respect and support him. As a matter of fact, he is already making new fans because of this move. He will not change who he is, and that is what matters.
So rest easy, Jr fans are strong, faithful, and true to our driver.
No doubt about it! JR. stock is falling, and fast!
Part (or maybe most) of JR.S “charisma” was that he represented the “old school” NASCAR! A country bumpkin made good!
A “TEE” shirt & beer image, now joining the White Collar & Wine congregation!
THAT AIN’T GONNA WORK!
And here’s your sign!!
(oh yes, a few month’s ago a similar poll was held and JR. did womp the others big time! This time his cry-baby image has caught up to him!)
I think comparing Dale Jr. to one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks is like comparing apples to oranges. Sure, there are fans of both sports. I’m a fan of Peyton, but I like Jr. better, because Nascar is my sport. I voted in the ESPN poll, but found it to be pretty boring and felt that it wasted far too much of my time for the java stuff to load. Oh, and Douglas? Crybaby?! Get with it, dude. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a driver with more integrity and honesty than Dale Jr. Douglas, Dale Jr. takes responsibility for accidents that weren’t his fault. I don’t know who your favorite driver is, but I’ll bet he doesn’t do that.
That ESPN poll was nothing more than silly donkey dung! A premiere quarterback ( who won the last Super Bowl) beat a racecar driver! What a shocker!!! What nonsense…Dale Earnhardt, Jr. needed to weed out the low class trashy people who can’t accept the fact that Dale Earnhardt, Sr. is never coming back. Sorry to be so harsh, but that’s the truth. I have gained much admiration for Jr. for putting his driving ability on the line for all to see. He’ll now be in top notch equipment and have all the support and resources he needs to be successful. I think he’ll finally be able to reach his potential and his fans will be right behind him all the way.
I’m not part of the Jr nation of fans, but you must be dreaming if you think his going to HMS is going to cost him any fans, sure some will leave, but he will gain many more, for the first time since I have been reading Jr and other racing boards, the Jr and Gordon fans are getting along, Jr will not only gain better cars to drive, he will also gain fans
Dale Jr. has lots of bandwagon fans who know nothing about NASCAR, act like he’s the only driver on the track, and just like rooting for a famous name and like that they can wear Budweiser merchandise in the process. His real fans will follow him to Hendrick and will root for him regardless of his sponsor. The others will find the next bandwagon to jump on.
What a ridiculous article. That ESPN contest is a joke. Everyone knows who’s going to win. Of course Jr lost to Manning, any driver would lose to a NFL qb that just won the Super Bowl. Racing will never be as big as football but JR will always be the most popular driver. His fans will follow him wherever he goes because he’s a genuine guy and he cares about his fans. I don’t know a single person who’s no longer a JR fan because he left DEI. In fact I think he’s made some more fans because he made a tough decision and did what’s right for his future.
The results of polls like that are too predictable. Considering that ESPN was conducting the poll, I think we as NASCAR fans know that Peyton Manning would win over Dale Earnhardt Jr. It’s the audience to which they are catering. At this time, the ESPN audience does not include as many NASCAR fans proportionally as NFL fans.
The same is said about NASCAR.com polls. In those polls, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ends up on the winning side more than ever. Why? Because he is the most popular driver and the question being asked is pretty much irrelevant.
YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY ONE OF THOSE JEALOUS “NON” FANS OF JUNIOR NATION. WE ARE NOT IN AGREEMENT W/YOU BY ANY MEANS. Try as it may Nascar will never be on the same page as football. There are many more football fans than Nascar. The Mannings are the Mannings, that all I’ll say. Who cares anyway? Any true fan of Junior’s doesn’t care about any poll. Take this to the bank
What a waste of space. It is like pitting a Democrat against a Republican and polling only Democrats and Independents. Junior should gain fans as parents who wouldn’t let their kids wear Bud gear
can now support him.
Please find a little more info to back up your opinion next time. A silly little ESPN poll should not make or break Junior’s fan following. Get a life!
Jeff Gordon has a tremendous following as well but he lost to LeBron James. The sky is not falling. We’re just not used to ESPN giving air time to NASCAR. Me personally, I watch SPEED.
Mike, what a silly column. You know it’s a slow week when you see BS like this. Who cares about a stupid ESPN poll like this. As Jim said, it’s apples & oranges. If you want to have a real poll, why don’t you ask this: Since Jr. announced he’s going to Hendrick & can’t take Bud with him, are you a.) still a Jr fan no matter what, b.) was a Jr fan, but no longer, because he went to Hendrick and/or lost Bud, c.) became a Jr fan since the announcement. Maybe with the results of a poll like that you can have some argument, regarding whether cracks could be forming in the foundation of Junior Nation.
The few cracks that might be forming will fill with new cement in the “nation” foundation when all is said and done. Mark my words!
I think the problem in the poll is that your comparing a average driver to one of the top 3 quarterbacks of all time. All my racing friends all watch football too. If you wanted a real poll as whos better J. Gordon or Payton Manning. That would be alot more even. Anyone who knows anything about sports will have to think about that one.
“…The molding of Juniorâ€™s image took place while he was driving for his fatherâ€™s company…it was a safety net for him…” Seriously? Ha! Obviously the net wasn’t big enough. Wasn’t it Teresa Earnhardt who said that Jr. needed to decide whether he wanted to be a driver or a public personality?
That’s one reason Dale Jr. left DEI, they didn’t like his image. They didn’t understand that it was because of his public personality that he had so many fans. HMS understands. Rick has said he won’t make Dale Jr. change his ways. And, if Jr. does change in any way it’ll be because that’s what he wants to do. He’s maturing.
As for this WHO’S NOW? Poll. That’s ridiculous. I knew Peyton Manning was going to win because…c’mon! He’s freaking Peyton Manning. FYI. I voted for Dale Jr.
Like you said, many NASCAR fans don’t watch Sports Center -so they won’t catch those five minutes of the Who’s Now segment. They won’t waste two hours of their time to get 30 seconds of “COMING UP…WHY DALE JR..blah blah blah…” When it takes the people 20 minutes to get to a non-baseball/football/basketball story. NASCAR Nation usually sticks with something that is all NASCAR, like NASCAR Now or NASCAR Live.
I think JrNation is still strong. Those abandoning ship were never a part of the REAL JrNation to begin with.
You are telling it like it is . Here at work we all moved over to Martin Truex Jr Got new banners and flags and took down Jrs. I know he lost 23 fans here . no telling how many other to.
Junior nation is comprised of Dale Junior fans, and Bud fans. True fans of Dale Junior will support him wherever he drives, and whatever his sponsor is. Bud fans will be unhappy that they are no longer associated with the most popular driver in the sport today. However, however many fans Junior may loose in this new deal, he’ll gain back ten fold!
we love him—not his sponsor- not his number—the guy who tells it like it is and gives his all— the fella who will NOT change into “corporate” Nascar but will continue to be our JR.
What about the Hendrick fans that he is adding to his following. There are a lot of Hendrick fans that will now be wearing Dale Tee shirts.
What a goofy poll. Manning must be the #1 jock commercial whore on TV so that exposure has a lot to do with it. He could not even win a Super Bowl until his owner had the NFL changed to the no hard hitting “No Fun League” that it is now. Manning is a Paper Panty Waste who can’t perform under pressure. He would poop his pants in a COT.
Let me say this. I was at Gateway on Saturday night. I saw lots of Junior gear , lots of Stewart gear, lots of Gordon gear,, yet they were all wearing Office Depot hats. There is fixing to be a new “red army”
Obviously you wrote this article so you would get lots of hits. I dare say that Jr has lost not a single “real” fan. I and many others would follow Jr even if he drove a #13 toyota sponsored by Planters Peanuts. It’s not the car that we “JR NATION” follow it’s the driver.
I’m a die-hard Dale Jr. fan. Have been for years. I didn’t vote in that silly ESPN poll. In fact, I don’t vote in any online polls. They don’t make any difference in the long run.
You want to prove your point here? Watch the next race at Talladega and listen for the reaction Dale Jr. gets. If there are more boos than usual, then you have a case. But basing Dale Jr’s star power on a ESPN poll—a channel that wouldn’t focus on NASCAR unless they were forced to—is just silly.
It’s not about his daddy, or a company, a sponsor or even an number, it’s about the man. I’m a proud member of Jr Nation and will be no matter what the future holds for him. It’s rediculous to say that an ESPN poll is a sign of the fan’s loyaltiies. Put links to this poll on SPEED or NASCAR.com or any other site or sports channel that would reach a large number of NASCAR fans and see what would happen. Not saying Jr would win, but, doubt it would be the landslide that it was.
Pehaps a poll of the above comments will reveal what readers think of your words and the ESPN Poll.
I feel positive that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is not worrying about a loss of popularity.
Just wait until his “new “ merchandise goes on sale !
I’m a Hendrick/Gordon (and forever a #3) fan, and have been for years. The move to Hendrick will attract new fans, I am proof. Say what you want (most journalists do anyways) but Jr nation is growing! Go 24!
Are you kidding me? This poll does nothing to indicate cracks in Jr Nation. What it does show is how far NASCAR still has to go to match the national popularity of football, baseball and basketball. If this poll had been taken 6 months ago the results would have still been the same. As for the rivalry between Gordon and Earnhardt, this gets it’s life from the interaction of the fans stirred by the exaggeratory comments of the media in regards to the rivalry. The truth be known, I am sure both drivers enjoy the on track rivalry but respect and enjoy each others company off of the track. I am sure they look at all of this rivalry hype and just shake their heads.
I give a hoot about Who’s Now!!! Dale Jr. Is the best of them all. ESPN produced a True Movie, about Dale Sr. All Earnhardt’s, said that was not true. If people want to switch drivers, feel free. To me it seems that you were never an Earnhardt fan to start with. I am very proud of what Dale Jr. has done with his life now. I can finally buy my son and myself something without Bud all over it. Anyone calling Jr. a crybaby, should watch the replays.
He is a down to earth person, and one heck of a driver.On another note, try driving for your Step Mom.. C’ya
I am shaking my head at this column. Just because Jr is leaving DEI and Bud doesn’t mean that he is leaving NASCAR. Jr doesn’t care about the popularity, the most votes…what he cares about like every other driver out there is to have a car that he can drive to winners circle after a race and bring home a championship ! Did Sr’s fans desert him when he moved to Ford back to Chevy and the times he changed teams ? NO…there are people that want Jr Nation to crumble but it’s still as strong as ever and will remain the same with him throughout his career.
Dale going to HMS is the best thing for him and DEI. Both Dale and Martin are running a lot better since Dale’s announcement. Gone now are all the distractions with his contract talks with DEI. If fans want to jump ship because of where he is going then so be it. They aren’t really true fans to begin with then. He doesn’t have worry about the stepmother anymore. She never really cared for him that much anyway. The one thing that sticks in my mind is when Ty Norris was let go it seemed that the program at DEI started its downward trend.I will always remain a fan regardless where he goes as I did with Dale Sr.
I didn’t even know there was a pole on ESPN but I vote every day for the Chex Most Popular Driver Award. Junior Nation is just fine & well. His true fans don’t care about what color his car is, what number is on it or what sponsor. We are loyal Junior fans. He could drive the Oscar Meyer Weiner Wagon & we would still be for “THE MAN”. We don’t necessarily have to like his teammates (I certainly don’t) but he wants to win not only for himself but also for his fans and I am damn well one of them.
Cheer me on or Boo me, at least they know I’m here. Know who said that? Dale Earnhardt to a young and upcoming Jeff Gordon.
Get over it people. Bobby Allison once drove for six teams in one year, and was always popular. Dale jr and Bud are not synonymous.
You must be desperate for hits on your site.
ESPN pole. Yeah, right they are noted for being “race“oriented. Try Most Popular Driver voting if you want to gage the true Earnhardt Nation which is probably stronger than ever.
What a waste of space and I can’t believe I took the time to read it.
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