NASCAR

Another Bad Week, Another Bad Excuse

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 04: Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, drives while smoke flows out of his car after  driving away from an on track collision during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 51st Annual Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2009 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Clayton CaldwellCorrespondent IJuly 8, 2009

I knew it. As soon as I heard Dave Moody scream "and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car is all tore up on the back straightaway," I knew it.

I knew what was coming, it was just a matter of time. A matter of time until either Dale, or his unintelligent fan base known as "Junior Nation" would make up another excuse for NASCAR's version of Danica Patrick.

Sure enough listening to MRN Radio, I heard it. Another excuse. There was Junior, his face as dirty as some of his fans, complaining about the track surface at Daytona International Raceway. The track surface. The same track surface as everyone else has to race on.

The same track surface that the 42 other cars have to put up with and the same track surface that Tony Stewart won on. However, it was the track surface that put Dale Jr to the back.

Of course, if you talk to his unintelligent fan base, like I have being in Daytona all week, they will tell you a tale about Junior saving his car. Saving his car? Really. Why would he be saving his car? Is he running for points?

From what I witnessed sitting in the Sprint Tower at Daytona International Raceway, Saturday Night, Junior was not "saving his car." I witnessed a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, coming sideways off of turn four, all 80 laps until Junior crashed out.

It's the track surface, though, that made his car not handle properly. Yup. That's why all the front running guys on the same exact surface, had their cars handling fine and were not running in the back, and get involved in these wrecks.

Junior Nation will come on here and say Junior did nothing wrong, what am I talking about? Well, when you run in the back with trash, what do you expect? What do you expect when your running behind David Stremme and Paul Menard?

The track surface, though, made him run behind Stremme and Menard, because Stremme and Menard are with better teams that make their cars handle better. Oh wait. They aren't.

Junior Nation will tell you how great of a car Dale had this week, and if you gave him more laps he would have made his way up to the front. Great car? He ran half the race and led zero laps. Great car? Why was he running in the back if his car was so great?

Why did Junior's car not handle? The track surface? How about Junior? Has Junior Nation ever thought of that? Junior Nation would blame Lance McGrew, before throwing their golden boy under the bus. Junior Nation would tell you that if there was a better crew chief, Junior would be running better, and that if they changed the crew chief...jesh. Sound familiar, doesn't it?

The track surface, the curse of the 25 car, Tony Eury Jr, Tersea Earnhardt,blown engines, his concussion, and his fire. All have one common thing: Junior.

Is it Hendrick Motorsports? That's why Jimmie, Mark and Jeff are running so good. Maybe it's something we haven't looked at yet. Maybe, just maybe.

Could it possibly be Dale Earnhardt Jr.?

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