I've been a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan since I joined the NASCAR fandom back in 2002, but I am beginning to think it's time to move on. Does this have anything to do with the wreck at Daytona, you ask? Absolutely not.
What it does have to do with is the idea that fans should not only support their driver, but also the sponsors who make them walking bill boards. Do you purchase items, equipment and/or food from the sponsor of your favorite driver? If not, you may want to join me in this quest for a new driver.
Sure...all the young fans loved to be Earnhardt's fan when he had Budweiser on the hood, but now that he's made the switch to Hendrick Motorsports—I'm simply not AMPed to join the National Guard or live off of Mountain Dew.
So as I debate with myself over who I should support I try and find a sponsor that fits my mojo.
I don't paint—that (along with several other reasons) eliminates Jeff Gordon and his DuPont Chevrolet.
I like McDonalds…but Burger King is much better—farewell, Reed Sorenson.
I bought my shelves for the baby’s room at Wal-Mart—guess that eliminates the Lowes Chevy? (Like I would be a Jimmie Johnson fan anyway!)
Among the things I do like are: Virginia Tech, pizza, sweet tea and my Sony Vaio laptop I spend way too much time in front of. Unfortunately, none of the aforementioned are plastered on the hood of any NASCAR team.
I don’t drink—bye bye Casey Mears, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray.
I’m insured by Geico—no flippin’ Carl Edwards or the AFLAC duck, I guess.
My e-mail is a Google account—cross Bobby Labonte and his Ask.com Ford off the list.
Since I’m having a problem finding a sponsor to match my needs, I decided to venture out and attempt to pick my driver based on a manufacture. Surely, I can cut it down to two manufactures and then find a sponsor among those drivers…right?
I drive a Ford Focus. Should I align myself with a Ford team? I could…but I’ve never been a fan of Ford and particularly don’t care much for Yates and/or Roush Fenway Racing—cross one manufacture off the list.
Dodge…Do I even have to talk about this manufacture? They have struggled mightily and don’t appear to be getting better anytime soon. As more teams leave the Dodge team, things will only go downhill. I believe I’ll dodge this manufacture.
So I'm down to Toyota and Chevy. It's hard to go with Toyota being a proud American and wanting to stay loyal to my domestic counterparts, but dang them Toyotas sure are fast on race day aren’t they?
Among the Chevy teams are the likes of three-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Johnson, four-time champion Gordon and Tony Stewart—all three of whom have plenty of fans and don't need my support.
The top Toyota team—of course—is Joe Gibbs Racing. I like M&Ms, but not Rowdy Busch…I like sliced bread, but Home Depot is a bit expensive…FedEx may be quick, but UPS is in my hometown…
Another Chevy team is Childress Quad. Mears has already been eliminated. Pennzoil gas is clean—but I use BP. I have no plans to purchase a Caterpillar and I’m partial to Post cereal.
Back to the Toyotas…I worked through college at a rival rent-to-own store of Aaron’s Sales and Lease—cross David Reutimann off. Michael Waltrip? I’m not going there…
That leaves one Toyota team to select from—Team Red Bull.
On one hand, you have a rookie driver who has an exceptional name for himself over in Formula One—on the other hand, you have a driver who had the guts to leave the sport’s most dominant team in Hendrick Motorsports to join an up and coming start-up franchise.
How bitter sweet would it be to drop Earnhardt Jr. as my favorite driver for his dance partner in the Daytona “Takes Two to Tangle” Shuffle?
Vickers is sponsored by Red Bull—a vivacious energy drink that gets your blood going…A drink that gets you up and running early in the morning (Hmm…I get up at 6:30 a.m. to begin my internship here on Bleacher Report). Red Bull gives you wings! Who doesn’t want to have wings and fly away sometimes?
As a reporter, I work a lot of long days and late nights covering meetings and sporting events—a Red Bull would pick me up at the end of the day!
As a soon-to-be father, I will be spending a lot of nights waking up every couple hours to feed and/or hold the baby—a Red Bull would get me through the night!
So here it is…My official proclamation as a Vickers fan. Time to purchase my Red Bull baseball cap and hit up Wal-Mart for my first taste of my new favorite sponsor.
Vickers is on the pole for Sunday’s race, right? Geez…one day as a fan and I’m already off to a good start!
Don't get my wrong, I'm still going to root for Earnhardt on Sundays—he can finish second...right?