Dale Earnhardt Jr. is America's most popular driver, and he is not that bad either. But after a struggling start to this years racing season, we have got to wonder: Can Earnhart Jr. even pull a top 10 in points?
Earnhardt finished 2008 in 12th place. Not bad, but we all know he can do better than that. This guy can drive a car and we know that.
But is the communication strong enough between driver and crew chief to win a championship?
Tony Eury Jr. is Earnhardt's cousin and crew chief. I have always been told that family should not work together because they are too much alike. I happen to think that goes hand and hand with Eury and Earnhardt's relationship. They like to boss each other around a little too much.
Besides that, Earnhardt also has an amazing string of bad luck, and I think he should start hanging rabbits feet and four-leaf clovers all over his car. Maybe then he won't blow motors, miss communicate, and get penalized.
So far this year, Earnhardt's finishes are as follows: Daytona 500 27th place, Auto Club 500 39th due to engine, Shelby 427 10th, and Kobalt Tools 500 11th place.
Drivers like Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick start out kind of rocky and seem to end solid. Earnhardt starts out pretty good and seems to end rather crappy. His luck spirals downward pretty quick.
I have the faith in Earnhardt and the No. 88 AMP/National Guard car, but faith can only do so much. It is still early in the year and I think we can expect more from that team.
I guess Junior Nation can just keep cheering our favorite driver on and hope for the best in the 2009 season.