Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Compares With Mediocrity

Brandon CaldwellCorrespondent IMarch 25, 2009

ATLANTA - MARCH 06:  Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, prepares to qualify for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 6, 2009 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

I've been reading articles lately that are saying Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is more than mediocre.

The statistics I'm about to tell you are true!

They are not fabricated in anyway.

They're cold, hard facts!

If we are looking at career top-10's, Dale, Jr., in 332 starts (as of Wed. March, 25, 2009) has 138 top-10s.

Geoffrey Bodine, at the same point in his career, had 137 top-10's.

Bodine, is considered mediocre.

So, Earnhardt, Jr. has 41 starts with Hendrick Motorsports. In those 41 starts, he has one win, 10 top-fives, and 17 top-10s.  

Bodine, in his first 41 starts with an upstart Hendrick Motorsports team, had three wins, 11 top-fives, and 20 top-10's.

Again, Bodine is considered mediocre, Earnhardt, Jr. is less than mediocre in this category.

Earnhardt, Jr. is in his 11th season, so, so far, nine full seasons. 

In those nine full seasons, Earnhardt, Jr. has finished in the top-10 in points, four times.

Those years are, 2001 (eighth), 2003 (third), 2004 (fifth), and 2006 (fifth).

Through his first nine full seasons, Bodine finished in the top-10 in points, six times.

Those years are, 1984 (ninth), 1985 (fifth), 1986 (eighth), 1988 (sixth), 1989 (ninth), and 1990 (third).

Earnhardt, Jr. has never finished higher than Bodine in the points through their first 10 seasons, and two times less in the top 10.

Once again, less than mediocre.

Earnhardt, Jr., and Matt Kenseth were rookies in the same season. Kenseth has one more start, and beat Earnhardt, Jr. for Rookie of the Year in 2000.

Kenseth and Earnhardt, Jr. both have 18 wins.

Kenseth and Earnhardt, Jr. both have 14 blown engines in their careers.

Kenseth has more top-fives, and more top-10s, and guess what, one Daytona 500, and one more championship than Earnhardt, Jr.

I've heard many Earnhardt Jr. fans refer to Kenseth as mediocre.

Then Earnhardt, Jr. once again, is less than mediocre.

Now Earnhardt, Jr.'s big season was 2004. He won six races, never more than one in a year since.

Many drivers in their careers have had one big season.

One, is Greg Biffle.

Biffle's big season was 2005, where he won six races as well.

Biffle has never won more than two in a year since!

Another, is Ryan Newman.

Newman's was 2003, where he won eight races.

Once again, never more than two in a year since.

And the final driver is Kasey Kahne.

Kahne's year was 2006.

He also won six races.

Since then, never more than two in a year.

But, all of these mediocre drivers have had one big season, but they've all won at least two races in the following years.

Not Earnhardt, Jr.

I don't want to hear about two Nationwide Series championships. I'm not arguing if he is a great Nationwide Series driver or not. He's a great Nationwide Series driver, but good Sprint Cup Series driver, and that's it.

So, how can a driver, with stats screaming mediocrity, be considered more than mediocre?

I ask the same question folks! I don't have an answer for that one.