To All Of Junior Nation I Will Turn This Around

Mark Eckhart Jr.Correspondent IApril 20, 2009

AVONDALE, AZ - APRIL 18: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 18, 2009 in Avondale, AZ.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Junior Nation don't you worry, we will get this fixed. Tony Jr., Rick, and myself  continue to sit down and have team meetings to see how we can turn our season in the right direction because we all agree that our performance has not been what our fans have been accustomed to over the years, and over the course of my career.

I will start by saying that Tony Jr isn't the problem. You just can't put this car in traffic and expect it to take off towards the front like a rocket or somethin you know?

I mean we got out front in Texas and got moved out of the way, then I put it in the fence which I take full responsibility for, and we made a strategy call to get out front in Phoenix and looked good for a while, but had a bad set of tires. Then we were short on fuel, and I still don't know what the No. 7 was thinking, but we'll get that hashed out during the week.

I couldn't have asked for anything more for the 500. Tony Jr. and the guys gave me the best car I've had there in years, and I ruined our chance to win that race by parking in my box wrong.

We've been all over the place since then being decent one week, then really far off the next, but our finishes are not indicative of how strong this team is. But y'all need ta lay off of Tony Jr. man because he isn't the guy driving the car into the wall, and pitting out of the box. He does his job to the best of his ability with the equipment we are given, and with a little bit of luck it will all come together and we'll be back towards the front.

I've been hearin a lot of people sayin that I'm not dedicated to NASCAR because of the bar I've opened in Charlotte and how I spend all of my time there during the week and how I don't come to the racetrack focused. I'll be the first person to tell you that I am as dedicated as I have ever been to NASCAR racing. I want to win just as badly as any other guy out there racing against me on Sundays.

I give 110% every lap of every race and the media blows me off as some partying redneck who doesn't take his job seriously and is just hangin on for the ride. Let me tell all y'all media people one more time—I am here to stay, I have contended for championships and won races in my career, and will continue to do so for Rick.

Now since Mark won Saturday night in Phoenix, y'all have been on me asking me when we're gonna get our win and my answer is this weekend. We go to the track every weekend thinking that it's going to be our weekend to win a race, and we're going to a place where Tony Jr. and I have had a lot of success together.

There isn't a better place to get the media off my back for a few weeks than Talladega because it's gonna be a crazy race on Sunday. There's always that effect of the Big One has in our minds, but we don't think about it until it happens.

Everybody was giving our team such high praise last year because we were the "banner team" for Hendrick Motorsports during the first 26 races last season according to the media. We even got ourselves a win, but didn't show up for the Chase and the media jumped off the bandwagon and started doggin us again.

I keep tellin y'all I ain't ever gonna be anything close to the driver my daddy was because he was the best. Nobody is going to win seven championships the way the competition is nowadays, and ever since he died I've been expected to live up to what he did, and that's just not possible for any driver in this series to do, let alone me.

2009 hasn't been the start that we all were hoping for, but the beauty of the season is that the first 26 races give us a lot of time to get it right before the Chase because we still believe we are a championship contender and that we will make the chase.

Talladega could shake things up so much that we could be in the top 12 after Sunday because although we're 19th, we're within 70 points of 12th, and that's not all that big of a gap to make up in one race let alone the 18 we have before the chase.

Mark my words we will win races, make the chase, and contend for the Cup in 2009.