When Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. Get a New Crew Chief?

Tom ThomasonCorrespondent IMay 3, 2009

We all know that Dale Jr. can drive a race car. He's in the chase almost every year. And he's the most popular, partly because of his name and partly because of his southern charm. Let's not forget that he is a talented race car driver. After all, he did win back to back Nationwide Championships.

But every week it's the same thing on the scanner. First few laps, Dale Jr. says something like "loose going in tight center" or whatever. Then Eury Jr. fumbles about trying to make Dale Jr. happy. Then if Tony Jr. somehow manages to get the car back on track. Dale Jr. then finds something real small to complain about. This in turn causes Tony Jr. to start making unnecessary changes which make the car undrivable again.

So some of the blame has to fall on Dale Jr.'s shoulders. Sometimes he needs to just accept that the car isn't going to get better and drive. There have been numerous times where they got the car back in the top ten and Jr. still complains. Tony Jr. has to stand up and say, "hey man we got you back in the top ten, just drive the car!"

Let's also not forget the mistakes that Dale Jr. makes on Pit road. I think he missed his pit like three or four times this year. You can't blame Tony Jr. for that.

What will it take for Hendrick to get Dale Jr. a new crew chief? It's obvious that Eury Jr. has no clue how to set up the COT. The only top five that Dale Jr. scored this year was at Talladega, which proves that when Eury Jr. doesn't have to mess with the setup on the car, Jr. runs better. I'm sure Tony Jr. is a real smart guy and so forth, but it's just not clicking right now.

Jr. needs someone that can stand up to him and keep him calm. Probably somebody older that he respects. Like Tony Sr. or Ray Evernham. At least if they try a new crew chief for awhile,  Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be out of excuses.

I can't help but think that NASCAR is going to put some pressure on Rick Hendrick to get their cash cow winning again. I mean Jr. brings in something like 25% of NASCAR sales. Plus television ratings are going down with Jr. not winning. If they do replace Tony Jr., millions will tune in just to see what happens.

I know that Jr. loves to race with his cousin, but this is business and business is no place for family....