Dale Earnhardt Jr is Finished

Tom ThomasonCorrespondent IJune 7, 2009

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 13:  Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Amp Energy/National Gaurd Chevrolet waits in his garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2009 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

After finishing 12th at Dover last Weekend. It was easy to think that Dale Jr. might be turning things around. Wrong...

Once again Earnhardt finished 27th. Once again he fought a poor-handling car for most for the day. Once again Dale Jr. complained about the car even when it seemed to be getting much better. Once again Dale Jr. gives ammo to those that claim he is only an average driver.

Many claim that whatever success Dale Earnhardt Jr. may have had is all in the past. And with these 27th place finishes, who can argue with them? Is he just an overrated driver that needs a perfect car to be competitive?

There have been flashes of greatness this year but, they have been few and far between.
Every race it seems him and his crew chief are chasing the track trying to nail down a good setup. There have been a few times that he seemed relatively happy with the car. But, never satisfied with it. There is always something to complain about.

Those pesky laws about every action having an equal and opposite reaction seem to be hampering Earnhardt's attempts at a perfect car.

Maybe that is the reason he is struggling. Maybe there are only so many thing you can mess with in a setup before you affect other parts of the car. Maybe when the car is getting in the corner good and getting off with good grip, you have to live with a bit of snugness in the center of the turn.

If you go back and listen to the audio of his communication with his crew chief, you will notice that once they get the car dialed in he still finds something to complain about. So the crew chief keeps changing the settings until the car goes back to being horrible again.

Every week you see other drivers fight with a car that isn't perfect and somehow finish well. I mean are we to believe that nobody else has the same problems with setups during a race? Is Dale Jr so sure that he is a great driver that he has to wait for the car to be perfect before he gets up on the wheel?

Is he so sure that the COT is the problem and not him? It seems to me that almost anyone could drive a perfect car. I thought the reason that these guys are pros is because they can drive any car to victory lane. 

Lance Mcgrew and Rick Hendrick Needs to sit down with Jr. and make him realize that the car will never be perfect. They also need to make him forget that the COT drives so different then the old cars. For next year. Because he is done this year.

He would have to average about ninth for the rest of the season. And that isn't happening.
Theoretically it is possible but realistically, no. And to be honest he may be replaced by Brad Keselowski if he doesn't start performing. This is a business for winners. There is no place for excuses in a performance based sport like racing.

I'm no fan of Kyle Busch, but his comments are starting to look correct. You look at a guy like Busch who could drive a backhoe to victory lane and you have to wonder why Junior doesn't have that kind of car control.

But, maybe I'm totally off base and Jr's cars are just that terrible. Maybe his car his complete crap while Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin seem to get by. Not to mention Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman who also have Hendrick Equipment.

I don't know what was happening at the end of today's race but, Tony Stewart was in fuel conservation mode and slowed way down. Dale Jr was the first car a lap down. It took Earnhardt at least 10 seconds to pass the slowing Stewart even though he was right on his rear!! HE actually looked scared to make the pass. What the heck is that?!

I'm a Junior fan and I really want him to win but, its time for him to grow some cahonies and drive that car like he stole it.