Dale Earnhardt Jr Is Subverted Again

Tom ThomasonCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2009

LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 20:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, stands on pit lane before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2009 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Once again the 88 team seemed to be making great strides today at Loudon.
They had a great car that found its way to the front more then once. Then out of the blue, bam! he gets taken out by David Reutimann.

After being sabotaged by the talent-depleted Reutimann (Just Kidding), Dale JR gave a pretty heated interview.

"Well if you saw it you knew what happened. The No. 00 can't hold his line and went down in the bottom of the corner and lost it and run up the side of my car and spun me out. I know that he can't hold his line and I should have known that but I gotta run hard and try to win. Some people you just can't race side-by-side with. We're disappointed. We had a good run and I want to thank my guys and AMP Energy and Mountain Dew and National Guard.

"We had a real good car. A fabulous car all day long. Probably one of the best car here. Working real hard all day just trying to run the best we can. David just run out of talent there."Then later when told that David Reutimann said it was his fault that he got into Dale Jr, Earnhardt said,

"That don't mean it's alright now. My car is tore up and he ain't got enough talent to run in the top-five I guess. He run down into the side of me and spun me out late in the race. I mean we're all running real hard but you've got to know how much race car you've got and you've got to know how much talent you've got before you go down in the corner. He never knows. It's disappointing. We had a good car. We run hard and worked hard all day long and we had the best car at certain times in the race. I felt like we had a top-three car. The AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet ain't got no finish. I hate it for my guys that worked real hard. We worked hard all day trying to get a good finish out of it."

Its pretty much been the same story for Dale Jr all year. He either has a horrible car that he can't keep on the track or, he gets taken out by another driver. Its just been one of those years for the son of the legend Dale Earnhardt Sr.

When I hear the terms "can't win for losing" or "If It wasn't for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all", I think of Dale Jr. It wouldn't be so hard to watch if he wasn't a talented driver. But he most definitely is.

One only has to follow the former Busch Champion on track to see that. If you notice one thing about Dale Jr is that he knows how to work his way to the front. If he he has a half decent setup, you wont keep him at the rear. But, he also wont take a chance of ruining his equipment if his car is wrecking loose.

So he probably isn't aggressive as Kyle Busch or Jimmie Johnson when he isn't happy with the car. While this is probably frustrating to his fans. It probably makes Rick Hendrick happy to know that he's taking care of his car. But still, his fans want him to grow a big mustache, climb in the 3 car and drive like his Dad. But that's a whole different subject that has been beaten to death.

My point is, Dale Jr is a good driver who rarely wrecks unless some misguided driver decides to play superstar and takes the next corner a little too deep. This must be very hard to swallow for a team that has already faced so much adversity this year.

So, while I don't think its fair to crucify David Reutimann for his mistakes today, I hope that the millions of discouraged Dale Jr fans realize that his team is making nice progress and looks to be a contender again next year. And also realize that a good deal of Jr's horrible year is just plain old bad luck...