I was hoping that I didn't have to write a negative story about a NASCAR driver.
I've been toe to toe with the very best over the past 49 years and after talking to a former NASCAR Grand National Champion this morning, I have decided that I DO need to write this article.
Teresa Earnhardt was right, Dale Jr. needs to decide if he wants to be a race car driver or a personality.
You see, Earnhardt Jr. does not have the talent or desire that his late father had. Yes, Dale Sr. had a lot going on off the track, but he also had a desire to WIN that Junior lacks.
With Dale Sr., winning was EVERYTHING! He did not race for second place and this was VERY obvious early in his career when he would "Spin To Win".
You had to be there to actually understand how BAD Dale Sr. wanted to win EVERY race he entered.
There was a time early in Dale Jr.'s career that he also had a burning desire to win. Not many NASCAR drivers can inherit the loyal fans that his father had.
Ol' "Ironhead" had NOTHING given to him, nor did his Grandfather, Ralph Earnhardt. Ralph would take his race car to the track with nothing but a desire To win.
I met Ralph Earnhardt in the early 60's and he had no sponsorship on his race car. He worked hard to enter a Grand National race as an Independent Driver/Owner. His equipment was hand-me-downs, and his crew were all volunteers.
Dale Sr. inherited all of the trait's that his father had and the one that was most important was the burning desire to win!
Dale Jr. lacks this desire that possessed his Father and Grandfather.
My friend told me that in order to win a NASCAR race, you had to be totally focused on winning. Dale Jr. is not focused on just winning. He has too many irons in the fire.
Now Dale Jr is frustrated. With the best equipment and sponsor support, Junior still struggles to win a race.
One look at the No. 48 team says it all. A driver who is dedicated to his crew chief and with a natural talent that money can't buy, Jimmie Johnson will go into the NASCAR record books as the first driver to ever win FOUR Championships in a row.
When Johnson needs an adjustment to his race car, Chad Knaus knows exactly what to do to make Johnson's car right. They think like one another.
Jeff Gordon is a proven winner and he has had a tough year winning races. He might be happy with Steve Letarte, but Gordon and Letarte don't communicate the way Johnson and Knaus do!
Until Dale Earnhardt, Jr. puts everything he has into winning and wanting to win, he won't be a contender in the competitive sport of NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing.