NASCAR: The Way Earnhardt Jr. Won Is Exactly What We All Needed

Toby ChristieSenior Analyst IJune 20, 2008

It's been nearly a week since Dale Earnhardt Jr. snapped a win-less streak dating back to May of 2006, and I have seen a lot of people complaining about the way he won it.  I have heard everything from:

"He shouldn't of been allowed to pass the pace car", to "He can't win a race a real way, until he does this means nothing".

Listen folks give the guy a break.  Besides pulling into victory lane for the first time in over two seasons, what Dale Jr. has done thus far in 2008 is remarkable.  He has amassed 11 Top10 finishes in 15 starts thus far this season, and has only finished outside the Top15 twice (Due to things out of his control).  He had all the pressure of the world on his shoulders going into this season and he has delivered, He won the Budweiser Shootout, the Gatorade Duel, he has a pole (rare for Dale Jr.), and he sits third in the point standings.

So before anyone tears apart his accomplishments just remember every time we the race fans have needed someone to step up for us, Dale Jr. has been the man who has given us hope. In 2001 Dale Earnhardt was killed in Daytona. Later that July at Daytona Dale Earnhardt Jr. gave us something to cheer about again by winning the Pepsi 400.  The first race after the September 11th Terrorist attacks was at Dover, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won that race in dominating fashion.  Afterwards he did a victory burnout will hoisting the American Flag bringing a little bit of hope to all of us.  Now while we all face huge prices at the pump Dale Jr. has given us reason to believe that if a guy from Kannapolis, North Carolina can stretch a fuel tank that far, maybe just maybe we can too.