Jr. Nation: Nation of Fans or Fakes?

Erin ConnollyCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2008

Martinsville was engulfed in a sea of green as Jr. Nation descended upon her, in their Wrangler jeans and Amp Energy gear.  As a non-Nation member I found myself surrounded on all sides, and as luck would have it my seat was directly in front of Jr.’s pit. As the races began I braced myself for the full impact of Jr. Nation.


At the end of the race all I can say is, Nation what a let down. The majority of the Jr. “fans” around me could give you better stats on the Martinsville dog line, then how the No. 88 team did. Which brings me to my question is Jr. Nation a nation of fans or fakes?


Yes, I am completely aware that the above statement has just called for the wrath of Jr. Nation to crash down on me. I say bring it on! I for one want to hear what real Jr. fans think of their Nation. I am making the assumption that the fakes won’t be reading this article.


So now that I have your attention Jr. Nation I hope you will indulge me by answering a question, if you are a nation of fans and not fakes then has Jr. Nation become jaded?


Looking just at the facts Dale Earnhardt Jr. has earned his right to be called one of the top drivers in NASCAR. Currently he can boast a career of 22 wins /67 top ten finishes(Nationwide) and  18 win /133 top ten finishes (Sprint Cup). Perhaps since Jr. performs at this level the Nation feels it doesn’t need to cheer unless he takes the lead. 


At Lap 413, a true Jr. fan in front of me sporting an old school Winston Cup Series jacket was on her feet. Her enthusiasm was infectious, my eyes were drawn to the No. 88 car.  Jr.’s race was coming together as he was going for Edwards on the inside.


My mental spotter was going off, still there, still there, clear. My eyes darted to see the Nation in action, although there were some cheers, the major of the “fans” were silent. Did they not see it or did they no care I wondered. 


On Lap 455 suddenly the Nation came alive as Jr. closed in on Jimmy Johnson.

Which brings me back to my question of, is Jr. Nation jaded, should a true Nation member only cheer for a lead change? If you (the Nation) are not jaded then we come back to the notion that the Nation has become overrun with fakes.

Thus I call for all true Jr. fans to stand up and be heard at the next race. Cheer loudly, clue in the silent Jr. fans around you (in a peaceful non-violent manner please). Take back the Nation you once were.