Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Calls Out NASCAR On Changes, Schedule

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst INovember 1, 2008

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is campaigning for change in NASCAR.

The sports most popular driver went on the offensive Friday when talking about the economy, the Chase, and NASCAR's grueling schedule.

"We have basically a very similar reaction that baseball, hockey, a lot of other sports do that have long enduring schedules," Earnhardt, Jr. said.  "There's lulls and inactivity between the fan and the sport itself at times.  There's no way to fix that."

Earnhardt, Jr. also says the sport needs a schedule similar to that of the NFL, because "you get just enough to get excited and then it's all over and there's such a long wait.  The model works."

He also discussed the money aspect of the sport—with teams merging, closing, and an expected 1,000 employees of teams in all three series to be layed off.  This includes Junior Motorsports, who may not have a sponsor going into the 2009 Nationwide Series season.

"We're driven by the ability to go make another dollar and make more money and there's no way we would ever trim it down," he said.  "When we were a 28-race schedule, the sport was giving you just enough to get really excited about the next season."

However, some of the changes NASCAR has gone through since Brian France took the helm in 2004 haven't sat well with the former two-time Busch Series champion

"I think it's not a good idea to go making a bunch of changes, especially with the Chase," the 33 year old said.  "How do we understand what to change and how to make it better if we can't watch it and look at it for seven years or eight years and see how it's working and really get a good look at how it is working and not working?

"How can we really know what to change and make the right change?  We shouldn't keep changing and changing until we stumble on the right spot and the right options and the right ways to have things."

Earnhardt, Jr. also called the numerous changes "foolish" and said they are "kind of how we got in this spot in the first place."

Like the fans, Junior wants to see this sport grow and become stronger.

It remains to be seen, however, if NASCAR will start listening to the people.