Is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Becoming the Tiger Woods of NASCAR?

Sal Sigala Jr.Senior Analyst IJune 20, 2010

DOVER, DE - MAY 14:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway on May 14, 2010 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Undoubtedly Tiger Woods and Dale Earnhardt Jr., are on the A list of sports most recognizable figures in the world today.

Between the two of them they conjure up the majority of the media buzz, along with grabbing front page headlines anytime they as so much sneeze the wrong way.

It doesn’t take much for either one of these two to light up cyberspace whenever a news worthy story breaks, and the consequences are usually very devastating because of the star power that these two generate.

Woods as most of us already knows, single-handedly set the internet on fire, when over a dozen women claimed in various media outlets that they had affairs with Woods.

After the last of the numbers were finally tallied, in conclusion Woods admitted to having over 120 affairs.

Now whether it was one, 10, or 120 as he claimed, the final outcome is he broke a very sacred bond of trust between wife and husband.

Marriage is not only meant as a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, however it can also be a formal agreement between two people to combine their resources for a mutual benefit.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr., team owner of JR Motorsports has taken the vows known as a NASCAR marriage, and allowed various drivers to infiltrate his sacred domain known as a driver’s seat.

The term “NASCAR marriage,” is a bond that a driver and owner build during the span of a current contract, with some having lasted throughout a driver’s entire career.

Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon, has the longest running active marriage, and not far behind is Roush Fenway driver Matt Kenseth, along with Richard Childress Driver Kevin Harvick.

Earnhardt on the other hand, is still looking for the right driver to complete the bond he feels is necessary to produce winning results for his No. 88 Nationwide series team.

Earnhardt, who fields two cars in the series, already has IRL star Danica Patrick locked into the No. 7, and she does share driving duties while on hiatus from her NASCAR driving commitment.

Earnhardt, who drove the No. 88 during the season opening race at Daytona International Speedway, hired Kelly Bires to take over the season, and before the honeymoon was over, Bires was released after only five races.

Earnhardt Ganassi driver Jamie McMurray, who won the 2010 Daytona 500, was brought in to replace Bires for a reported nine races, but that marriage was also short lived and along came Coleman Pressley for one race.

Earnhardt continued to search for a driver who could bring the team its first win of the season, when along came road course specialist Ron Fellows, who took over the seat in Saturdays Bucyrus 200 at the 14 turn, 4.048 mile Road America road course in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin.

Fellow’s stint in the No. 88 only lasted one race, and this past week JR Motorsports announced that Elliott Sadler would take over for the next 10 races, beginning next week at New Hampshire.

Sponsorship will include Delta Apparel—a leading active wear and headwear manufacturer who agreed to a partnership with JR Motorsports to promote the Realtree Outfitters licensed brand.

"Elliott is a really good buddy of mine, and I'm happy that he has agreed to race our cars on a limited basis this year," said Earnhardt Jr. after announcing that Sadler would be in the No. 88.

Earnhardt also added that, “By now everybody knows our situation. We are looking for the next full-time replacement for the No. 88, but in the meantime we've called upon some proven racers to keep it up front, capture points, and contend for wins.”

So far to date, Earnhardt has broken his vow with nine different drivers, but unlike Woods who broke his vows for his own personal enjoyment, Earnhardt is breaking his to find the right combination which will bring enjoyment to both he and his fans.