Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chasing His First NASCAR Title
Lee & Richard Petty, Ned & Dale Jarrett – these gentlemen comprise a very short list in the world of NASCAR; they are the only father and son tandems to win a championship. With the way that a certain fella that drives the 88 Hendrick Chevrolet has been piloting his car this season, there might just be another father & son tandem to join that list – Dale Earnhardt & Dale Jr.
Now I’ve never been one to pounce onto the “Jr. wagon”. In fact when he came to Hendrick I was against it, thinking it was a bad idea. Last season when Mr. Hendrick gave Jr. his contract extension I was up on my personal soap box complaining to everyone who would listen, that he only had one win, and had done nothing for the team. I’m not afraid to admit it.
But my, oh my, how quickly changes can happen in motor sports in just a few months – and yes, the crow tastes fantastic. The “88-team” is having what might be its best season yet, as they are currently only four points behind Matt Kenseth and 17 ahead of Greg Biffle. His stats are unreal, not just personally speaking, but they for any driver in NASCAR – 15 starts, 12 top 10′s, 6 top 5′s and, as I’m sure the entire world knows, Jr captured his first win in four years last weekend at Michigan.
I acknowledge that we are just now closing in on the half-way point in the season, and many are questioning whether he can keep up the success. Texas, Daytona, Dover, Michigan & Talladega are on the list of tracks that will be run before season’s end, and are all tracks which Jr has won on in the past. With the way he has been guiding that #88 Chevrolet this season, I’m not willing to bet against him repeating at any one of them again.
The “Jr Nation” is on cloud-nine with this season’s performance. Trust me, NASCAR is tickled pink that its poster boy, the “famous son”, the one who millions cheer for no matter what he does, is looking like he could be on pace for his first NASCAR title. I know that for some unexplainable reason I’m hoping to eat a little bit more of that delicious crow and have my fingers crossed that Dale Earnhardt Jr wins his first championship in 2012.
…and that is the Last Word.