It would be a might understatement to say Dale Earnhardt, Jr., had a rough Daytona 500. From losing his pit to causing a big wreck, it was a weekend to forget. Still, Junior’s got other issues as well.
I’ll start off by saying I’m a fan of Junior. The primary reason is he is a down to earth kind of guy you could imagine drinking a beer with without any big deal. Could you really imagine doing that with Jimmie Johnson? Well, maybe a wine spritzer, but not a beer. Oh, and only if he mentioned his corporate sponsor every third word.
As a junior fan, it is easy for me to discount all the criticism he is getting for Daytona. My answer it to suggest it is just one race. The winner of Daytona rarely goes on to do much during the season, so it really isn’t that big a deal. Don’t get me wrong. Daytona is great, but having a bad race is not the end of the world. Last year’s winner, Ryan Newman, finished 36th after all!
Despite being a junior fan, I have to some doubts. The early years at DIE were good for both the team and Junior. He won and the races were exciting Now One gas mileage victory in a few years. The last years with DIE were filled with bad equipment, but Hendricks is the top team in Moto GP. If it isn’t the equipment, and it isn’t now, then it has to be the team or the driver.
I’m no Tony Euro fan, but there is no mistaking he won that gas mileage race last year with a perfect/crazy strategy. That’s one race. There are many others that could have been won except for bizarre strategies. That being said, Tony didn’t cause two pit problems this past week and he didn’t cause the wreck. Junior did.
The biggest problem I see is Junior doesn’t look like he is having a lot of fun. Confidence is a funny thing. He came to Hendricks – the enemy – because he wanted to win championships. It looks like he might have some doubts now. Whether you are competing in business, sports or life, you are in trouble when you lose your confidence.
I would give the team till the middle of the schedule to get things fixed. If it looks like nothing is improving, Rick Hendricks should step in and move Tony Jr. out. He should then bring in a big hitter that has one championship – someone Junior is going to have the utmost respect for. Do that and Junior can concentrate on racing with the confidence of knowing he has a champion on the other end of the mike.
Limy Gibson is with bikes Racing where you can find videos of Moto GP crashes