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« Lessons learned in NASCAR 2009: NASCAR can do some good things | Main | Potential NASCAR stories for 2010: Brian France vs. Jeremy Mayfield »

Junior has more important things to worry about than his car number

By admin | December 22, 2009

By Richard Allen

Apparently Darrell Waltrip doesn’t think Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has enough pressure on him.

After coming off a disastrous season in which he had no wins, only five top-10s and a 25th place finish in the final standings he would seem to have plenty to worry about. However, ole DW seems to think that now would be the time to throw a car number change into the mix. And it’s not just any old number he wants Junior to change to, it’s the number his legendary father used for the vast majority of his career.

Granted, switching Junior’s car number from 88 to 3 would cause a souvenir selling boom that might just rescue the country’s lagging economy. But along with the monetary gain would come even more expectations than are already in place for the third generation driver.

Instead of changing numbers, the #88 Hendrick Motorsports team and its driver need to spend every waking moment this off season trying to find ways to improve their on-track performance. And make no mistake, a change of such a kind would be a distraction.

This was the only Hendrick team or HMS associated team to not make the Chase in 2009. A change of car number to 3 would come off looking like a gimmick or marketing hoax to replace the fact that the team has not performed to expectations. So, they had to come up with something else to cause fans to buy more hats and T-shirts.

And it’s not as if Junior hasn’t already had distractions added to his plate this off season. Danica Patrick has signed to drive a limited number of races in the Nationwide Series for his JR Motorsports team. Although he is the head of that company in name only, he will still be blitzed with all sorts of questions about his new driver, her performance and the expectations for her. Yes, Danica will be a distraction for Junior in 2010.

And more than just making the suggestion of an unnecessary car number change, DW’s column on the Fox Sports website again reinforces what has been said on this website many times before. Those nearest to the inside of the NASCAR inner circle have no idea of the troubles this sport is facing. DW talked of Junior driving the number 3 as providing a badly needed ‘shot in the arm’ to the sport. It is people with this same type mentality that have stated such things as ‘Danica will save NASCAR’ and the like.

There was no mention of improving the Car of Tomorrow, revamping the points system and the Chase for the Championship or any other real issue as a means of giving the sport a ‘shot in the arm’. Again, it is on-track performance for both Junior and NASCAR that are going to matter most, not the next attention seeking stunt.

It’s as if NASCAR is drowning and all the insiders are sitting around describing the water rather than putting on life jackets and swimming for the shore. Gimmicks and publicity stunts are apparently all the leaders of NASCAR can come up with to ‘improve’ the sport.

Wow!!! This is frustrating.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

37 Responses to “Junior has more important things to worry about than his car number”

  1. mike Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    DW has only two interests. DW & $$$ for DW in that order. If he can stick his mug on it & get someones money, he thinks the rest of the world should agree.

  2. Jay Pees Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Want to get millions of disallusioned fans back? Make the cars look like what’s in the driveway, get rid of the silly wings and splitters and spoilers. Without them the drivers might actually have to drive again! What’s wrong with stock car racing? 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder engines are what’s in my driveway. Front wheel drives are in my driveway too. I can maybe understand staying with rear wheel drive chassis, but let them use stock sheetmetal.

    Strictly Stock worked in the beginning. I can understand the safety issues with the speeds but they could at least look stock.

    Of course there’s the obvious, NO CHASE, make it the season champion, start the fastest 43 cars, or at best have a provisional for the top 5 or so in points. Make qualifying count again, and give some points for a qualifying effort. No points for leading under caution.

  3. mrclause Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I tried to comment on FOX to the remarks made by DW and the number 3 but, couldn’t get it posted so here goes.

    Jr has stated several times, including to DW, that he didn’t want his Dad’s number. I guess DW knows better.

    I can’t understand how DW can so easily overlook RC. He had as much to do with that number as SR did. He has been a responsible caretaker of Sr’s legacy in that car. It’s more than a cash cow to him, much more.

    I don’t doubt for a second that if JR ever asked RC for the #3 it would be given happily. DW and Sr may have been friends, but, I think it’s obvious that Sr and RC went past friends. DW needs to get over himself and his self importance. The number 3 is where it belongs, for now.

  4. John Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Well said. I’m a big Jr fan and the #3 won’t change anything in the Nascar world, he just needs to run better period. Nascar needs to work on the steak and quit trying to sell the sizzle.

  5. steven Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Nascar may be drowning but aren’t the France family still billionaires? Like many 3rd and 4th generation led businesses, Brian France may slowly transform Nascar into the Titanic. Danica is a novelty yet many Nascar writers are standing in line to kiss her butt. That hype may work for some, but not for me.

  6. JIM Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    DALE JR. WILL NOT SAVE NASCAR BUT WE NEED
    TWO LEAVE JR.ALONG

  7. Bill Heaster Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I to think that in line of the fact that Nascar has taken such a long turn down a shortened path. The Race for the chase has up to this point has showed me that some Nascar officials have gone back to indergarden with such a Championship name. And Nascar I feel lost it’s momentum failed to put up a greater fight against he anti-smoking pressure and gave up on Winston Cup Logo.
    They still sell the product so what was the problem Did somebody get paid under the table tro give up on the cigarette sponsor.
    I think Nascar should go back to the old scoring system soon as it stands now nascar is at a stalemate when you only have ten cars that can possibly win. so why do the other 33 cars in the chase have a chance to do, Waste time and effort monies? “TRTTC”(The Race To The Chase) is anabommination of thoery. I attended 2 Races at Pocono from 1981 thru 2005 ever since that time Nascar has gone backwards at a great pace. As I see it the 33 cars that do not have a chance to gain anything from tearing up cars just to be on the track should just stay at home and work on the next years schedule. By the way I am in agreement with Darl Waltrip spome dratic changes must come forth soon or Nascar wil be a has been sport that once was.
    Hendricks should buy at what ever cost the number #3 and put it on in place of the #88. This Or Dale Jr should burie the hatchet with Teresa and go where he should have been when he lost his father. Way to Go DW.

  8. Chase Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Richard,

    I find your attack on DW’s article very humerous. As a reader, it was apparent to me from the begginging that DW’s suggestion was a sentimental, but “only in a perfect world” type christmas wish. I think if DW was intending to make a true economical suggestion for the sports well being, that he might have made a more complex suggestion. I do not believe that Darrell was comparing a “shot in the arm” to a sport-saver. Let Darrell have some fun, and write about his holiday “wishes”, without pouncing on him with your expertise knowledge on how to fix the sport.
    That said…
    I agree with your points. I do not, however, agree with the overall direction of this article.
    Thank You.

    P.S. I just received my first U.S NAVY AWARD from my commanding officer today, so excuse my swagger.

  9. Al Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    For meny years DW pushed the notion that NASCAR was a show, rather than a sport or a race. Everything was for the show. “Put on a show for the folks”. People came for the spectacle of racing, the excitment, the side by side action, drivers who really were drivers, cars that reminded them of what was in their driveways, not for the “show”. The “show” is now Madison Ave type drivers, same ‘ol look alike tracks, cars that look like they belong anywhere but of a NASCAR track, and no action. DW should have known better, he came up in the long lost era; I hope he is pleased with how he helped diminish the image of NASCAR.

  10. Bill Heaster Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    NOTICE: GRAMMER CORRECTION

    I to think that in line of the fact that Nascar has taken such a long turn down a shortened path. The Race for the chase has up to this point has showed me that some Nascar officials have gone back to indergarden with such a Championship name. And Nascar I feel lost it’s momentum and failed to put up a greater fight against he anti-smoking pressure and gave up on Winston Cup Logo.
    They still sell the product so what was the problem, Did somebody get paid under the table to give up on the cigarette sponsor?
    I think Nascar should go back to the old scoring system soon as it stands now nascar is at a stalemate when you only have ten cars that can possibly win. so why do the other 33 cars in the chase have a chance to do, Waste time and effort monies? “TRTTC”(The Race To The Chase) is an abommination of theory. I attended 2 Races at Pocono from 1981 thru 2005 ever since that time Nascar has gone backwards at a great pace. As I see it the 33 cars that do not have a chance to gain anything from tearing up cars just to be on the track should just stay at home and work on the next years schedule. By the way I am in agreement with Darl Waltrip some dramatic changes must come forth soon or Nascar will be a has been sport that which once was.
    Hendricks should buy at what ever cost the number #3 and put it on in place of the #88. This Or Dale Jr should burie the hatchet with Teresa and go where he should have been when he lost his father. Way to Go DW. Nobody will ever forget what was with RC & Dale SR (Its in the History Book) but that is the past so lets go forth from that and we as fans can inihiate a proclaimation agaisnt Nascar to stop chorigraphing the races and let the drivers decide who will win the races, as in the past whoever brought the best car to the track be the winner.

  11. The Old Guy Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Like another poster here, I tried to comment on DW’s column and could not.

    So, I’ll put my comment here.

    “Sorry DW. But, I think Richard Childress has other plans for the #3.”

    His Grandson comes to mind.

    I have never, in more than 50 years as a fan, seen an underachiever draw press and accolades the way Jr. does.

  12. BLB Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    I can see where DW is coming from, heck I would like to see JR in the#3 car one day, but when that happens JR needs to
    be racing for RCR, I think that 2011 would be a great time for that to happen, as this will be 10 years since we lost Dale Sr. and I think that JR would be a lot happier at RCRand would probably win more races there than he will at HMS,basicly I think that he should have gone to RCR when he left DEI

  13. D.K Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    @ Chase, congratulations on the award! I completely agree with you about D.W. just having a little fun with a “wish list”. From now until the cars hit the pavement for speedweeks; we will see many articles that blow things out of proportion and develop “perfect world” scenarios. Gotta do something during the off-season. See ya!

  14. Joe in Pittsburgh Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Damn,another article right on the money. Let’s worry about bigger issues than Jr’s car number. I agree that at least stock sheet metal makes sense…oh and of course dump the chase before Jimmie Johnson wins the Nobel peace prize.

  15. HusH Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    a number change wont do anything but sell merchandise. DUH!! Jr’s already nascar’s most popular. Hendrick needs to use some of that Johnson championship money and put it on the 88. N if that dont work start employing the better people in the sport like RCR did for Larry McReynolds. If u think though, Jr’s team is the old 25 team… did that team ever win?? Fraid not. U do the math of what he needs…

  16. Chase Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Amen to that Hush! I been trying to say what you said for a year and a half when reality hit and the 88 car took a downturn. All that “depth” that Hendrick has over there, but yet the 25 aint done nothin since Tim Richmond! RH has a dude over there that everyone says is the next guy that needs a shot at CC. Ron Malec. I cant verify this, but I dont believe that he was ever offered the job that Mcgrew currently holds title to. McGrew is a great team guy, but not the leader that is going to spark a turnaround in this teams performance. There will likely be no wins next year, and all though jr’s 2010 season will not be as dismal as this years, he will fail to make the chase again. That will make the first time he’s missed it 2 years in a row. I must admit, hindsight is 20/20 in this situation, but it is clear now that HMS was the wrong place to go.
    Also, Jr lost an important thing when he left DEI. comradery (wrong spelling). He need some boys that he can relate to. These white collar Hendrick employees are not Jr’s type. Anyone remember in the movie DALE when the author says something like…”when the boys got just as rowdy as their driver…” and then proceeds to talk about their amazing performances that followed? Jr will never succeed at HMS. The quicker he gets out of there the better. Im afraid the clock is clicking too fast and us Jr Die Hards will never be nothin more than “crazy” fans that made up excuses for their “underachieving” driver.

  17. Chase Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    To add on to the Ron Malec thing…

    It’s no secret in the garage area the amount of talent Malec has. His work ethic may only be equal to that of Chad Knaus, which is 2nd to none. If RH was trying to maximize his 4 teams why would he not put Ron Malec in a CC role for the 4th and forgotten team. You can not tell me that if Ron was removed from his Car Chief role with the 48 that the 48 team would lose any speed or durability. If that was the case maybe JJ and CK shouldnt be praised as much as they are, besides, with all that depth there has to be another Malec there to step in. So please, Rick Hendrick, please don’t give me this bull crap that the 88 team is your primary focus over the offseason. All thats going to do is fuel the Jr haters more when his gains this year are marginal. Instead, admit to us all that your real primary focus is Chad and Jimmie’s “lifetime” contract’s that you are working out in order to keep that team in tact. I’d love to see that team deal with some REAL adversity.

  18. Marybeth Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I tried to comment to Fox.com also. I ended up e-mailing a note to DW that went something like. If Nascar wants Jr. to be a shot in the arm, to be competitive, they need to get him out of HMS…and not in the #3. He needs to go to RCR or Gibbs, somewhere they would want to see Jr. win. I would be happy if he and Teresa could talk it out and he went back into the #8. If RH wanted Jr. to be competitive he would have spent some of all the money he is bringing to hire Addington as his CC. Never happened. Jr. is there for the money he brings in and it is spent on getting JJ another championship while Jr. drives the test, R&D car for him and JG and MM.
    I also agree with Richard about the Chase and working on the COT if they want to restore interest in Nascar. I also agree with Joe from Pittsburgh, and HusH. Marybeth

  19. Overra88ted Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Please, Please, Please, RC don’t let JR. EMBARASS the #3 by letting him drive it.

  20. Marybeth Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Chase, Has CK re-signed his contract with HMS? Last I saw he had not. But I could have missed something.
    You also said, “Jr will never succeed at HMS. The quicker he gets out of there the better.”
    I have been saying the same thing myself, Jr. needs to be out of HMS NOW!!!
    I have also wondered if the reason RH hasn’t hired Addington or moved Malec in as his CC is because RH wants to see Jr. embarassed…? There has to be a reason RH is doing it this way. With all the money Jr. is bringing into HMS he is certainly not a charity case!!!

  21. Chase Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    @Marybeth…

    I see we have a common interest here. Wanting to See Dale Jr. Competitive again! I do dissagree on some points you made however…

    These are solely my opinions…But, I honestly didnt understand the hype about the possibility of signing Addington for Jr. I do not believe that Addington could be anymore of an asset than what Dale Jr already has(Lance McGrew). Addington is not proven to be anything special yet. Look who his success was with, Kyle Busch, a driver thats proven to be fast week in and week out with any car, any crew chief. So no need to take a risky chance on Addington, who doesnt know the HMS system. McGrew does. RON MALEC DOES!

    As for Jr to Gibbs…Whats he going to drive? the fourth team their trying to start up? Be the oldest driver in the lineup with the far least amount of potential for the future. Let’s face it, he goes to Gibbs, and again he’s 4th in pecking order to Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and yes even behind Joey Logano. So Dale Jr being at Gibbs in a brand new team would scare the heck outta me!!

    Now let’s think hypothetically had he gone to RCR…Clint Bowyer in the brand new 33 car, Jr inserted into the BLACK NO 07 JACK DANIELS car! no need to slap a 3 on it, just gimme that intimidator look back with an Earnhardt in it! With Harvick headed out the door, Jr could have been the #2 maybe even #1 flagship driver their.

    I want to Reiterate that these are solely my opinions. No hard feelings should be felt. I just get all fired up when debating on how to “Fix” Dale Jr.

  22. Chase Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    I’ll be completely honest…I dont know if the deal with Chad has been done yet or not. But, In light to what you said, either he doesnt mind seeing jr struggle as long as the others are kickin butt, or, he has given up on Jr’s ability and doesnt want to shake things up elsewhere. Could be that he doesnt believe in his ability, but refuses to fire him because he is still the sports MPD and is still bringing in the sponsorship $$$$$$$$$

  23. just me Says:
    December 22nd, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    i think RH should take the entire 88 crew and swap them with the entire 48 crew. let’s see just how good CK and JJ REALLY are - the next best thing since sliced bread or just average joes who happen to have great people working on the team????? would be interesting to find out.

  24. Nascar Bites Says:
    December 23rd, 2009 at 12:00 am

    The Chase is boring and forces teams to do nothing but drive around collecting points. All season long, the guys like DW, Larry Mac and the rest have been “lying” saying that the racing is great, no one points races and on and on. But we all know, and have seen, and heard from the drivers themselves, that they drive carefully so not to wreck their chances of making the Chase. Points racing is NOT exciting. Cars running around in a line for 400 miles is NOT great racing. Cookie-cutter tracks do not provide wheel to wheel racing. Bringing in Danica, a driver in a series loaded with also ran talent, will not save Nascar. Giving Jr the “3″ will not save Nascar. The only thing that might save the sport is to get rid of Brian France, Mike Helton and the rest of the big wigs who’s only thought is to line their pockets with millions of dollars. I just hope someone wakes up soon before every fan abandons the sport, or else, the last one to leave Daytona, turn the lights off.

  25. Chase Says:
    December 23rd, 2009 at 12:12 am

    @ Just me…

    I agree, but let’s keep the CC’s where there at, then see. I heard a report that Jr was running JJ’s set up sometime in the 2nd half of the year. He didnt like it. I have a hard time believing that, because NASCAR now reported just after the 2007 season that while Jr was testing a Hendrick car for the first time, he had liked a lot of the same feelings that Jimmie liked. I dont know, after this season I am just so confused, like no other. My brain is all twisted up like a pretzel…I got a pretzel in my head man.

  26. Marybeth Says:
    December 23rd, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    @Chase, The reason I mentioned Toyota is that it is going to take money to get Jr. out of HMS, & Toyota seems to have more of that to work with. Another take on that same thought is that KB was ousted for wrecking so many cars…cost. Maybe Jr. needs to take a page from KB’s book, look at the figure he brings into HMS and divide it by 36 and then cost HMS that amount every week. Maybe just wrecking his own car, and if that is not enough, then can he wreck a teammate or 2 a week to come up to that amount. About the 4th or 5th time he wrecked JJ, RH would probably let Jr. go. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box. :)
    I would be happy with Jr. back in the #8 car, if he and Teresa can come to an agreement. One would think that she would happy to sell 51% to Jr. by now. I would not care to see Jr. in the #3 car.
    It bothered me that Tony ran so well all season, and when he got to the Chase…he dropped right off. If Jr. stays at HMS the same thing will always happen to him as long as he is there. SHR won’t work for him either. One would think Chevy would want him competitive. He went to the CMA awards to sell the new Camaro for them. When does Chevy step up and get Jr. out of the test, R&D car for JJ…? Seems wrong to me.
    Marybeth

  27. Chase Says:
    December 23rd, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    @ Marybeth.

    Well, I think that Jr lost a huge Engineering edge when HMS lost Darian Grubb. A lot of the speed that Jr had in 08 was attributed to Darian being the head engineer in the 88/5 shop. I dont know if i would like to see Jr back in the 8. I dont know, maybe its just me, but something about Jr running for Earnhardt Gannassi racing just doesnt seem right. but thats probably just me. If I were to be Completely honest with you. If I could wish for anything as far as this situation…I would put Jr in a #8 car fielded by himself JRM, with Hendrick alliance. Also, that could be the most realistic situation. Think about it…Its probably the only real chance he could get at having Tony Sr back on the box, make Tony Jr the car chief. If i was Jr. I would make that happen by 2011.
    Thats what I would do I think. let him make his own decisions like Tony. That he can take the fall if it doesnt work, or the glory if it does.

  28. Marybeth Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Chase, I don’t want to see any more alliance with RH. I agree with you that Darien Grubb was really great for Jr., but he is gone. He did great wtih Tony until the Chase, and then everything went south, the equipment not up to the same standard as the first 26 races…? Last spring Nascar Now started reporting the Tony Jr. was making Jr.’s cars from DEI specs from 2007. After Tony Jr. was removed as CC last spring in the middle of the week, Nascar Now initially reported that since Jr.’s cars had already been sent to Dover, that another truck with the new HMS chassis cars was being be sent up to Dover to change out the cars and that all of his old chassis cars were being thrown out. Then it was reported that that did not actually happen. Instead a big show was made of some of the ‘brains’ of HMS working in Jr.’s pit…but still on the old DEI spec 2007 chassis!
    At Charlotte, Jr. was given the car he raced in Pocono in June with and finished 27th. Another one of theold T Jr. cars. RH had no intention of letting Jr. run competitively. In Phoenix, Jr. was still running one of the old chassis cars. You can bet your life and everything you own that Jimmie, Jeff, nor Mark has ever had to drive one of the DEI spec 2007 cars. At Phoenix they knew Jr.’s car had an oil leak and they still sent him back out on the track, to wreck…? Texas they ran him out of gas. If I could with for anything…it would be somewhere far away from RH, even if he had to go open wheel. Jr. cannot field a car from JRM with RH in the ownership. RH already has 4 cars fielded. RH has Jr. hamstrung with a 5 yr., not the usual 2 or 3 yrs., and ownership in JRM. Tony Sr. has said that he does not want to go back to Cup. Jr. is hamstrung and cannot make anything happen until he gets out of HMS and away from RH.
    This is a failed experiment and 2 years is a more than fair trial. It is time to move on for both parties involved.

  29. Uncle Rico Says:
    December 25th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Dale Jr. just needs to drive better. I want to watch a race where he finishes poorly and doesn’t blame everything but his own performace. If he wants to continuously run the high line, then he needs to learn how to do it without hitting the wall and collecting other cars at the same time. Putting Chad Knaus in the 88’s CCspot would only make the 48 & 88 suffer.

  30. Chase Says:
    December 25th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Rico, Merry Christmas. Dale Jr is known for owning up to his own mistakes. Many people in the garage will agree with that. Why does he need to blame himself for the performance? The drove shit cars all year long. He’s used to driving fast cars. So As the year progresses, he is trying anything he can to make his awful car faster. i.e running the high line, heating up the breaks, not giving other guys room. Everyone who keeps saying that Jr is not focused and needs to cut out the mental mistakes. No one has ever been through the pressure that he has been under. especially this year. When you are given a car that you cant drive week after week, its going to affect your decision making. Your gonna get fed up with what your driving and make mistakes because your frustrated. I’d like to see Jimmie Johnson(Superman) be as calm and collected as he is, while driving a car that doesn’t handle to perfection every week like he’s does. Jr isnt the best driver in the garage, but he is a top 12 driver. Yall haters should applaud the man for being a good driver, instead of hating on him because he doesnt win all the time like an Earnhardt is expected to. If Dale Jr was Dale Smith Jr. he would be held to the same regards as a Matt Kenseth, or Jeff Burton. I dont see anybody calling them underachievers.

  31. steviewonder Says:
    December 27th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I don’t know what the problem is with Junior, but it’s disappointing. I know he’s a better driver than what he’s shown over the past year and a half; that is evidenced by his 18 career victories. An average driver doesn’t win that many races, so I don’t think talent is his problem.

    The choices that have been made since his move to Hendrick have been surprising to say the least. First of all, Tony Eury Jr. should never have been hired in the first place. Junior’s crew chief upon arrival should either have been Alan Gustafson or Darian Grubb. Once Eury was let go, Ron Malec would have been the best choice, but for all we know he was offered the job and turned it down. I’ve read that McGrew was one of the only guys who wanted the job. The amount of pressure on Junior and his crew chief is absolutely tremendous, more than any other driver/crew chief.

    I believe Junior signed a three year deal with Hendrick, so if his poor performance continues through 2010, i’d say it will be his last with that organization. At that point, it would probably be in his best interest to move to RCR. If he made that move, he would immediately be Richard’s #1 driver, regardless of his amount of time within the organization. I think Childress would do absolutely everything in his power to make sure that Junior ran well. He has said he still believes that Junior will be a champion before he retires.

    But I think the 88 team is going to turn things around in 2010 and have a strong season. During the first half of the 2008 season, Junior was second only to Kyle Busch, so I know the potential for that team to succeed is there. Good luck in 2010, Junior.

  32. Bill Heaster Says:
    January 5th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    My feelings are that this comment page was set up primariy for Marybeth and Chase with a little bit of Rico, as they seemed to have control of all situations and multitudes of correct answers according to their theories that people log in based on what knowledge. Are they Team or Nascar official? members or just stating that they know all there is to know about Nascar. Get a real job people and let others have some air time. It is easy to set back and assume what you see or hear as the real truth or fact. How do you know what all these people should be thinking anyway. Like I said in a previously posted article I followed Nascar since Richard Petty started his racing Career and I have seen many a changes in Nascar over the years but none that has changed Nascar as much as “The Race to The Case” has and it is not going to help Nascar back to what it was.
    The only way That can bring what Nascar needs is a partition from the Fan world for the purpose of change to what Nascar has done to the sport so far.
    The Situation with Jr and other drivers in the same boat can only be changed with mass fan involvement. We must partition Nascar to halt it present path and revert back the old race system and still hold on to The safety factors and continue to improve them to fit the older racing styles, I believe this is what is needed? I don’t agree with 43 cars running side by side during most of the race yet I do believe that whomever brings the better car should possibly be the winner. No we are wrong to chastise one driver or team because of his situation but we should chastise Nascar for making such things happen. This is not meant to bring harm to all who make these comments, as your opinions are posted I post mine in like. Remember Nascars top officials set he tempo to what we now watch as Nascar. Ask your self this question, Can I make a difference? I alone don’t have an answer to what Nascar is thinking. I relutantly respect what they try to do to enhance the sport that is slowly losing it power due to the way Nacar going with it. I also think that Nascar actually listen to what the drivers and teams yet they are not hearing so just maybe the fans can help, What do you think?

  33. Chase Says:
    January 11th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Haha, Bill…I am in the US Military and protect YOUR freedom every day. Aside from that I like to state my OPINION. What is it that you do?

  34. Bill Heaster Says:
    January 12th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Mr. Chase,

    Let It be known that I was in the US Army from 1958-1984 “26 Yrs retired” and a Vietnam Veteran from 1966-67, long before you were born, Maybe?. Your question should read “What have you done for your country that I haven’t” so that you have the right to question my status. Not bad for growing up on the farm Hah! By the way I Have been a Mechanic since I was 9 yrs old on the farm and all through may Army career. Who proteted your freedom? Thank you for Serving in these hard times.
    I retired from the Army and from a Pharmacuetical Company after 17 1/2 Yrs and 5 Years of Security Services. Does this answer your snide remarks about what I’ve done?
    Word of caution (When standing on the fence rail be careful which way you lean before you fall off) as it will depend on the results of your fall that people may judge your character. Opinions are one of your freedoms , be careful whom you use them on when addressing others. My Son Is LT COL (KC135 Pilot) USAF stationed in Guam has served in Middle east many times as he will also Retire in 11 months. Have a good Day and a sucessful career.

  35. Bill Heaster Says:
    January 12th, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    JR?

    We need to sit back and see what changes have taken place during the off season for the teams. once the 2010 season gets underway, then and only then should we judge those who try their absolute best to field a competetive series of races cars.
    We should not have been so quick to cast judgement on JR’s or his crew as they did their best with the change of crew Chief. To learn a job by assignment without proper training is not cause for a true assement of what they can do in 1 years time.
    I must beleive that the off season has been most productive so that we can judge on what we see and not on what we think we see.

  36. Chase Says:
    January 12th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I want to say thank you to Bill who has helped pave the way for guys like myself. The remark was in response to the comment “get a real job people” . I am sure that you as well as anybody understands the commitment young men and women like ourselves have made and how being told to get a real job might sort of irk you (even though this is something as foolish as a race news web page). As far as people like myself who have a comment to make about what Jr/Hendrick should do, shouldn’t do, or, neglected to do…That is going to happen. I don’t claim to know it all, but it does make me happy to be able to come to a website and give my 2 sense, because my wife doesn’t give a damn about racing, and NONE of my friends are Jr fans so they don’t care to hear it. People sit around and talk about politics and what our government should be doing every single day, but they don’t claim to be politicians, nor do they feel that they should be our next president.
    Good luck to you Bill and Whomever you may pull for this year.

  37. Bill Heaster Says:
    January 12th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Honestly I don’t make statements that are to upset anybody’s world or burst their bubble. So no harm intended. By the way I still go with Petty Interprises to come to the surface as they use to. Just to hope they shine as once was. 2009 was a good season for Petty Interprises and I feel that this year should be their shining hour.