Shakeup needed on Earnhardt team, should driver be canned? UPDATE This is yet another article by the regular NASCAR media who tries to blame everything else on the failure of Dale Earnhardt Jr. despite being with the best team in NASCAR, yet fails to question whether it may just be the driver that is the problem. Recall the disparaging remarks even his stepmother Theresa Earnhardt said about Dale Jr. before he left the family team. At the time we thought it was bad blood between the two but now it seems she was questioning whether he was cut out to do the job. Maybe Mother (or stepmother) really does know best.
08/17/10 With a 19th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship for the third time in four years.
He drives for the best team in NASCAR and they even totally revamped his crew last year in hopes of getting better results.
Following Sunday's race, in which he struggled most of the afternoon and was in no mood to discuss his Chase chances after his fifth consecutive finish outside the top 15.
"I just want to go home," he said. "It wasn't good. We were junk all day. We weren't good. We worked hard."
No more excuses. All the pieces were supposed to finally be in place when he teamed with Rick Hendrick in 2008, positioning himself with NASCAR's top team because, in his own words at his 2007 hiring announcement, "I think that I'll have a good opportunity to succeed and win a lot of races. Personally, I think I will cherish a championship on my mantle when it's all said and done."
Championship? Not going to happen unless NASCAR fixes the races. Last season his Hendrick teammates Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon led a 1-2-3 sweep of the points. Earnhardt isn't even in the same league.
So this year Hendrick took the best crew members from Martin's team and gave new Earnhardt - crew chief Lance McGrew and several key personnel members from Martin's team.
The focus on Earnhardt has clearly hurt Martin who this ear who went from being a five-race winner and championship contender last season, he has not won a single race this year and finds himself trailing Clint Bowyer by 35 points for the final Chase berth.
So now it's time to try something else. How about if Hendrick gets a new driver who actually has some talent and stop blaming the crew? When he drove for his father's team the same result - a complete backmarker yet the regular NASCAR reporters (sheep) continue to make excuses for him because how can NASCAR's most popular driver be one of its worse drivers?
He riding on his father's coattails and it's time to call a spade a spade.