Wallace does not rate Dale Jr.

Former champion Rusty Wallace says he hasn't seen a big change in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s performance this year after Earnhardt's move from Dale Earnhardt Inc. to Hendrick Motorsports.

The big change in the move is that Earnhardt made the Chase this season after missing it last year at DEI. Still, after a strong first half, he's struggled. He has three top-10 finishes in the last 16 races.

"Junior's a good driver and he's probably doing what I expected him to do," said Wallace, an analyst for ABC/ESPN. "He's not the greatest driver. Junior is good. When I think of these drivers nowadays, I think of Jeff Gordon, I think of Jimmie Johnson, I think of Carl Edwards, I think of Tony Stewart. Those are the four that just pop in my head.

"Do I look at (Earnhardt) as a top four? I don't look at him as a top four right now. I really thought performance-wise, I personally think he did every bit as good with his old team as he's doing with his new team.

"The only thing that is better is he hasn't broke down this year. Last year, he broke down a lot, blown motors. This year he hasn't had the blown motors and he's higher in the points and he's in the Chase."

[Editor's Note: He left off Kyle Busch who arguably is the best driver in NASCAR right now. He certainly has buried his teammate Tony Stewart. As for Dale Jr. – given the equipment he has and his performance with it, we rate him about 15th best in NASCAR.]

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