Does Junior have a chance?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by uhdum, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. uhdum

    uhdum
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    Well, it appears Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally has the monkey off his back: he made a top 5 finish on a track that he has averaged a 27th place finish in his career.

    We know he can win on superspeedways, but is this the year Junior can finally pull it all together and be consistent enough to win the championship?
    Or do you feel someone else is more poised to capture the Nextel Cup? Could it be a repeat for Matt Kenseth?

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. RodH

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    If Jeff Gordon doesn't win, I hope Dale Earhardt, Jr. does. I think he has a great chance to win the championship this year if he can stay consistent and avoid DNFs. Matt Kenseth proved last season that he already knows how to do that by building a lead so large that it made the end of the year almost boring. Even in the new points system you can't count him out.

    Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson both know how to win races. If they can avoid the costly DNFs this year either of them could win it all. Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch also have the ability to contend this year also if they can keep their tempers under control. Neither of them has very much patience which causes them to show poor judgement in some instances.

    Of the veteran drivers I would think Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart have a chance to make another run at a championship. Both of them know what it takes to win and have the maturity to make good decisions when it counts.

    It will be interesting to see if some of the other veteran drivers will be able to regain some of their past glory. Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, Sterling Marlin, and both Labonte brothers really need to win one or two races this year to show that they still have some fight left in them. As Ward Burton found out, car owners are constantly looking to the younger drivers to try to get immediate results even if that means dumping a veteran driver to do it.
     
  3. Dan Todd

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    NASCAR is a fascinating sport. I've been following it nearly two years. I personally like to see Newman and Johnson win! Newman did eight times last year.

    Junior is a good driver - and he finally is growing up a bit - and it will probably help him.

    I wonder why Kyle Petty still drives - I think it's only because his daddy was such a great driver that he gets a ride anymore!

    Dan - I like Nextel Cup much better than Winston Cup. Now if only the Busch series would get a new sponsor!
     
  4. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Junior has a good shot, I think. Gordon always a possibility.

    Kenseth...probably not IMO. His season reminded me of Terry Labonte's championship season. I like Labonte but in both seasons I think the championship was won by "keeping their heads down". Fine if it works, but it doesn't work too often.

    Ryan Newman is obviously (IMO) being set up by the press and the $$$ racing establishment as the next Jeff Gordon. For that reason I hope that he does not win. Nothing against him personally, just a "racing thing" with me.

    Also I thnk we can watch for Stewart.

    -PA Jim
     
  5. uhdum

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    That is one of those questions that I also ponder [​IMG]

    Kyle Petty's racing is, I hate to say it, a running joke between me and my friends. Whenever his commercial comes on where he says, "My dad taught me several things about cars," I always reply, "Racing aint' one of 'em." :D
     
  6. micahaaron

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    My pick for Nextel Champion is Matt Kenseth.
    Rookie of the year is Kasey Kahne.
    Underdog/Most improved is Ward Burton.
     
  7. Dan Todd

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    Matt Kenseth ran a good race last Sunday - but I don't think he'll repeat as champion!

    I like Brian Vickers as rookie - we'll see in another 34 races!

    Dan
     
  8. drp737

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    I do like Jr. myself. It's hard this early in the season to make any predictions, but if you remember how he started last season and wound up third in the points, I think he certainly has a great shot and how he started even worse in 2002 and just missed the top ten. He has consistently gotten better and I think he will continue to improve. If he improves he has little place to go outside of first or second. That is why I pick Jr.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    I've got Jr on my team, but actually would like to see Bobby LaBonte or Jarret take the overall. Just think they are better drivers, without all the hype.

    But they don't have the cars.

    I can dream . . .
     
  10. PastorSBC1303

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    Dale Jr. has a great shot to win it this year. He is finally maturing and committed to what it takes to win week in and week out. I personally think that Dale Jr., Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon(Even though I cannot stand him :eek: ), and Ryan Newman are at the top of the class in Nascar right now, and I would expect one of them to win the championship this year, but you can never count out an ole veteran like Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte, or Dale Jarrett. [​IMG]
     
  11. PastorSBC1303

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    And on the Kyle Petty issue, he does need to step down. It is sad to see him run in 34th position every week. It is too bad that Adam Petty was taken so soon in his life, I really think he would have taken the Petty Legacy into the 21st Century and been a great driver.
     
  12. Pennsylvania Jim

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    I agree with Dr. Bob. Although I like Jr. and would not mind at all if he won the championship, I am very tired of all the hype over the "young guns", especially Ryan Newman. You can't read anything or watch any racing show, it seems, without half of it being about him. Labonte and Jarrett would by my first two preferences for the championship.

    I REALLY wanted to see Kyle Petty have some good fortune in racing after Adam died, but it was not to be. Several years earlier, though, I saw Kyle win in Dover.

    As to Petty Enterprises, I think that the name has been their greatest hindrance from a racing perspective. For years, they have had no need to win in order to run successfully from a business perspective. That will end, though, especially as the corporate bigshots are attempting to eradicate the sight and memory of anyone who has been racing for more than five years.
     
  13. mark

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    I dislike Dale Jr., mainly because of his sponsorship. He could get anyone her wanted, sponsors would line up for this guy, but NO he has to be Bud's biggest booster. I would think most Christians (at least those who recognize that alcoholism destroys lifes) would not be a big fan of any driver who is a moving billboard for a Beer company.
     
  14. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Hey, I thought that's what that red shirt you're wearing was. :D
     
  15. drp737

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    Mark,
    I understand your reasoning, and I wish he would get a different sponsor as well, however, not every sponsor can afford to spend $10 million a year. Also, his father set up Bud as his sponsor and at the time, and I believe to this day, it was the biggest sponsorship ever made in NASCAR history. As for alcoholism destroying lives, by being sponsored by Bud, he doesn't make people alcoholics. He does do many commercials about drinking responsibly. He and his family and friends have also taken religious stands, along with many other drivers in the NASCAR circuit. Personally, I hope to see him get the Goodwrench sponsorship in the coming years.
     
  16. Glory Bound

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    Dale Jr. has been thrust into the forefront of NASCAR based on his name, not his talent. He's a good driver, but so are many others. But he's not the "most popular driver" because of his record.

    As far as the Bud sponsorship, it fits him. He's still pretty wild, and his actions and his speech reflect that. Unfortunately a lot of kids are into NASCAR, and a lot look up to Jr.

    His chances are pretty good this year, especially since he's the "golden child" of NASCAR. He has been given breaks in a lot of situations where other drivers would have been busted by NASCAR.

    Case in point - Bristol. He is having wheel/tire trouble, and in danger of loosing at least two laps if he pits to get new tires. His solution? He spins his car out, bringing out the yellow flag and freezing the field at the instant the flag comes out, preserving his position and giving himself a chance to pit.

    At this point only Jr. knows what happened, but then he goes and explains why he spun during a broadcast interview! Total confession. John Darby, (safety director, I think) says that if there was proof that Earnhardt spun on purpose then NASCAR would take action, but that just Dale Jr. admitting he spun on purpose didn't make it true! Go figure!

    As long as Jr. has his "golden child" status from NASCAR, he's got the edge on the championship.
     
  17. swaimj

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    I think that Earnhardt Jr. has the driving talent to be a championship driver, but I don't think he has the personal focus to set it as a goal and achieve it. If his father had lived he would have been a great mentor to Little E and I think Little E would have become a champion very quickly. Without the influence of his father, I think Jr. is a little bit of a lost soul.
     
  18. uhdum

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    I think Sunday showed a little bit of Junior's immaturity and a little bit of selfishness...

    Granted, he is not the first driver to intentionally cause a caution, but he put other drivers in danger with his actions. It really sealed the deal when he bragged about it on the radio and post-race. It seems to me that little things like this are what will probably bring the championship home to a more experienced, mature driver this year.
     
  19. RodH

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    NASCAR only fined him $10,000 and 25 points. He probably would have lost more than that if he had pitted and went a couple laps down, so it was really just a slap on the wrist. From the comments I read, NASCAR probably wouldn't have done anything if he had kept his mouth shut.

    Dale Jr. finished 11th in the race. The highest car 1 lap down finished 22nd and the highest car 2 laps down finished 24th. The difference in points from 11th place to 22nd place is 33 points. So he still came out at least 8 points better than he would have even after the penalty. I am sure the prize money difference between 11th and 22nd place would likely exceed $10,000 also, so he didn't really get punished, did he?
     
  20. swaimj

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    I agree with you Rod. I think the punishment amounts to a slap on the wrist. The problem is NASCAR's fault though. By having the "freeze-the-field" rule when a caution comes out, it was to E Jr's advantage to cause the caution and lose no ground in the race. As a calculated gamble on E's part, it was a smart move. Given the small penalty, it was probably worth it. If someone else tries the move, let's see if the penalty gets larger!
     

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