As I watched Dale Earnhardt Jr. win his sixth race at Talladega I kept thinking about how Junior will be remembered when he hangs up his helmet and skeleton gloves someday. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been NASCAR’s most popular driver for 12 years running now. In my own personal opinion I loved Dale Jr. from the start of his career before his dad passed away. I have often heard the side that only reason Junior has all these fans is because he inherited them from his father. If he was normal driver without the last name he wouldn’t be that special.
Those people who make that statement could very well be right about the matter however Junior has not done bad for himself. In the Sprint Cup Series he has 24 wins, 229 top tens and 13 poles. In the XFinity Series he has 2 championships, 23 wins, 87 top tens and 10 poles. In today’s age of racing those are not bad stats and it’s something that he can look back on and be proud of. Dale Sr. had an incredible career before has passed away. In the Sprint Cup Series he won 7 championships, 76 races, 428 top tens, and 22 poles. When he was in the Xfinitiy Series he had 21 wins, 75 top tens, and seven poles. If you put those stats together they are very impressive and it shows the father taught the son pretty well.
When it comes to the Earnhardt legacy Senior and Junior should not be compared. They are two different men who raced in two different era’s. What they have done as a father-son combo is better then what the Petty’s, Allison’s or any other family in NASCAR have done. Sure Richard Petty won a lot of races but Kyle never lived up to his name. Bobby Allison was very successful and unfortunately Davey not got a chance to eclipse what his father did. Dale Jr. has not win championship and he never does he shouldn’t be considered a failure because of what his father did.
Dale Jr. has done the best he absolutely he can do to carry on is father;s legacy. He’s no longer searching to find himself as a person and driver. He’s happy, he’s consistently fighting for a win each week and I truly believe he will a championship before it’s all said and done. The Earnhardt legacy will always be apart of NASCAR and NASCAR will always be apart of the Earnhardt. With that being said be safe, be strong and believe in yourself. Controversy Doesn’t Come Without Criticism!