Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cowboy Up, Dale Jr.

I think that Dale Jr. is rapidly approaching a come-to-Jesus moment, one where he decides whether or not he's going to stay in NASCAR or decides to go sell doilies at an antique market to little old ladies who want to pat him on the head and take their picture with him:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he's "had enough" as he rides out the worst season of his NASCAR career.

Earnhardt is stuck in a 51-race winless streak dating back to 2008, his first season with Hendrick Motorsports. He heads into Saturday night's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway ranked 22nd in the standings and has just five top-10s this season.

He says he's been trying to ride out the season, but "there comes a point where you don't want to ride it out no more. You've just had enough."

Earnhardt says he has no answers on how to lift his slumping No. 88 team.

He'll start 39th in Saturday night's race.

I don't seriously think he's a quitter; I think he needs to start racing the way that he wants to race. Whatever isn't working for him is a change in strategy and organization issue, not necessarily a philosophical one. Dale Jr. has an approach to racing that has been honed over the years--something is getting between him and the way that he wants to race. So far, that thing getting between him and the way he wants to race is losing. He needs to look at what in his current approach is stinking up the track and get past it, get over it, or get rid of it. It's easy to blame the car. It's much easier to think about how you can change what you do with the car to give you a shot at winning races.

Frustration with losing should lead to a dedication to win. Just one victory would get Dale Jr. back on track, I really believe that.

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