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Old 10-11-2017, 11:30pm   #1 (permalink)
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Default NASCAR: Dale Jr's retirement and the big picture.

A lot has been written about Dale Jr's career, ability and retirement. He's an average racer, with a legendary name. He stepped into some way too big shoes, which he had no prayer of filling. He lost his dad to the only life he knows, he's been injured enough to make any sane person consider retirement and yet there is no shortage of criticism of his career, his effect on the sport (seriously lost a lot of respect for Harvick with his remarks), his decision to retire and his "phoning it in" this year. But I think those criticizing him are missing a few very crucial things when looking at the big picture of his life and career.

I think it's pretty obvious one of the main reasons he's retiring; he's been hurt a bunch, and the Docs have probably recommended it. He's had a good career, not stellar, but certainly not bad. He's worth near a billion dollars by some estimates. He's a successful team owner. He can add husband to that resume. And he's the most popular and marketable guy in all of NASCAR.

In addition to all of that there are things that most people miss, or dismiss. He's a damn good businessman, both at the track and away. He's got a hell of an eye for talent. Take a look at the driver's who have driven for JR Motorsports and the success they have had. He has parlayed himself into a brand, much the way Michael Jordan, Greg Norman, and Tiger Woods have. He is by any measure a success and is poised to take the next big step in his career, the one that may truly be his legacy.

Dale Jr is not going away, not by a long shot. On that fateful day in 2001, Dale Jr's future changed. And it's all been leadin up to what I think may be coming in the near future. When Dale Sr died, Jr lost much more than his dad. His career bath instantly became a question mark. DEI was created to be Sr's legacy and Jr's team, but that only worked with Dale Sr alive. it's no big secret that Teresa and Jr tolerated each other out of respect for his dad. When he died, the chances of DEI being Jr's forever home died with him. Myself included, a lot of people wanted to see Jr eventually land at RCR, but that was never really in the cards. Much like DEI was built for Jr, Richard Childress was dead set on his grandsons taking over the seats at RCR. Besides, it seems fate had other ideas.

In 2004 as things were beginning to become troubled at DEI, and Jr struggled to get out of his dad's shadow, across town Rick Hendrick was dealt a horrible blow of his own. When Ricky Hendrick died in that plane crash, a son without a father would step in to fill those shoes for the father who had lost his son. Over the years, Jr and Rick Hendrick have both filled a major void in each other's lives, both professionally and personally.

It's no secret that Rick is getting older, and probably looking to step back in his role as one of the winningest team owners in history. And his protege already drives for him. Jr has the brand, the business sense, the eye for talent and last but not least the financial ability to buy controlling interest in Hendrick Motorsports. And I think that's where things are headed. I have no idea as far as time table, but it's feasible and logical from both sides.

I'd say Jr is ready to make a name for himself now.
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:20am   #2 (permalink)
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Is that a copy and paste or did you personally write that?
Excellent dissertation! It really puts Jr's story into perspective for the ignorant.
I especially like the final line, "I'd say Jr is ready to make a name for himself now".
So true.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:05am   #3 (permalink)
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I wrote it after a long discussion with a friend about where we think his career is headed.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:08am   #4 (permalink)
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I wrote it after a long discussion with a friend about where we think his career is headed.
That is an very believable idea that I would have never thought of. I will admit, as a huge Dale Sr. fan, that I was one of those who dreamed of Jr. moving over to RCR and getting behind the wheel of the #3, but in the end that would have done nothing for Jr other than prove he is not his father.

I do wonder what Jr will do, will he go off and live the quiet life and enjoy his hobbies as many of us would love to do, or will he take a role of some sort in NASCAR and try to save what appears to be a sinking ship!
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:25am   #5 (permalink)
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nascar is in trouble.

teams cannot find sponsors/money, veteran drivers are calling it quits or not being signed (as the team can't afford their desired pay), stands are going empty, the racing is mediocre (everyone has the same car), and HQ and the tracks are sucking up most of the TV money. only 2 teams have not had different sponsors this year (self funded Menard and JJ with Lowes).

i predict that they will impose a spending cap, hand out more TV money to the teams, and end up with sponsor money being the bonus pool for each team.

in the end, if you can't make a dime, why bother? it's pretty expensive advertising with poor returns on money.
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Old 10-12-2017, 03:05pm   #6 (permalink)
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*insert my comment from Facebook here*
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Old 10-12-2017, 04:31pm   #7 (permalink)
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Time to loosen up the rules, and make it an honest battle of brands.....a GM/Chevy has to have ALL GM/Chevy parts, for instance....same for all the makers.....that opens it up all the way.....

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Old 10-12-2017, 04:42pm   #8 (permalink)
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I wrote it after a long discussion with a friend about where we think his career is headed.
Thanks. It was very informative for someone like me who lost interest in NASCAR decades ago. I really knew nothing about any of this.

Honest question, with his driving skills, is Junior someone we would have ever heard of if his name was Dale Smith Jr.?
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:32pm   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks. It was very informative for someone like me who lost interest in NASCAR decades ago. I really knew nothing about any of this.

Honest question, with his driving skills, is Junior someone we would have ever heard of if his name was Dale Smith Jr.?
I think that we would of thought of him in the same light as Ricky Rudd. Not great not bad
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:54pm   #10 (permalink)
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I think that we would of thought of him in the same light as Ricky Rudd. Not great not bad
Would you agree that even if he would have been successful, he would not have been handed the opportunities he was handed?
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:13pm   #11 (permalink)
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seems like long ago the metric for a great driver was wins and championships. now it's about how much money they can pocket.

nothing wrong with that, but why risk your career for a place on the track that may lead to a crash, when you could back off just a hair and stay in the game for another 4 years and the money you will earn in that time?
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:48pm   #12 (permalink)
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I wrote it after a long discussion with a friend about where we think his career is headed.
Well written, and I think you hit the nail on the head. Had Sr stayed alive, I can't help but think Jr would have been a better driver. I honestly believe Jr lost a lot of drive, and understandably so. However, he has remained popular with a huge fan base. I also agree that he has good business sense and will have a second stellar career as an owner. Maybe he can help Nascar get back to its roots, and other good things. I hope so.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:51pm   #13 (permalink)
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Time to loosen up the rules, and make it an honest battle of brands.....a GM/Chevy has to have ALL GM/Chevy parts, for instance....same for all the makers.....that opens it up all the way.....

You and Dab are both right. If it doesn't get back to its roots, it is doomed to fail.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:56pm   #14 (permalink)
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Well written, and I think you hit the nail on the head. Had Sr stayed alive, I can't help but think Jr would have been a better driver. I honestly believe Jr lost a lot of drive, and understandably so. However, he has remained popular with a huge fan base. I also agree that he has good business sense and will have a second stellar career as an owner. Maybe he can help Nascar get back to its roots, and other good things. I hope so.
The day that Jr. was burned in that non NASCAR crash, he got scared.
He was never the same after that. Then he hit the wall hard at Talladega? It was all over for him at that point. He never really pushed it to the edge after that.
Can you blame him?

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Old 10-13-2017, 03:43am   #15 (permalink)
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The day that Jr. was burned in that non NASCAR crash, he got scared.
He was never the same after that. Then he hit the wall hard at Talladega? It was all over for him at that point. He never really pushed it to the edge after that.
Can you blame him?

WTF?? looks like he always losing traction in the rear there, looks like a dragster burning out.....why HIM??? seems odd.....

something about the car construction??

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Old 10-13-2017, 06:53am   #16 (permalink)
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WTF?? looks like he always losing traction in the rear there, looks like a dragster burning out.....why HIM??? seems odd.....

something about the car construction??

He drove the best equipment and had a-list crew chiefs.
He was a hot headed driver.
He liked the right foot too much.
His temper would get the best of him and instead of finessing a corner , he'd be a bull in a china shop.
Every time that I saw him race, and that's going back 15-20 years, he was oddly always balls to the walls. In NASCAR, you have to slow down to go fast more often than not. He didn't get that apparently.
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