Drinking The Junior KoolAide

Y’all indulge me in a little NASCAR talk.

 All of “my” drivers are getting old and ready for retirement.  Marlin, Martin, Jarrett – the end is near, and it’s no fun following drivers who are either part time or always finish 25th.  I knew going into this year, I’d have to pick a new driver to follow.

I knew I just can’t choose Jimmy Johnson – every time I see him, the word that pops into my head is “snotty”.  For that matter, that goes for Matt Kenseth too.

Jeff Gordon is too business-like for my tastes.  Watching him race, even when he wins, is like watching an assembly line.  An accountant assembly line.

Some fit into the jackass category: Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya.   I’m not talking about jackassery in the heat of battle – all drivers are guilty of that.  I’m talking about a general, proud of it jackassery.

Kyle Busch is fun to watch, but he drives like he’s insane.  He’s going to get somebody killed out there.  I like him, though.

I would cheer for open-wheel-turncoat, local favorite Dario Franchitti, but 1) He’s going to have some growing pains, and 2) he’s driving a Dodge.  Not a recipe for early success if you ask me.

I’ve decided that Kasey Kahne is the Danica Patrick of the NASCAR world.  Except he’s actually won a race or two. But, let’s face it, he’s more known for being pretty than winning races.

And I didn’t want to buy into the Earnhardt hype.  I don’t like being a joiner, or being considered ignorant of NASCAR intricacies and just choosing the most famous driver. 

But, today, I’m coming out.  I am a Dale Earnhardt Jr. Fan .  It actually started last season.  I follow the races on TrackPass Raceview (I highly recommend it to any fan; you “see” the race from a whole new point of view, literally).  Last year, after Marlin lost his ride, I had this really cool app, and no driver from whose POV I could watch.

Y’all, one week I switched to Junior’s view, and it was hard not to become a fan.  At the time, he was practically out of the Chase (NASCAR’s playoffs), but he was driving the wheels off his car.  He was doing things I had never seen from a driver before, and he would curse out his crew chief one minute, and apologize the next.  He wanted to win so bad, you could feel it through the computer screen.

Knowing he didn’t have to do this – he’s rich beyond measure, he had already announced he was switching teams, and the 07 season was all but mathematically out of reach – but he drove harder than any modern driver I’ve seen.  I’m told, this is what it was like to watch his father (with a bit of meanness thrown in).  Junior is a rock star, but at the same time, he’s human.

So, laugh at me if you will, but I’ll be following 88 this year.


10 Responses to “Drinking The Junior KoolAide”

  1. Ginger Says:

    YES!!!! I just knew you’d see the light!

    I have followed Junior all along because he reminded me so much of his dad. I loved his dad because my dad loved his dad…and seeing as how my dad was a team owner in Miami for 30 years, he knew his racing.

    However, I’ve gotta tell ya, I love saying “I am Juan Pablo Montoya. You kilt my father. Prepare to die.” bwahaha…

    We MUST get together and watch some races this season.


  2. Music City Bloggers » Blog Archive » Now, JUNIOR, behave yourself, or maybe Dale is not so hollow.. Says:

    […] man of sundry passions. One moment he’s empathizing with Ugly Betty, and the next, he’s braking into his love for NASCAR, particularly, his new-found admiration for Dale Jr. …..today, I’m coming out. I am a Dale […]

  3. 17 Pit Crew Says:

    Kenseth snotty ?

    PLEASE….He just is not media savy. There really is not a better driver out there that knows the car and drives it also…

    JR ….PLEASE…

  4. Susie Says:

    I am not ashamed to say that Junior is my guy because of his father. I absolutely loved Dale Earnhardt (and still do)…I still to this day believe his spirit was with Jr. and Michael when they made that big win after Sr. passed…I was watching the race when he died and absolutely fell apart…freaked out my kids…they will never forget it either…

  5. Glen Dean Says:

    Dale jr. comes across as a really nice guy, and I like him to a certain extent, but I have never liked him like I did Dale sr. The thing about his dad is that he was kind of one of us. His fans could relate to him. I grew up around racing near Talladega, Alabama and actually worked at the Superspeedway a few years ago. I was fortunate enough to meet Dale and work around him, and he always spoke. He reminded me a lot of the guys that raced across the road at Talladega Short Track. He was old school tough.

    I don’t think Tony Stewart is really as much of a jerk as he acts sometimes. I think deep down Tony is good people, as evidenced by the millions he has given and raised for Victory Junction Camp. I really like all of those guys to a certain extent, even the ones who seem to dislike each other. There is just something about race car drivers that is really cool, especially guys like Robby Gordon, Stewart, Ken Schrader, and others that will race just about anything anywhere. And yes I know that Juan Pablo can seem like a jerk sometimes, but I think that is more intensity than anything else. The fact that he doesn’t seem to care, also makes him kind of cool. I look forward to this year. In a way I kind of like seeing guys like Dario get into NASCAR, because they are such proven talents, but I miss the old way guys used to work their way up driving Late Models. Its just change though and we have to adjust.
    I still don’t have a real favorite right now myself. I used to cheer against Jeff Gordon, but I gave in and actually starting respecting the guy. I have come to the conclusion that he might be the best ever at any track, and that is saying a lot coming from an Earnhardt fan.

  6. Tennesseefree.com » NASCAR= Best Pro Sport By Far Says:

    […] Slartibartfast, in a post that was also linked by Music City Bloggers, has written about his love for NASCAR and specifically Dale Earnhardt jr. And I didn’t want to buy into the Earnhardt hype.  I don’t like being a joiner, or being considered ignorant of NASCAR intricacies and just choosing the most famous driver. But, today, I’m coming out.  I am a Dale Earnhardt Jr. Fan . […]

  7. Susie Says:

    As evidenced by tonight’s victory, Jr. is back!!!

  8. 17 Pit Crew Says:

    huh ????

    Congrats Jr…. take that Teresa.

    But come on people….

    Didnt Dale Jarrett win the shootout in 2004 ? What has he done since ?

    Lets not get over zealous and give JR the title.

    You know what I actually like JR, its the media and his fans that make me say PLEASE….

    70 laps … was all that was.

    Jr hasnt won since mid 2006…and now you crown him…


  9. Music City Bloggers » Blog Archive » Ladies & Gentlemen, Start your engines! Says:

    […] be looking forward to Junior’s ride to Victory Lane…go 88!!! Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and […]

  10. Dale Jr 88 Gear Says:

    Welcome to the club! Been a Jr. fan for awhile, myself. I’m glad to see his losing streak end. Hopefully this will be the first of many trips to victory lane.

    I like Jr because he seems like someone who could be my buddy. I think he’s a down-to-earth race car driver of the people. There’s nothing fake about him. He is who he is – take it or leave it. I can root for a guy like that!

    Mike Smith

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