Is Dale Earnhardt Jr a bad teammate?
Of course this question will probably be met with the cries of Jr nation and the claims that JR can absolutely do no wrong, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that sometimes he has to look out for himself and his family. Unfortunately for Dale JR, this puts him in a precarious position of having to decide what future he wants for the sport. The image of his dad, Petty and Johnson remaining the greatest of all time, or Johnson standing alone with eight championships.
While its easy to see why JR would want to be a little selfish in this situation, especially since another championship victory would help Jimmie Johnson surpass both Petty and Earnhardt as The Greatest of All Time, it would also almost seem a little disrespectful and disloyal to his teammate to want to hold him back from what would pretty much be the most iconic moment of NASCAR’s current era.
Dale JR, for one reason or another choose to root against his teammate, telling fans on his Dale Jr Download podcast show that,”“There’s a little sliver of me that doesn’t want Jimmie (Johnson) to win eight,” Earnhardt said. “I like that Jimmie tied him because I see him and my father more as equals. I think Jimmie is definitely in the conversation of the greatest driver that’s ever been in the sport. Now, I’m biased because I think my dad’s awesome.”
There it is! Right from the horses mouth that he believes that a record breaking eight championship will put Johnson above Earnhardt and that wouldn’t sit well with him. Not only is that incredibly selfish on quite a few levels especially if Johnson does end up winning an eight championship, it also shows that Jr is interested in protecting his family name and believes that Jonson beating the record would hurt that.
What are your thoughts? If i remember correctly, i don’t remember JR getting mad when Jeff Gordon broke his record of 92 wins in The Cup Series. In fact, it was the fans that got angry about it and was later told by Jr to respect it. With that being said, it is likely that the seven championships his father won during his Cup Series career is all JR has left, and he wants to protect it!