Friday, December 18, 2015

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - NASCAR's Most Popular Driver For A Reason

When it comes to popular drivers in NASCAR you of course think of Jeff Gordon, Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, among many others but for the past 13 years there has only been one Most Popular Driver and his name does not surprise many people. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the man behind that award that he has won 13 times in a row because of JR Nation. Jr's popularity comes at no surprise to anyone as his father was Dale Earnhardt Sr. who was one of the Greatest Drivers of all time. Many of the older generation look at the Earnhardt name and think of the 7 time champion. His son has yet to win a championship but I see one in his future.
This season Jr won 3 races including winning at Talladega once again for the 6th time of his career. He won at Daytona and the rain shortened race at Phoenix due to luck getting on and off pit road at the right time. There is no doubt that Jr has talent which every driver has talent. NASCAR's Most Popular Driver has won at least 3 races for the past 2 years and I don't see that streak coming to an end. This leaves peace on earth and JR Nation very happy. JR Nation is very passionate about their driver which most nation's fans are. If Jr does not win fans know Jr can do it again sooner or later and the past 2 years it's been a common occurrence to see Jr in victory lane at either Daytona or Talladega.
Earlier this year at Talladega Jr. pulled off the victory that landed him in the chase. Although not a complete mirror image of 2014, Jr would go into Talladega in October in the same situation he was in the previous year after disappointing runs at Charlotte and not enough at Kansas. If you want to see how passionate JR Nation is for their driver look back to the 500 at Talladega in October. In that race Jr caught numerous breaks that would land him on the front row coming to the Green flag for what many thought would be the final restart. As they took the green cars crashed behind and NASCAR would attempt to do it again. As the field took the final green flag the field would pile up behind Harvick and the race would be called. At then end many
questioned who the winner was. As much speculation continued in the grandstands Jr Nation sat an waited for the official announcement. That announcement would come that Joey Logano had been declared the winner. Jr would not win the race and would not advance to the next round. This passion that had voted Jr to 13 Most Popular Driver awards would also throw beer cans at Joey Logano and many fans said they would never watch NASCAR again. The passion would continue to roll from the fans as Dale Earnhardt Jr would be announced as 2015's NASCAR's Most Popular Driver.
Certainly with Jr Nation's Support and his skill on the Superspeedway's a Championship will come to Jr. Next Year the NASCAR's Most Popular Driver race will be very interesting as Chase Elliott joins the race along with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s nephew, Jeffery Earnhardt, will join the race. But if Jr Nation has anything to do with it, Jr will become a 14 time Most Popular Driver next season.(Koelle, 2015)

Roush Fenway Racing Announces Crew Chief Lineup for 2016

Roush Fenway Racing announced its crew chief line up for 2016 with a new addition from Michael Waltrip Racing. Brian Pattie will be the crew chief for Greg Biffle in 2016 replacing Matt Pucia who will be with Darrell Wallace Jr. in 2016. Brian had previously been the crew chief for David Ragan and Clint Bowyer over the last few years. Since MWR shut its doors Pattie was out of  a job but a Crew Chief of his caliber surely was not going to be out of a job for long and will help lead a rejuvenated Roush Fenway Racing Stable. Ricky Stenhouse Jr will return in 2016 with Crew Chief Nick Sandler. Also returning is team veteran Bob Osborne who was the crew chief for Trevor Bayne in 2015 will continue with Trevor in 2016. With this crew chief line up look for Roush Fenway Racing to be at the top of their game come the 2016 Daytona 500! (Koelle,2015)