Does Earnhardt Deserve our Pity? -- by J. R. Andres 
Monday, May 18, 2009, 01:16 PM
Posted by Administrator
He was the guy who was going to pick up where his father left off. He was the guy positioned to attain greatness. He was the guy who had the talent and the means to carry on the Earnhardt tradition for yet another generation. If this were the case, then what happened to the driver and the expectations for success the racing world have saddled him with for the past eight years?

Living in the shadow of Dale Sr. hasnít been easy. There was the messy divorce from DEI and then the honeymoon with the Hendrick organization that now seems frazzled and rudderless. There have been calls for the removal of cousin and crew chief Tony Eury Jr. as a possible solution but RH hasnít decided to go there yet. Junior seems distracted at times and with one win in the last 103 outings, even with decent equipment, there seems to be more than meets the eye and now even the Junior Nation is pressing him for an explanation of why he has become their hard luck kid, week in and week out.

The truth of the matter might lie within Junior himself, the victim if you will, of the pressure and the never-ending hype he has had to contend with. NASCARís most popular driver is expected to consistently perform at a level far above that of his teammates, and his peers and the fans want him to be everything they imagine him to be; the reincarnation of his father.

Itís not unreasonable to say that the fame and mystique associated with the Earnhardt name has in some ways been a curse for Dale Junior. Even the fact that heís called Junior means he has to prove himself in ways the drivers of the other 42 cars donít. If they and the fans and the media could view things through the same set of glasses he does, the concept of pity would never be mentioned. Dale doesnít want it and he sure doesnít deserve it.

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