And I couldn’t be more happy. Really. I was sent text messages by a bunch of my buddies to notify me that the race was ‘goin’ down,’ like I had no clue. I couldn’t have watched more than eight minutes of the race. Let’s see. I’ll chronicle a time line of my big race viewings:

  • 5:50 p.m. — I turned over to see who was winning. 5, Kyle Busch. Yeaaah, I had to change the channel back to ESPN Classic to watch the ’98 NBA All-Star Game.
  • 6:40 p.m. — What in the hell is Clint Bowyer doing leading the race? Heck, he’s not marketed much. So I gave the guy a break, but, I turned the channel to the ’03 NBA All-Star Game on ESPN Classic (which is what’s on right now in the background as I write this).
  • 7:01 p.m. — Ryan Newman won the flippin’ race. I wanted Jeff Burton to win; he’s one of the deep, deep ‘good guys’ in NASCAR that I can actually stand. He’s a good feller (first and last time I’ll use the informal word ‘feller’ on TSTOS).

I’m actually happy for Newman. Though I wanted Burton to win, Newman finally got his big break here. He’s suffered several tough losses over the past few years, and for all that adversity to be tantalizing him, he’s finally climbed over it and has grabbed the first race that holds the most significance of any other. Nice way to snap a treacherous 81-race skid.

Above and beyond all things, the boy wonder Dale Earnhardt, Jr., also known as the freakin’ Randy Moss of NASCAR, finished 9th. All I heard all race, as a commenter posted on my blog in the ever-so-unfamous “Dale Jr. is the Randy Moss of NASCAR” post, “Dale Jr. this,” “Dale Jr. that.” Some guy actually e-mailed me last week and said, “Troy, you’re just jealous of Dale Jr.” To that reader, I say (just on here aloud), “Reader, you’re just jealous of my ability to spew hatred towards Dale Jr. Get over it, man!”

Now, it’s well documented on here that I think Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is one of the biggest whiners in all of sports. Dallas Cowboys faithfuls have been going nuts, from the forum Cowboys Pride (a great forum with an even greater community to discuss not only the football team noted in the name, but to discuss football all around the NFL; click here or take a look at my links), over Roy Williams’ comments on a coach leaving to another team. That compares nothing to the excessive whining from Dale Jr. over the past two years, and now, today.

During a post race interview (yes, I stuck around to listen), Dale Jr. said, frustrated, “Nobody wanted to help. I guess I wasn’t helping either.” Jeez, Dale, your teammates are two (of three) of the best drivers in NASCAR and you can’t help but blame them for finishing ‘only’ in the top 10 in the race that your father won at 10 years ago?

It’s going to be an interesting stretch of races this year, especially to see how well Junior reacts the rest of way. If he starts winning, Lord help us with his blatant love spread all over [Jeff] Gordon and [Jimmie] Johnson. If he goes on a long, long streak of finishing behind the top 20, then Junior fans that are still sticking with the guy, take solace in the fact that at least his team is still Hendrick Motorsports, I guess. What else are you supposed to do?


7 thoughts on “The 50th Daytona 500 is in the Books, And Dale Jr. is Already Unhappy!

  1. What is this other than blatant hate towards Jr??? Did you actually watch the race or are you just saying you did so people will think you know what you are talking about? There was no help for Jr. during at the end of the race. Everyone left him out to dry until it was too late. At no time did he say it was his teammates that didn’t help. If you want to call him a whiner for this i guess you are entitled but if you know anything about restrictor plate racing you know you don’t win without help from another driver.

  2. I am starting to think of a parallel universe that Junior has fallen into…that of a famous young driver trying to follow in his elder’s footsteps…two words – Kyle Petty. Dale Jr. may be his generation’s Kyle Petty, who ain’t exactly been “The King.”

  3. Actually Troy, I did read the whole post. I’ve read it and re read it. If you did really watch the race then and you did hear Jr’s post race interview, where did you get the idea he meant teammates when he said no one wanted to help? He did not throw them under the bus, he didn’t say anything about any of them but you are trying to make him out to be the bad guy. If you don’t like hearing about Jr before,during, or after the race I can’t help you there because the media is going to talk about whoever they want and there is nothing that can be done other than watch the race with the sound off. You make it sound like Jr is making them talk about him and I am pretty confident in saying that he doesn’t care one way or the other about it. But as far as you saying he was blaming them for no help at the 500 that is just a made up story on your part. Oh, and didn’t Jr win that race 4 years ago?

  4. And unfortunately, your reading has not gained a sense to you has it? I’ve insisted time and time again, and completely threw the idea into writing about 500 times, which unfortunately I have to do in posts for people who can’t seem to latch onto the idea, that I take a vicarious enjoyment in poking fun at Jr. Though, I will see him as a big whiner — as explained in a different post — for a long, long while from now, and a guy that just quit last season. Granted, he was aggravated, but hell, the boys back in the 60s and 70s would have just drank a beer and said “to hell with it.” That’s the disparity today.

    Oh, and he won that race four years ago simply with NASCAR purified grace. If you would have read the Nascar Ain’t Nothin’ No More post like you said you did *wink wink* you would have realized that I was able to stick out being a Junior fan in 2004, 2005 (terrible year), 2006 and 2007 until he and Teresa started to both equally act like children; therefore, what’s the root of trying to rub the ol “Didn’t Jr. win that race four years ago” argument in my face? Good one.

    Though we have differing minds, I thank you for the comments.

  5. Well once again it looks like you are trying to twist someone’s words around into what you want them to be to try to save yourself. I never said i read the “nascar ain’t nothin” post, I said i read this post. Seems I might not be the only one that has trouble understanding what is being typed here. From what I am gathering from your replies on here, your problem doesn’t lie with Jr, It lies with the fact you can’t accept the fact that the sport of auto racing as a whole is evolving into something you don’t want it to be. If you don’t like what you are watching i can understand you being cynical about certain aspects.

    Now, with that being said, last year when Jr was going at it with the Grand Pooba of DEI, Teresa that wasn’t him being chidish, that was him trying to save the reputation of the greatness that was his father.Someone had to try to step in and stop teresa from doing what she has done and will continue to do which is run DEI as a memorabilia shop instead of a race team.She has left the competition side of the company go down the preverbial crapper and focused on putting the memory of Sr to work making her as much money as she can. DEI was having major troubles trying to keep 2 race teams competitive and she goes out and “merges” with Ginn racing. Now last i checked two subpar 2 car operations do not make a great 4 car operation just because you put them together. And until she is ousted from her perch atop the DEI food chain the ones below her will suffer until this organization is nothing more than an insignia on the back of a few die cast cars that she sold along the way. So, if trying to save what your father gave his life to build is acting childish, then I guess that is what Jr was doing. Wouldn’t you do the same?

    The comment about Jr winning this race 4 years ago came from the post race interview paragraph where you said about Sr winning it 10 years ago.

  6. There was obvious ambiguity. In my first reply to my first comment, I directed you to the link. Then, in your next reply you followed by saying you read the post, not affirming which post. And to my presumptions, due to the Nascar Ain’t Nothin’ No More post being more relevant, I adhered to the thought that you were talking about it. There’s no mistake in reading; it’s an identity crisis known as ambiguity

    Whoa, whoa, there, hold your horse for one second. I guess I have to reiterate myself, like I said, I think (I, the nominative singular pronoun, linked to think, constructs an opinion warming up, one I’m entitled to and you’re entitled to. Remember that, so you don’t have to try too hard while posting on here, but it’s amusing and quite entertainingg to read and reply back to, I have to say — and no, that’s not taunting. I mean it).

    Anyway, I lost my thought there and guess I’ll have to regroup here. I think Junior and Teresa both acted like children. It wasn’t the plans that Teresa was trying to instill or none of the above that you rambled on for 10 minutes about (in which you seem to have ignored the whole surrounding facets included in the Junior/Teresa fiasco, and seem to have placed in your mind that you want to play in an act, whereas you defend Junior and I defend Teresa — no thanks, I dislike both, and probably even Teresa more, so that’s out the window) how she was flushing the company down the toilet by making God-awful business moves. I know she was doing that. But when the going got tough, Teresa and Junior both took a dip in what I call “Media Whore Frenzy.” Junior implied on the racetrack (‘through driving’), “you know what, when it gets bad, I quit; I can’t help but to not stick it out and be a man for it or take action like my father would have; so I’m gonna run off with my gal pals Jeff and Jimmie and have a good ol’ Hendrick time and smear lipstick on Casey Mears! Yeehaw!”

    You will never understand why I consider the abysmal pit that NASCAR has swooped itself into until you’ve read the NANNM post. It was pretty obvious that NASCAR was becoming more and more like marketing towards the late 90s, yet I still followed only because I was a more-than-die-hard Dale SR. fan. And since you’re so damn obvious by saying, “you don’t want NASCAR to evolve into a steaming pile of marketing shit that’s not about racing,” you’re right (Oh, yeah, obviously I translated it for you. Your welcome, pal.)

    And since you obviously refuse to read the NANNM post, I guess I’m going to have to roll out a freakin’ illustrated diagram for you, don’t I? But, I’m a good host, so surely enough, I will:

    To me the chase was the final nail in the coffin. The two biggest issues I had were the tracks and the drivers themselves. It seems that NASCAR was more concerned about opening tracks with large seating capacities and less about tracks with actual racing. For every race taken from Wilkesboro and Darlington they opened up tracks like Vegas and California.

    I can understand them wanting to nationalize the sport but they went about it the wrong way. They homogenized racing. Can anyone honestly tell the difference between the tracks in California, Texas, New Hampshire, Vegas, Chicago, Kansas City, Phoenix or Homestead? If they were going to take races away from Wilkesboro, Darlington, Rockingham, etc. Why move them all the same cookie cutter tracks? Racing used to be great because it required you to be good on so many different kinds of tracks, and now you really only have to be good on one type to have a shot at winning the cup.

    I understood the reasoning behind closing tracks like Wilkesboro and taking races from places like Darlington and Rockingham. They idea was that they were in very small communities that could not support the number of fans coming to the races in today’s NASCAR. That said there was a reason those types of tracks were popular. So why not build similar style tracks in new larger city locations? The only reason I can logically come up with for moving to this cookie cutter track mold is the number of seats they can now sell.

    The other big thing that bothered me was the Stepfordization of the drivers themselves. It started with the likes of the good christian boy Gordon and has just snowballed. Much like the tracks can anyone really tell the difference between any of the modern age drivers? With the exception of Tony Stewart (who is classic old school NASCAR) does any other drive actually have a personality of their own? Much like the actual cars they drive where the cars are exactly the same (with the exception of the label that says Ford or Chevy) the only difference in the drivers is their number and the sponsor that they hawk endlessly.

    I think it was quite ironic that so much of this years Daytona 500 was dedicated to that race in ’79 that ended with a fist fight. NASCAR has done everything in their absolute power to move away from that image and yet it was that very image that made the sport and that the traditional fans yearn for.

    NASCAR in its greed to grow has alienated most of the traditional fan base and those folks are never coming back.

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