Who would have thought that the two most popular drivers in Cup racing are under achieving. One is not winning enough and the other is not winning at all.
Kyle Bush and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have pretty much been under the microsope since the beginning of their careers. At the mid point of the 2009 Cup Series season Kyle Bush is feeling the heat and Jr. has to buy a new set of sunglasses every week.
The finish of last weeks event at Daytona was a dissapointment to say the least. Then Bush missed an opportunity to be more endearing to the public with his press conference on Thursday. No one likes getting wiped out at 190 mph but how the public percieves Kyles reaction and comments is more than what we think, it is what Kyle thinks.
Being in a high profile or public position quickly seperates the men from the boys and Kyle is looking like a boy right now. Nobody has a harder head than Tony Stewart but at least he had misgivings in victory lane at Daytona and called Kyle earlier in the week to clear the air. Kyle is not a media darling but he might want to speak with his older brother Kurt for some pointers on what to do.
Daytona is over and done and it is time to move on. Kyle seems to have carried Daytona with him to Chicago. Kyle, if you want to be one of the best, forget about it right after it happens and move on.
On the other side of the Nascar world, Dale Earnhardt Jr is scratching his head trying to figure what it takes to win a race or even catch a top ten. A new crew chief has not shown much improvment eventhough things do look a little better.
Could it have been a mistake for Jr. to bring Tony Eury Jr. with him to Hendrick Motorsports ? Earnhardt's results with Eury Jr. have not been that impressive even at DEI. Dale seemed to be in better shape when Eury's father was on his pit box. Changing crew chiefs during season is never a good sign but it could not get much worse for the 88 bunch.
Jr. knows that he will never drive out of his fathers shadow but the upside is that he understands this. Jr. is nothing like his father was and was not raised by him, it shows on and off the track.
Dale's struggles are well documented and how he deals with the pressure says alot about the man. Jr's season is pretty much a wash out as he is already looking at next year. Maybe nothing can really be done to turn the corner as the fourth car in the Hendrick stable seams to have a black cloud over it.
Do not count either one of these guys out yet. Kyle has his whole career in front of him and Dale is driving for one of the best orginisations in the history of Nascar. It is ironic that two of the most popular drivers in this sport are heading in different directions. One is struggling with winning and the other, with losing. They just may end up in the same place.
August 22, 1982 - Champion Spark Plug 400
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