Dale Jr. celebrating after winning the 2015 Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway
Again, this will start some arguments, but I am fully behind what I said in the title. I will admit I have never been a fan of Dale Jr., but that is another topic for another day. I simply want to talk about why I don't believe Dale Jr., will ever win a Sprint Cup Championship.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., has found is old glory the last few seasons. Winning 4 races in 2014, gave Jr. Nation hope that the pied piper could be back. Indeed Jr. is back to running up front and could even be at his best in 2015, but I still believe its too little to late for Earnhardt Jr. I have 2 reasons for why the #88 driver will NEVER win a championship.
One, the level of competition is too much these days for Jr. Yes, he can run well in win races, but winning a race is much different than winning a championship. When Jr. was in the #8 he really only had to focus on Gordon, Stewart, Johnson, Busch, and Kenseth. Jr. himself was one of the most dominant drivers in the series, but couldn't get the job done.
Now, Jr. has to worry about Gordon, Johnson, Harvick, Kenseth, Keselowski, Logano, Hamlin, Edwards and Ku. Busch. You make think that list is about the same size as the old one, but add C. Elliot, Larson, E. Jones, and Ky. Busch to that list in the coming years. I am not saying Jr. can't beat these drivers on any given day, but winning a race is like 1 round in boxing, but winning a title is about going through 10 rounds.
2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup field
Second, Dale Jr. is not a momentum driver. Yes, he has strung top-5's and top-10's together, but putting together a 10 race march to the championship isn't something Jr. is made for. Yes, the new Chase format does help him, but I don't believe Jr. could out run other contenders win it comes down to Homestead. Matching Jr. head-to-head with heavyweights like Harvick and Johnson, doesn't work out in Jr's. favor.
Overall, Dale is a good driver. Has his last name helped him? Yes. At the end of the day Jr. is talented and will compete for titles, I just believe his golden days are past him. With the competition levels as high as they are, I don't think Jr. can win a championship. Under pressure, Dale Jr. is not the 'clutch' driver he needs to be. Also, the Chase is about momentum. Yes, the new format allows drivers to have small spurts and transfer, but consistency helps if you can't win, and Dale Jr. doesn't win often enough to rely on winning a race in the Chase. Since the Chase began in 2004, Jr. has only won 3 races that would be considered Chase races. That is 3 races in 11 seasons (110 races).
Again, this is my opinion, if Jr. wins a championship, then I'll admit I was wrong. Jr. will have to become something he hasn't been before. Clutch. Jr. will have to learn to win in the Chase, and answer the call when the phone rings. I know Jr. Nation will go crazy over this article, but this is how I honestly feel. Please set aside some bias when reading this, and realize that Jr. has not shown anything that leads me to think that he can win a championship.