DW recently did a Q&A with Dustin Long and suggested that the easiest way for Dale Earnhardt Jr to reach victory lane wasn't in the Cup Series (insert "hey, it's only easy for Jimmie Johnson!" here), but rather the Camping World Truck Series.
"I told (car owner) Rick (Hendrick) and I really, honestly believe this, I'd run him in some truck races. He needs to get somehwere where he can win, and I'd get him in a truck. Not a Nationwide car, a truck. They're fun to drive, have a good time in the truck series. If I was Junior, I'd go talk to (Kevin) Harvick and ask him if I could drive that 2 truck. I'd go out, and I'd win me a couple of races and I think that's what he needs, it would really help his confidence, and I think his fans would enjoy seeing him do that. I think it would be a win-win."
Isn't that a great idea? Confidence is a great turbo boost for a driver, and drivers who are in the midst of a run of success don't show the frustration that Junior did over a speeding penalty.
Kevin Harvick Inc. makes the most sense in the Truck Series because they're one of only two manufacturer-supported Chevrolet teams (ThorSport is the other; KHI supplies a lot of trucks to lower-funded teams) and Ryan Newman and Elliott Sadler have run for Harvick over the last couple years, so Harvick doesn't have an issue putting other Cup drivers in the seats of his truck.
Harvick said after winning at Atlanta that the reason that he ran the Truck Series as often as he did was to prevent Kyle Busch from dominating when he runs the trucks. And wouldn't all the Junior fans and Kyle haters like to see the sport's most popular driver potentially get his groove back in a duel to the checkers against Busch?
Besides, the trucks are more similar to the Cup cars than the Nationwide cars are, so maybe, just maybe, Junior could have an "a-ha!" moment in a truck. And sponsorship wouldn't be an issue, because how many companies looking into NASCAR wouldn't jump at the opportunity to sponsor a truck with Junior at the wheel, given the CWTS's low cost of sponsorship?
- Camping World Truck Series