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If Dale Earnhardt Jr. is committed to being a championship race-car driver, he will need to react better to situations during the race and communicate better with his crew chief, three-time Cup champion crew chief Ray Evernham said.
Evernham, who hired current Earnhardt Jr. crew chief Lance McGrew at Hendrick Motorsports in 1999, said he himself had similar issues with Jeff Gordon earlier in his career.
This is what I have been saying for a long time. If you listen to Jr on the radio, he will say my car is junk, I can't drive this peace of sh*t. How could anybody adjust a car, base on this information. He will also tell the crew chief I need this or that added to my car.
Contrast this with JJ who tells Chad what the car is doing and he decides how to adjust the car. Now Dale Sr pretty much made the calls on his cars, but then he was a mechanic, before he got in the seat. I have heard many people blame Jr's crew chiefs for their decisions, but the bottom line is he needs to accept his share of the blame. I think the communication issue is more to blame for Jr's downfall then his ability to navigate the car. His uncle Tony is the only one that has been able to control him.
Think it was NASCAR Race Hub yesterday thet had an extensive discussion, saying thet by now, Junior's and Lance's relationship was so toxic by now thet Lance would have to be replaced soon - apparently the frustration has taken on a whole new ugliness....
When I have listened to his radio communications, I've often felt like Junior jest cain't quite express himself articulately enough, and his frustration with thet leads to him being almost abusive to his CCs.
- 1 Reply to wally
"The guys have got to learn. I think people will respect him for his talent. But to have that attitude, like you're never going to back off ... in the end, that doesn't work for you if you want to win championships. I've said that kid is good and I've been a supporter of his. But I don't think what he did on the P.A. system the other night was right or classy or helped his brand at all. So if I'm his owner, I would talk to him as a friend."
Evernham apparently would talk to him at length, as well.
"I think he's a young man new into this sport," Evernham added. "I think he's got enough talent where he deserves the time that Roger Penske or maybe some other drivers would spend to say, 'Look, kid, you've probably got to be a little bit more flexible with your driving. You didn't like the slide job Kyle put on you, but Kyle did race you clean for 20 laps before that -- and you could have easily turned the car left and raced him down into the corner and then shoved him up and taken the win back.'
"Instead, [Keselowski] wanted to prove a point that he wasn't going to back off. And so he didn't back off, and he ended up losing the race because of it. Kyle got mad and spun him."
Interestingly, I didn't hear anyone on NASCAR Now or Race Hub say anything much different....but, as I've said, after seeing his father interviewed, I've developed more sympathy for Brad -
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