In a recent Sports Illustrated story Dale Earnhardt Jr. is quoted as saying he thinks he is the best driver at Hendrick Motorsports. Being a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan and watching his career with great enthusiasm, even I did a double take when seeing his quote. Then I thought about it for a bit and realized that in order for Dale Jr. to do well he has to think that way.
Confidence Equals Success
Just like in life, racing success has a lot to do with confidence. Every driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has talent, but some have more confidence than others. I've seen a difference when he is confident and I know that because I've been watching Dale Jr. his entire career. He kind of comes off as cocky and walks with a certain spring in his step. But the results are amazing, like in 2004 when he won six races during the season. This is the same level of confidence he is displaying this season thus far.
On the other hand, I've also been a witness to his now 137 winless streak and have seen what comes as a result of no confidence with Dale Jr. Usually it is not only bad finishes, but it is arguing with the crew chief, talking himself down and walking in a depressed looking manner.
So, when Dale Jr. is confident he does better. Therefore, he must think and feel he is the best driver, not just at Hendrick Motorsports, but in the entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage.
Saying What Needs to Be Said
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a lot to do on the track if he is to prove his statement about being the best driver at Hendrick. Now that he has made that comment he is likely to catch even more flack from his critics. However, it should be noted that someone asked him if he thought he was the best driver at Hendrick. He didn't hold a press conference to announce it so, in a way he was almost set up. He had to say he thought he was the best driver otherwise what would he be telling all the fans who tune in to watch him every week? Personally, as an Earnhardt Jr. fan, that's all I ever want to hear him say.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Is Dale Earnhardt Jr. the best driver at Hendrick Motorsports? With no championships and racing alongside legendary drivers as well as multi-year champions, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, that is a pretty bold statement to make. Hopefully, Dale Jr. will continue to go out each week and prove he is the best by continuing to improve on the track and with any luck by breaking his winless streak in a big way. As the old saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words."
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal fan of NASCAR since he was a child attending races watching Dale Earnhardt run the famous number 3. He still attends numerous races each season and enjoys writing about NASCAR, particularly in regards to Dale Earnhardt as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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