As a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr. I am well aware of the fact that he hasn't won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race since Father's Day 2008. However, with all the pressure he already feels, I can't help but wonder if his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon isn't feeling similar pressure. With newcomer Kasey Kahne already winning once and Jimmie Johnson winning twice in the 2012 season for Hendrick Motorsports, the pressure is certainly on both Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon to get a checkered flag, but who has the most pressure?
The Case for Jeff Gordon
Since Jeff Gordon is a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion the overwhelming pressure to win year in and year out has to be great. Winning is also something that Gordon is quite accustomed to. Since his first full year in NASCR Sprint Cup competition back in 1993 he has only had three seasons where he didn't notch at least one win and is currently at 85 career wins and counting. Furthermore, the fact that he is stuck in the 21st position in points likely means the pressure to win is really mounting up.
The Case for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
If Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn't win soon it will officially be four years since he has seen victory lane as his last win was June 15, 2008. In that sense he is much more used to having seasons where he doesn't win, but this season has been quite different as Dale Jr. is quietly putting together one of his best, statically speaking. Going into the 14th race of the season Dale Jr. is third in points and only ten points behind the leader. If he wants to be taken seriously as a championship contender then a win is almost a must.
Prospects Looking Good
Without a doubt I think both drivers face pressure like no other to win and for different reasons. Where Dale Jr. is looking to kill a winless streak that seems to be never-ending, Jeff Gordon looks to prove he still has what it takes to be considered one of the best in NASCAR. Fortunately, the prospects for both drivers winning before this season is over are pretty good.
Both drivers are skilled and have proven to be winners in the past and they both drive for Hendrick Motorsports. Even though that doesn't guarantee success, it doesn't hurt to be in what I consider to be the best equipment when the green flag drops. So, though both drivers likely feel great pressure to win, they both also probably know that a win is within their grasp. I'll be watching each week and rooting for all the Hendrick Motorsports drivers and hoping for more victories from all, especially Dale Jr.
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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