As a huge fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr. I can't help but notice the virtual bird's nest of a beard that he has been growing for some time now. In fact, he's had it so long that I am beginning to wonder if he's keeping it until he wins again. While there is no doubt that he can still drive a racecar whether he's scruffy or clean shaven, there are five reasons in particular why I think he should shave his beard.
Reason #1: Looks
Because Dale Jr. is who he is, he will never have a problem landing a sponsor. However, that doesn't mean he can pull off the Grizzly Adams look. While I admire the fact that he just doesn't seem to care about what others think about him, I do think he looks a bit like a mountain man these days.
Reason #2: Legacy
While I'm sure Dale Earnhardt Jr. has no problem with the ladies, his bushy face can't help the situation any. If he is to ever find the right girl to settle down with so he can have Dale Earnhardt III, then he should probably shave off the beard. While this may not be on his mind, I have been cheering for an Earnhardt since I was knee-high and I don't ever want to stop.
Reason #3: Aerodynamics
It's actually surprising to me that Dale Jr. has a beard in the first place. As a former low level stock car driver, I know how superstitious any driver can be, as I was guilty of dumb superstitions more than once in my brief career. In fact, I've known many drivers who wouldn't grow their facial hair out as they said it would lessen their aerodynamics. Yes, they were kidding, but deep down I know they believed it just a little bit. However, in Dale Jr.'s case the superstition might be that the beard is helping, not hurting.
Reason #4: Comfort
With all the gear that's required to be worn by a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, a beard seems like the last thing a driver would want. Having your head in a helmet is hot enough, but add a full beard to the mix and the comfort level has to drop significantly.
Reason #5: Victory Lane
The last time that Dale Earnhardt Jr. saw victory lane was back on Father's Day of 2008. Even though many don't believe it, he will find victory lane once more. When he does, he should want to look his best and be clean shaven. However, Dale Jr. has likely continued to grow his beard because of his winning drought and maybe when he finally does win again it will come off.
In the end, I and the rest of Junior Nation couldn't really care less how Dale Jr. looks on that day. While I do contend that he should shave his beard, if it somehow gets him to the winner's circle again, then I suppose I am all for it.
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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