Jimmy Spencer suggests Junior is acting like he’s ready to retire

When a sport's most popular figure returns to success after a period of futility, the logical assumption is to figure that he's ready to hang it up, right?

Well, according to Jimmy Spencer, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s actions lead him to believe that Junior wants to retire.

From Spencer's column on Speedtv.com:

One week after asking on his team radio at Dover whether the Washington Redskins had won their football game that day, Dale Jr. got out of his car at Kansas Sunday and gave a very disappointing interview. The media asked him about his day and he said he was more worried about his Fantasy Football League. What?! Where is his focus and where are his priorities?

However, Spencer may be getting some incorrect information on this one. A look back at the official transcript from after the race shows no references to anything related to football and actually may show the opposite of what Spencer contends. For example, Junior gave a three paragraph answer to a question about air pressures.

Junior did ask about his fantasy team over the radio during the race, but let's be honest: drivers talk about a lot of things during races, and especially during caution periods. And asking about the Washington Redskins isn't a new phenomenon either -- Junior has been asking about the team during races for virtually his entire career.

If you care more about your fantasy football team than you do about racing, it's probably pretty hard to expound about tires and air pressures. And besides, if you were asked about your season's performance hundreds of times a season, you'd probably change it up with a sarcastic or frustrated answer once in a while, right?

If Junior truly didn't care about making the Chase or winning races, it's doubtful that this career resurgence wouldn't have happened this season. For as good as the partnership between Steve Letarte and Junior has been, it can't all be Letarte. Plus, now that Junior is back in the Chase, he's still not winning. That drought that was once an monkey on his back that's now become bigger than Charlotte's HD screen.

"Well (this season's) an improvement, we want to win races, and it is going to be a disappointment if we do not win a race," Junior said Thursday. "We are happy with the gains that we have made, and I think that the team and Steve (Letarte, Crew Chief) expect more and I do too. We are happy that we gained but we are not winning enough races and running as well as we would like to. That is what we will work on."

So, do you think Junior's acting like he wants to get out, or is Spencer reading way too much into Junior's radio transmissions?

What to Read Next