With all of the rumors flying around this silly season, it seems like Martin Truex Jr. may be headed down the same path as Dale Earnhardt Jr., opting to walk away from Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Mark Beech from Sports Illustrated pointed out that Truex seems to be having the same problems the Jr. had last season. Sure his engines aren’t blowing up every other week, but he is still having similar problems.
Truex’s on-track problems seem to be the same ones that Dale Earnhardt Jr. spent so many years complaining about before he left to join Hendrick Motorsports at the end of last season: a lack of resources at the shop and a lack of horsepower in the engines.
He also called the contract situation:
a further distraction that only seems to be exacerbating the problem. How else to explain his ability to overcome DEI’s limitations to qualify for the Chase last year, and his current inability to be competitive?
While I’m not going to pretend that I have any definitive answer, my guess is that everyone else got better. If you’re standing still, but everyone else is moving forward, then you end up behind. And that’s what’s happening at DEI.
Personally, DEI needs an owner who is committed to the success of the program on the track. And, to be succuessful in NASCAR, you need money. Does that mean a seven-post shaker rig? Probably. You need to be testing and have the equipment to get the job done.
Being a good racer and driver is only part of the equation. You need good equipment, team chemistry, and a little bit of luck. Sometimes, luck is hard to come by. But, the other two aspects come from a committed owner. Teresa Earnhardt is not a committed owner. Truex may slowly be learning that.
That may be why Mark Martin wants out. It may be why the U.S. Army was looking around. It could be why sponsors are not lining up to be on the No. 01 Chevy, no offense to Regan Smith.
I wish Teresa would sell the company, or at the very least, change the name. After all, something that is quickly approaching mediocrity should not bear the name Dale Earnhardt.
A Tony Stewart-backed Haas CNC might not be a bad option, considering.