Published on February 19th, 2009 | by Michael J Smith0
The Little Intimidator
After last week’s controversial wreck that took out the dominant car of Kyle Busch, I saw something in Dale Earnhardt Jr that I haven’t seen in a very long time, if not ever.
For the first time in a long time, I saw Dale Sr in Dale Jr. Like his father, I saw Jr do whatever he needed to do to get the position. Dale Sr built his entire racing career, fan-base, and empire with that driving style.
I think that Jr made a conscientious effort to drive differently. Over the course of his career, he’s been a fairly passive driver. He’s rarely called out drivers, and even handled last year’s incident with Kyle Busch at Richmond with indifference.
So, for this NASCAR fan, it was refreshing to see him be more aggressive on the track, like Sr.
When Dick Bergren was interviewing him, I could have predicted his answer to the question, “Was it an accident?”
When I listened to his answer, I didn’t hear Jr, I heard Sr. And maybe that’s just what Jr needs to go from fan favorite to championship caliber.