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From A Proud Dale Earnhardt Jr. Fan: Thank You, Dale Jr.

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I’m not a sports journalist. I’m not an ESPN authority—although I watch my fair share of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc. All I am is a sports-loving gal.

One of my loves is NASCAR. My family spends race day cheering for Dale Earnhardt Jr. We’re not fair-weather fans. We’ve been there from the beginning. Sure, we were fans of Dale Earnhardt Sr., so it seemed only natural to root for his son. However, his father is not the reason we stayed fans. Dale Jr. is the reason we stayed fans. His name could be Harry Backside and we’d still be right there, cheering him on.

With the holidays now upon us, this fan would like to take a moment and thank Dale Jr. It may seem silly to some, and that’s okay. In a time where criticism and judgment are the popular kids in school, I thought it right to bring a well-deserved, good old-fashioned pat on the back into the forefront.

Week after week, countless articles either blatantly jab at the man or enjoy subtly weaving the negative in with the positive. What for? He’s a man who has known profound heartache and loss; he’s a man who is living his life, giving back, loving his family, and doing his job to the best of his ability. What more can you ask of a human being? Maybe that’s the point: he’s only human, just like you and I.

Members of Earnhardt Nation frequently hear negative chatter about their driver. In particular, there are those who relentlessly question whether his heart is in racing. Some even suggested that Dale Jr. fans are now switching their allegiance to drivers who purportedly show more emotion and score more wins.

I’m certain Dale Jr.’s sentiment for the sport runs deeper than anyone could possibly imagine. He doesn’t have to throw tantrums or have a poor attitude to prove he cares. Wins are great, but they don’t mean near as much as other invaluable human traits.

Dale Jr. is no stranger to winning, and though the wins have been a little elusive as of late, they’re coming, no worries. Like everything in life, you just need to find your match, and whether it’s in love or business, it takes time.

There’s no question Dale Jr. has found his match in crew chief Steve Letarte. This season has given us quite a remarkable glimpse into the future. After all, finishing the Chase in lucky number 7 has to be a sign of what’s to come. Great things are in store for Dale Jr. and the 88 team. Now, let’s watch NASCAR work to bring back the old style of plate racing, where Dale Jr. can be Yoda Dale once more.

Fan or not, at the end of the day, shouldn’t it all come down to The Golden Rule? Dale Jr. is not some villain, nor is he a superhero. He’s a normal guy—the good kind. So, thank you, Dale Jr., for being real. Thank you for being you.

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About The Frisky Virgin

  • Sammi Adkins

    Great article. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • Mary Blair

    I agree. His best is yet to come!

  • Barbara Mote

    Very well said and reflected they way a lot of us Jr fans feel!! THANK YOU!!!

  • Betty Jo Gard

    This article says it much beter than I could even tho it says exactly what I feel! Thank Dale. You’re the best in my book.

  • Kat

    Love this! I’ve also been a Sr fan and switched to Jr and never once have I ever turned my back on him. Once a fan, always a fan….regardless!

  • Dale Jr. Fan

    Excellent article… thank you for sharing….

  • john unrau

    great article.I was a dale sr fan, but like you said,when sr passed away,it was only natural to support jr.Dedicated fans do not jump ship or give up on their driver.We could finally see a smile on his face,he has a great team and crew chief and owner behind him.He will succeed,go jr. and thanks for being you

  • trisha follen

    i couldnt agree more been there since the begining and always will be

  • Addie

    All I can say is “Ditto” well written article, says exactly how I feel. I will reiterate, Thank You Dale, Jr. Indeed the best is yet to come.

  • tracey

    Very well said just because he had a down fall in racing doesn’t mean he will give up he has to find the right grove again thing have changed in NASCAR year after year drivers got to make changes some don’t come as easy as they like but they will get there good luck

  • James

    That was great, u should become a sports writer. U are really good I’m soooo glad to knw there are still die hard jr fans like me and our family!! I look forward to future blogs from u

  • betty pierson

    I totally agree with this article. I follow Dale Jr. because I like him and not because of who his father was. I am proud of him,his 2010 season and the way he handles himself as a driver! He is the BEST!

  • Natalie

    A-freaking MEN!! I love jr win or lose he ha a great year this year a win will happen next year…. I go to Charlotte every may and this year I almost watched Dale win but I was happy where he was cause this year was a drastic improvement to last year !! I love you no matter what!!

  • cchapman195

    AMEN!!!!!

  • Grandma Carol

    Beautiful sentiment, beautifully written. Your blog is a Great Holiday gift for Dale, Jr. fans.

  • Lee G

    Wonderful blog!! Thank you!! I have only been a racing fan since 2004 and have been a diehard Dale Jr fan since the first time I saw him race. I love who he is personally and will stick by him through the good and the bad. I also want to thank Steve for believing in my driver as I do.

  • Pamela

    Very well said.

  • Dale

    You’ve helped redeffine why I am a Dale Jr fan, and this is really well said

  • Brenda

    I am a die hard Dale Jr. Fan and always will be. I have my Dale Jr. Christmas tree up no as we speak. Love the blog. Love Dale Jr. to. I agree that his best is yet to come. Your # one deicated fan.

  • Shann

    Great article and so true! Our family enjoys watching NASCAR and cheering for Dale as well. He is a wonderful role modle for our children and I really appreciate him. Thank you for writing this

  • Sylvia

    Thank you for this great blog – I feel the same way although I didn’t become a NASCAR fan until 2002. Dale Jr. will always be my pick for the very reasons you stated.

  • Carol Taylor

    I have been a Dale Earnhardt fan since my first Nascar race in Wilkesboro, N. C. I am so very proud of him, and now, a fan of Dale, Jr. I know Jr, will start winning and then, the stupid people will put him down for that. He is a champion and always will be.