Just imagine how popular he may be when he wins a Cup and, he will. That's what scares you isn't it? Losing to a loser.
The potential earnings he could bring an owner are unlimited and yet, so far he's just average, some say.
Hendrick will deliver a team capable of winning Cups, multiple Cups. Why? He wants to make more money than Gordon or Johnson can make for him. Priorities! Gordon and Johnson aren't going to be very happy to discover the pecking order has changed at Hendrick.
How's it going to feel to have all of your "greatest drivers there have ever been" get pasted by a "no talent, coat tail riding hack?
Now here's the thing. It doesn't matter to me if he ever wins a Cup. I like him and that's the way it will remain. The only thing that will change is an increase of pride in the 50 plus year history of his family's NASCAR connection. A legacy of no less than 10 NASCAR Championships and over 580 wins; with more to come. Earnhardts earned nearly all of those wins and Championships after their 33rd birthday. Junior's 33rd Birthday is October 10.
Here are those FACTS, you requested and I'd like to see you argue with them.
At the age of 32, Senior had 11 Wins (6.96%), 56 Top 5's (35.44%), 86 Top 10's (54.43%), 7 Poles, average finish was 18th with 40 lead lap finishes out of 158 races (25.32%). He was running at the finish 106 times (67.088%) and he had led 4,337 laps out of 43,153 he ran (10.05%).
Junior has 17 Wins (6.137%), 73 Top 5's 117 (26.354%), 117 Top Tens (42.24%), 7 Poles, average finish 16.2 with 175 lead lap finishes out of 277 races (63.18%). He was running at the finish 240 times (86.64%) and he's led 5,399 laps out of the 78,451 laps he has run (6.88%).
Senior had a Cup and Junior has an early win in the Daytona 500. Senior got lucky and earned that Cup, by a 19-point margin over another driver who had struggled for years and who I pulled for long before he became a 3-time Champ, Cale Yarborough. Junior earned the early 500 Win because he's a good racer!
Given the difficulty of leading and winning in the current climate, I'd say Junior is better than his Dad at age 32.
If I were a NASCAR driver and was aware of these stats, I'd be very, very nervous.
Whether you like it or not the face of NASCAR is an Earnhardt (Gordon's too slick, Johnson's too bland and Tony, well, no way since that wrasslin crack) and in Junior they have an ambassador that most people like, just for the man he is.
Hendrick recognizes that Junior, given the complete support he never got from DEI (Theresa) since his Father's death, can take the sport to a new plateau of popularity.
Since a lot of people only support winners, can you imagine the new fans Junior could deliver as a Champ? After all, he is already the sports most popular driver and yet to some fans, he's a loser.
If a fan only supports a driver because he's a winner on the track; to me, that's being a loser.
If Junior's name wasn't Earnhardt, I would still like the man. On the other hand, Gordon could change his name to Earnhardt tomorrow and I still wouldn't like him, no matter how many races he may win.