Turning points, when did your driver cross that line?
My first was Richard Petty. I was a boy then and had his matchbox car and STP stickers all over the place. Then when I was a bit older I saw this redheaded kid from GA run him down on a road course and win. I liked that kids attitude and open display of humility. I then had two drivers. An old timer repected by most and a quiet newcomer earning respect. "The King" retired and then Awesome Bill was in the groove. Late in his career this kid named Dale Earnhardt Jr was racing in late model and stepping into Busch. Bill was involved in a wreck with Jr's dad and broke his leg. The wreck was nasty and after Bill healed he just didn't seem to have that edge anymore. He had a championship. was the most popular driver year after year and had set the speed record but it appeared the hunger was gone. Jr was on his way up winning 2 Busch championships back to back! His dad was still the man to beat on Sunday, and knowing I was not a #3 fan but had tremendous respect for what he did, I thought his son would become that new blood NASCAR needed. His style of driving and personality closely matched my previous picks and so there you have it.
Dale is now at the age his father was when his father began his domination of the field. The level of competition is today far greater than it was in Sr's time, or "The Kings" time. I do not expect Dale to smash records or become the man in black. Just to race and represent his family and team and himself with class. He does that very well. Maybe in 10 years I will again be looking for another newbie. Until then I will support my driver, win, loose or draw.
I didn't mean for it to sound as though I was comparing SR and JR with that age thing. I personally do not think we can honestly compare the two. That being said I am not willing to believe Dale's career is over already. Far from it! Many other drivers haven't won in longer runs it is only because it is Jr people get all phishey. Yes I meant phishey. LOL. I am a race fan and a Dale Earnhardt Jr fan.