Has Dale Earnhardt, Jr. lucked into his finishes, and is he improving from last year?

Many people have been saying he has lucked into his finishes and if he didn't qualify well he would be running mid-pack. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. hasn't been involved in a single wreck this season, but all of his other teammates have. He is 10th in points and 7 points away from 7th. He has 2 top 10s, yet he has 5 top 15s, 6 top 16s. Based on nascar.com, consecutive top 15 finishes should get you into the Chase. This time last year he was 16th in points. His average start in a race is about 9.29, and his average finish is about 14.14, excluding the axle issue at California it is about 11.17. What does Dale Jr. need to improve on in order to make the Chase, or win a race. I think he is doing okay so far, but he needs to be able to compete to win races.

18 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    doesn't matter how you get to your finishing position, as long as you get there. yes, he's oviously better than he was last season, and he is very much a chase contender, but he is not running well enough to win races or be the championship contender he was 5-6 years ago. he just needs to plug away, continue to try to get the best finishes he can get, and hopefully he'll get better as the year goes along.

  • 10 years ago

    Yes he has been lucky this year with a few of his finishes. At Atlanta he was running somewhere around 30th with less then 30 laps to go and 2 laps down when the whole Brad vs Carl thing broke out and caused a couple late green white checker restarts that got DAle JR his laps back and allowed him to finish 15th. If those things don't happen he has a 30th place finish. I do think he had a better car then that at Atlanta, but he had some wheel and tire issues that put him 2 laps down and he was able to keep the car going to have a chance at catching some luck at the end. At Daytona it was the same thing. He didn't have a 2nd place car all night until the end and it was because of the green white checker restarts. At Phoenix he was lucky to finish 12th due to a late caution and green white checker which gave him a 6th place restart due to pit strategy, but he lost 6 spots on those 2 laps which shows how bad his car was the whole race. So I think he has been fortunate this year to get some of the finishes he's gotten up to this point and he certainly hasn't ran in the top 10 consistently enough to be 10th in points right now, but he's caught some breaks and thats where he is. Last year with the luck he had then, if this was last year he would probably be worse then where he is at now, but he's got a bit of good luck going this year instead of the horrible luck he had last year. I just look at how they run overall to determine whether he is running good, average or bad. They have been qualifying well which gives them good track position to start the race and they can somewhat hold their ground to begin the race but after the 1st pit stop they make bad adjustments and start sliding backwards. Then they just hang around in 15th or so all race long and hope to catch some breaks at the end to salvage a decent top 15 finish. They really need to start putting good races together and maintaining at least where they start the race, if not improve positions by making their car better. Until they can do that, they will run out of the luck they have been getting up to this point and it will show how they are really running in the points. They have had top 5 or 10 cars in a couple races, mainly Bristol and Martinsville, but they made mistakes in those races that took them out of a chance to win. Until they can fix all of that, I'm just watching the races waiting for them to screw something up and find away to make a good car worse or make a mistake on pit road or something else to put them in the back and ruin the day. They can't just have a clean race and work on the car and keep their track position, they always do something to take that away and then they end up chasing their tales the rest of the day. They will be lucky to make the chase if they continue to run the way they have up to this point without winning races.

  • 4 years ago

    Because Dale runs NASCAR and he pays them lots of money to put him in the race and he paid them off this year so they should let him win....... isn't that what you always cry about like a lil btch? Dale is in the all-star race because 1 most popular driver and 2 he won the all-star race 9 years ago which locks a driver in for 10 years why else do you think half those guys are in the race in the first place like tony winning last year he is locked him to the next 10 no matter what any other of your btch *** questions?

  • 10 years ago

    I am a Jr fan, and i along with a bunch of people see that he has been improving, no he is not one of the "great" drivers, but he is decent.

    Now, people gotta look at something, take last nights race in the desert, he had mechanical problems and it took some time to figure it out but once they did and got it fixed, boom Jr started marching his way up front. He should have had a better finish last night, but on the gwc he had to remove himself from the pack, cause he didnt wana wreck.

    So i think if jr gets 1 or 2 wins and is consistent with his top 15 finishes he should be in the clear to make the chase.

    Source(s): Me
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  • 10 years ago

    Has his finishes been luck? I'm not sure about totally luck. All you have to do is stay out of wrecks and other problems for a easy top 20, then on top of the best team in the sport makes for better finishes.

    Is he improving from last year? Seriously, there is absolutely no improvement. But improvement may come....But he hasn't YET improved.

    I don't understand you fans at all. It's nice that you want Dale Jr. to be good, but saying that he is improving when he is not is ridiculous.

  • 10 years ago

    I'm a die hard Dale Jr fan since he drove back in the Busch series. Yes, he has improved but its like Jr says they have a long way to go, but they are improving I think he will get to Victory Lane this yr, he has Texas,'Dega and Richmond coming up tracks that he has won at. Compared to last yr, he is way better than last yr,and things are looking up for the 88 team and 88 fans.

    Go Dale Jr..Bring it on in 2010

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Dale usually qualifies really well. But seems like when he gets in a field of cars (practice or race), he backs down or out. I don't know why that is but....

    Lucky isn't always a factor in races unless you count another team's bad decisiions to be your teams good luck.

    He'll finish in the chase this year, I think.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Lucky is walking down the street and finding a $100 bill with no one around that is luck

    Lucky is the leader just lapped you and the cation came out now you back on the lead lap!

    Lucky is when you go for a win and ignore the gas mileage, and Wow you won the race and you ran out of fuel on the last lap now that is luck my friend!

    Junior lucky, NO if he had luck he would of won that race now wouldn't he!

    Maybe Junior needs a little luck! I know I am on his side

    Source(s): amp-up-the-88
  • 10 years ago

    i dont know what 3k is talking bout its hard to get lucky in a race...

    as being a racer since 5 years old i know that luck is half of it..

    now as for the question, its just hes got kinda lucky for a few races... hes not his father and too many people believe tht because hes seniors son he is so good even though he cant finsish good, the only reason he is still at hendricks is cause hendrick makes a load of money off of junior nation

    he cant win like his dad hittin and spinnin people out to win the race... he cant even finish good 3/4 the time

  • mbl
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    I'm not a Jr fan so I'm not following his progress real closely. But it doesn't seem they are making great improvements this season from last. He's up in points but they certainly don't have the look of a top ten team right now. The 88 is still the weakest team from the Hendrick stables. I think they'll need to get a little quicker to stay in chase contention.

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