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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Congratulations to Dale, Jr.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr Image & Dale Earnhardt Jr Graphics

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fans must have been practically foaming at the mouth with excitement watching last night's Nationwide race at Daytona.

I have to admit, that while I am far from being a Dale Jr. fan, I did enjoy his long-awaited trip to Victory Lane in  the #3 in honor of his Daddy's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It is easy to get caught up in such raw emotion, as the camera panned atop the pit box to see an emotional Tony Eury, Jr. break down in tears. When Jr. got out of the car, he was obviously elated by the moment.

What I am not excited about is that this win will likely carry over to the rest of the NASCAR season where the pundits and NASCAR's favorite talking heads will capitalize on Dale Jr.'s inherited fan-favoritism combined with this one win at this one race at this one time. We will be hearing about it for what will seem like forever.

It was rather nice when Junior wasn't winning races; the adoring commentators finally stopped gushing over him. I'm almost afraid to read my email or watch Fox Sports for fear it will have already begun.

Dale Jr. is not the first person to win a race and he will not be the last. I only hope that when I get back to my NASCAR world from the real one I live in, that I hear about some of the other drivers as well. After all, it is not only unfair to racing aficionados of all persuasions to freak out over just one driver, but it is unfair to that driver. I feel sorry for Dale Jr. sometimes because it can't be easy to be bigger than life when you are really just a regular guy trying to do your job.

The over-zealous reporters and longtime friends of Junior's father who spout endlessly about Junior's hoped-for driving prowess actually caused me to dislike Dale Jr. I have since looked past that and have developed an affection for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. the person who just happens to be a race car driver.

I congratulate him on this long-awaited win and am glad it came at this time, on this track, in this car. He deserves a pat on the back, albeit I will refrain from bows or curtsies.