Is it time to face the fact that Little E is not a Chase caliber driver? That maybe he isn't one of the twelve best drivers out there? Hell, is he one of the 20 best anymore? I know his millions of fans will disagree, but drivers such as David Reutimann, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano all have won a Cup race (in inferior, to HMS, equipment) since Jr last did.
The excuses started over five years ago when Dale Jr still drove for DEI. At that point, it was somehow team owner, and Jr's stepmother, Theresa Earnhardt's fault that he couldn't win. Yes, all her fault... despite the fact that she has nothing to do with the day to day operations of the team. Her total involvement is having a check direct deposited regularly for her.
DEI switched teams and crew chiefs around a few times in attempt to help Jr. Didn't work. Which led to Junior buying his way out of DEI, and going to super power, HMS. The number one team in NASCAR. HMS also brought in Jr's hand picked crew chief, Tony Eury Jr.
Now in his third season at HMS Jr has one win, and a handful of top-10s. We all know how well his three HMS teammates are doing. Some fans like to believe that HMS is giving him inferior cars, or using his team for R&D purposes.
Hmmm, the most popular driver in the world being set up to fail? He is HMS's top souvenir seller, and cash cow. Wouldn't he sell even more t-shirts if he were winning? I would say that instead of inferior equipment, he is being supplied with HMS's best pieces.
Dale Jr is a very likable guy and has won races in the past, and maybe he will again. I just don't think he'll win a lot at Hendrick. He's a follower, not a leader. He needs to go to a team where he is the number one guy. There just aren't many teams where he would be the top dog. Maybe Mike Waltrip's?
The best scenario for him would be to drive for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. Even though Theresa has nothing to do with that team, I think he would try harder and feel he had to prove something. I submit that when he drove for DEI, he had a chip on his shoulder, and wanted to prove that he was an Earnhardt.
It's time for the prodigal son to go back home.