Back to racing and anyone who has read my post or a lot of my blogs know by now I'm not a big fan of Junior Nation. I have a lot of friends on this board that are fans of Dale Earnhardt Junior, but its those that think their driver is the greatest and can do know wrong that I like to get under their skin. Anyway, being a Michael Waltrip fan I get a lot of ribbing and bashing about how bad Mikey is and how he is a failure after one year with his new start up team, with a new manufacture, on the other hand I have always maintained that Rick Hendrick signed Dale Junior for the money he would bring in. So what the heck lets look at who has had the better season.
On paper you would say Dale Junior had the better year hands down, 1 win vs 0 wins for MWR, made the chase while 2 of the 3 MWR cars are in the top 30, 1 top 25 and the third car basically moved to another team sitting as the first go or go homer, in 36th. But (did both Jr . and MWR meet their fans expectations) I want to break it down by expectations and see how both stack up.
When Junior was signed by HMS last year all I saw was how Junior was going to win 2 to 3 races a year and be fighting for a championship and be a top chase contender. So lets look at what happened this year. Junior ran consistent all season, I will give him that, but he only won 1 race, fuel mileage and if not for a lucky yellow, would have run out of gas on the backstretch and lost the race, but a win is a win and I will not take anything away from him just wanted to point out all the factors. He finished the first 26 races in 4th in points and if the classic points were being used he would be in 6th, but the way the points are reset Junior is sitting in 11th position with a very good chance that he will not make the podium. Junior has led several races this year but his communication with his crew chief and some questionable calls from his crew chief, have lead to his demise in the later portions of the race.
Now lets look at MWR. MWR started the season great for a second year organization. All 3 cars were locked into the top 35 after the first 5 races of the season and for 1 week with David Reutimann, right after he moved to the 44 car, the 55 and 44 have been locked in all season. The 00 fell out of the top 35 somewhere around the 26th race and is battling to get back in. MWR did have a sit back though as they lost the sponsorship of the 44 to Roush Racing. But we are seeing sponsors moving to all the established teams and leaving the startups and some established teams without sponsors. At least MWR has sponsors for the 55 and 00 (prior 44 car) for next season. Anyway getting back to MWR they have been competitive somewhat throughout the year. Mikey had a strong car a 'Dega in the spring and would have contended for the win but him motor gave up on the last lap. Rain kept him from winning a fuel stragey race in New Hampshire, but he finished second, and David Led the most laps at Richmond in the fall and has, along with Michael, been running very well the later part of the season.
So what was my expectations of MWR. 3 cars locked into the show, with the David and Mikey in the top 25 in points. Well, David is in the top 25 but Mikey is in 29th so he has fallen short of expectations, But overall I am happy with the progress MWR has made this year and am looking forward to them competing for wins consistently next season.
So who had the better year, MWR or Junior? : PUSH