And maybe it's time to temper them a bit. Drivers drive, and fans become fanatic. It's happened to all of us, I suppose.
I wasn't that disappointed in Sunday's race at Dover, not from a Dale Earnhardt Jr. perspective. Sure, I was not happy with Jr. being caught up in a wreck not of his own making. I was not happy about a 35th place finish. But I was happy about a few things.
The 88 team never gave up. Hendrick engineering works, and I was glad to see that it was a wreck that caused the unpleasantness, rather than a blown engine or just some part failing on the car. Last year, Dale Jr. could have been caught up in a wreck, but more than likely his poor finish yesterday would have been a DNF, caused by a blown engine or something like that. Wrecks happen, and Dale Jr.'s qualifying efforts have really stepped up this year, but unfortunately not in the Dover race. Why does Dale Jr. get these early draws for qualifying? Dale Jr. just seems cursed to get the early draw, and I don't know what to do about it, except let someone else do the draw.
I'm also heartened by the lack of despair. Last year, especially after it was announced that Dale Jr. was leaving DEI, the 8 crew did not give up, but it seemed that DEI had already written him off. Though the crew never quit, it often seemed that DEI did. Hendrick Motorsports shows such more integrity and a commitment to racing that I have not seen at DEI in several years now.
Even though Kyle Busch won the race, he did it before a mostly empty arena. Those that remained booed loudly when he did his idiotic bow, which I imagine was fashioned after Dale Jr.'s bow last year. Kyle could at least come up with something original, such as his brother did with the snow angels. I find it funny that Kyle seems to think it's funny to bow before a booing audience, when Dale Jr. did it before cheers last year. My idea for Kyle's victory celebration, and I give it freely to him, no charge. Kyle, act like you're dodging the tomatoes and rotten eggs that most of the fans would love to be throwing at you. That would be at least more original.
Finally, I would like to comment all the Dale Jr. fans out there, that though you were disappointed in yesterday's race, you never gave up. You, in large part watched the race on TV, and put up with the dying embers of FOX's broadcast year. We're basically done with DW's love affair with the Vile one, and though there will be other broadcasters that laud the wee one's accomplishments this year, at least we won't have to listen to the same voices over and over again until next February. Take heart, Earnhardt Nation! The Vile one's days are numbered in Victory Lane.