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Wait Until Jr Shows Some Sort Of Improvement

Dale Earnhardt Jr’s current contract is not going to expire until 2012, but Rick Hendrick has already confirmed to ESPN that he is negotiating a contract extension already. Jr. has struggled for a majority of his tenure with Hendrick Motorsports. Jr. earned the seventh most amount of points for the 2008 season, but finished dead last in the Chase. He struggled in 2009 to a 25th points finish and improved slightly this year to finish in 21st.

[media-credit name=”Barry Albert” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]I just can’t seem to see eye-to-eye with Hendrick on this one. I would wait until Jr. showed some sort of improvement with his new team before negotiating a huge contract extension. Jr. will be in the same shop as Jimmie Johnson this season and also has a new crew chief, Steve Letarte. We have seen this mistake made time and time again in professional sports. You give one of the most popular athletes a big contract and he either gets hurt or he just flat out doesn’t perform. For example, Andrew Jones signed a two-year $36.2 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but only to hit .166 that season. Talk about a financial meltdown! There is no reason at this moment in time to even consider giving Dale a contract extension.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Dale is a fantastic individual, but when you look at the stats it just doesn’t lie. He has not been performing and rewarding bad runs is definitely not an image you want for your race team and especially for such an accomplished owner like Rick Hendrick himself. He has until 2012. Wait and see how Jr. does before making any bold moves. You will be happier in the long run if you do.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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