Dale Jr. fans don’t want to hear it. Earnhardt family apologists are going to kill me. People get shot for saying things less than this.
Brad Keselowski is better at Talladega than Dale Jr.
Yeah, it’s true. Don’t @ me (@MattNiehausAO) with your insults, telling me how stupid I am. How the Earnhardt’s will always be the best at Talladega. Fantastic, Dale Sr. was the best there but we’re talking Dale Jr. When we talk that, Brad Keselowski is better than his mentor, his career savior, his lifeline to a better life.
Talladega views Dale Jr as their prodigal son. As their beacon of hope that continued to carry on his daddy’s legacy and gave them someone to cheer for in 2001. An honorary member of the Alabama Gang. Junior was the best plate racer in the 2000’s, no could dominate a plate race like that guy. He’s the pied piper for a reason. The stands erupt when that #88 gets near the front. Thousands of people wave their hats over their heads and point their man down the track. People lean over the railing like it’s the Kentucky Derby. Talladega loves Dale Jr.
But, on Sunday Keselowski took his 5th career checkered flag in a Cup race at Talladega. Meanwhile, Dale Jr has only 6 wins in his 18-year career. You can see where this is going. Should we look at the numbers? We really shouldn’t look at them, should we?
Look At The Numbers
Starts: 35 Wins: 6 (17.1%) Top 5: 12 (34.3%) Top 10: 17 (48.6%) Avg Start: 14.2 Avg Finish: 15.4 Laps Led: 967
Starts: 18 Wins: 5 (27.8%) Top 5: 7 (38.9%) Top 10: 11 (61.1%) Avg Start: 13.2 Avg Finish: 14.1 Laps Led: 219
I don’t want to be that guy but the numbers don’t lie. In half the starts Brad Keselowski is one win behind Junior and has a better average finish. Now people will say, “you can’t compare two guys when one guy has nearly double the starts.” That’s a fair point but let’s just go off wins here. Brad has 5 in 18 starts, while Dale only has 6. Success in NASCAR is measured by wins, right now Brad K. is on the path to be better at Talladega than Dale Jr.
It’s Ok If Brad Passes Dale
For all of the Dale Jr fans that get pissed off at the notion, someone might be better than Dale at Talladega. It’s ok. Take solace in the fact Junior had 5 runner-up finishes in his career at Talladega. Some revisionist historians would say NASCAR cheated Dale out of a win in 2004 when they gave it to Jeff Gordon. A judgment call at it’s finest that resulted in the #24 being pelted with the King of Beers.
If you think about those 5 runner-up finishes, if he finishes one spot ahead he has 11 wins at Talladega. That would make Dale Jr. the best ever at Talladega. Surpassing his famed father who only had a mere 10 wins at the track. When you really think about Dale Jr. is the best at Talladega ever.
Then you remember Keselowski has about 16 more shots at Talladega. At least he’s a Junior disciple though?
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