Earlier this week Chip Ganassi Racing announced that Matt Kenseth would take over the #42 car for the remainder of the 2020 NASCAR season. That announcement followed Ganassi’s announcement that Kyle Larson had been fired for using a racial slur.
While everyone knows that, Dale Jr. said something on this week’s Dale Jr. Download podcast that has surprised even the most diehard Dale Jr. fans.
Dale Jr. Considered Taking The #42 Ride
During the podcast while talking about Kenseth taking over the #42 car Dale Jr. dropped a soundbite bomb that he considered taking the ride for the rest of the season. (It’s not clear if the seat was offered to him).
Everyone was shocked by the Kenseth announcement, imagine a Dale Jr. announcement. NASCAR Twitter would break, it would cease to exists. Redneck Jesus coming back during a global pandemic has to have some sort of biblical connection, probably old testament since we’re talking about the south.
Dale Jr. said that anytime a quality ride opens up every retired or inactive driver immediately puts themselves in that seat and he said he’s no different. The idea of getting in the #42 car was so enticing to him he talked it over with his wife before pulling a Brett Favre.
Amy Earnhardt has been adamant that she would prefer her husband not race full-time in the Cup Series anymore. Not because of the grind or because she dislikes racing. Dale Jr’s history with concussions is her main point of contention when it comes to returning. It’s a valid point of hesitance as well considering corner speeds in the Cup Series have never been higher.
The idea of Dale Jr. being in the #42 car would definitely have sparked interest in the series as they come out of their suspended season in mid-May. It certainly would have given everyone something to talk about for a while and certainly would have caused issues at tracks that are running races without fans.
Would Dale Have Been Competitive?
Certainly after a few races in the car. Dale Jr. hasn’t driven a Cup car since Homestead in 2017. Coincidentally that was meant to be Matt Kenseth’s last race as well. Obviously Matt came back in 2018 replacing Trevor Bayne and experienced the high downforce package during the All-Star Race where he sat on the pole.
Dale Jr. would have been competitive, would he have contended for wins? At Daytona, Talladega, Michigan, sure. Regardless it would have been awesome to see Dale Jr. back in a car.
Think of all the merch they could have sold.
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