Dale Earnhardt Jr hurt by Kevin Harvick remarks

Dale Earnhardt Jr. disputes notion he's stunted NASCAR's growth
Earnhardt hurt by Harvick comments
Author

13 August, 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Thursday he's proud of his accomplishments, after Kevin Harvick suggested NASCAR's growth has been hindered because Earnhardt hasn't won enough.

"I would appreciate a conversation, if we could have a conversation about it", said Dale Jr. of possibility of talking with Harvick. To date, he's won 26 career races, including the Daytona 500 twice.

"I know that those aren't the most popular comments, but those are real life facts that you look up and see on the stat sheet". He announced his retirement earlier this season after suffering concussions which had him missing multiple races previous year. "Imagine how popular he'd be if he had won two or three championships?"

Harvick, the 2014 Cup champion, is fourth in points and won at Sonoma Raceway in June to essentially lock himself into the 16-driver playoff field. "It's the strangest situation that we have".

The driver has always been NASCAR's most popular driver and accounts for the most merchandise sales on a weekly basis, said Chris Williams, vice president of trackside sales for Fanatics.

Earnhardt, NASCAR's 14-time most popular driver, refuted Harvick's take after Chevrolet's announcement of its 2018 Cup vehicle in Detroit. Friday, he sounded very much like a driver who is comfortable with his career achievements.

Harvick said on SiriusXM earlier this week he felt the sport's growth "has not reached the levels that it should have because our most popular driver hasn't been our most successful driver". "When you look at other sports - you look at basketball and you look at football and you look at their most popular (athletes), they're also right on the top of the list as their most successful (athletes)".

"I think the legacy started long before him", said Bowyer of Junior. "That part to me is a little bit confusing".

"I hope that I brought something to the table and left a good impact". The Camaro SS has been Chevrolet's entry in the Xfinity Series since 2013.

Junior said he never expected he'd come into NASCAR and win seven series championships, like his father, Dale Earnhardt.

While giving actual things is cool and all, Earnhardt said he doesn't exactly have room in his house for everything, and he'd prefer tracks give charitable gifts in his honor instead, like the jukebox Kentucky Speedway gave a children's hospital or the service puppies Sonoma Raceway named after him and his wife, Amy. "I found some of those comments hurtful". But I still respect him as a champion and an ambassador for the sport, and that's just the way it is, I guess. "This is silly, but the way I thought in '97, 'Man, if I could get into an Xfinity auto and win just one race, what do I need to do just to say ... that's enough to keep me around?'"


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