Friday, January 30, 2009

Poll results are in: Still no Cup title for Junior in 2009; NASCAR fan initiatives won't help

It may not exactly have the weight of Obama vs. McCain, but the first reader polls of 2009 here on Trading Paint! have closed -- and the results are somewhat surprising.

For all you Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans, I wish I had better news, but an overwhelming majority of readers feel the driver of the No. 88 will once again be deprived of his first career Sprint Cup championship in 2009.

The question posed was to the point: "Will Dale Earnhardt Jr. win the Sprint Cup championship in 2009?"

Of 122 votes cast, 85 percent (104 votes) predict Junior will once again end the season watching Jimmie Johnson or someone else get all the glory, adulation and yes, the Sprint Cup Trophy. Only 18 votes (15 percent) think Little E can break through to get that ever-elusive crown.

My take: While many people think I'm a Junior basher, I'm not. In fact, while I agree with the majority of voters that Junior won't win the title, I'm also including a big caveat in my analysis of his chances.

Frankly, I think Earnhardt has a good chance to have one of his best seasons ever in Sprint Cup competition. The first-year attention and pressure of his high-profile switch to Hendrick Motorsports is over, and now Junior has but one thing to do -- and the one thing he does best: to just drive.

Honestly, I think Earnhardt can very easily be a top-five finisher and I expect him to contend for the championship through most of the Chase.

As for results of our other poll, the question posed was: "With ticket prices and associated costs coming down at various venues, will more fans attend races in 2009 despite the poor economy?"

I thought the results would be a bit more even-handed, but an overwhelming majority of voters (91 percent) predict that NASCAR will continue to be vexed by the current economic crisis -- and that things like reduced ticket prices and concession stand costs simply won't lure fans back into the stands.

It's pretty clear by the voting -- 88 to only 8 -- that the attendance decline NASCAR has continued to see over the last two seasons will once again continue even further in 2009.

We plan on offering one to two new questions each week to pick your brains and get a true sense of what the average NASCAR fan is really feeling.

Check out this week's two new questions on the left side of the home page and get ready to cast your ballot:

1) How much do you like Darrell Waltrip's trademark line of "Boogity, boogity, boogity, let's go racin', boys!"?

2) With Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman together, will Stewart Haas Racing be a surprise contender in its first season of operation?

To those of you that participated in the first polls, thanks, and we look forward to your participation in future polls.


  1. My responce to Dummy W's boogity thing, I can't friggen stand it!!!!! I turn off the volume every race before he says it.

  2. I like Boogity, Boogity, but the (go racing boys) has to go

    Jim from Delmont

  3. Stewart Haas will be in the middle of the pack, so there will be no surprise.

    Jim from Delmont

  4. I'll be very surprised if Jr. wins the cup in 2009. There's this small matter of Jeff Gordon getting back on track. And, after all, he is the lead dog at HMS. I'd look for Rick Hendrick to put the bulk of his resources toward getting JG back into victory lane and getting that elusive 5th (He should already have six) title.

    The Old Guy.

    Boogity, Boogity, Boogity???? Who cares.

    Tony Stewart will probably do well in 2009. It is, after all, his team. Do the math!

  5. Jerry,
    Good to hear from you.
    Me/ I look the unbridled enthsiasm of "boogiy, boogity" and SHR will make good noise. No title, but least one makes the Chase probably somewhere between 9th & 12th.

    Write on Jerry,


  6. Sure would be nice If Hendrick would get behind Jeff, but Mark didn't sing on to just race a full season again
    But sure feel like one of the 4 Hendrick drivers will take home the Cup in 2009

  7. To be honest, I will be surprised if Dale, Jr. ever wins a title. If everyone were completely honest, they would admit that he is a so-so driver at best. Another writer compared Junior's stats with Matt Kenseth and they are almost identicle. And Kenseth was extrememly lucky to win a title.

    As for Stewart Haas Racing's season, I think they will be much more competative than Waltrip or Robbie Gordon ever has been. But I think they have a lot to learn before they really are able to compete with Hendrick, Gibbs and Rousch.

    Petty, Gannassi-Earnhardt and others in that class need to watch their rear view mirrors though, because Stewart Haas will be nipping at their heels right out of the box.

  8. Jerry, i listen to you on sirius, but his is my first visit to the website,i love boogity boogity boogity, think stewart haas will suprise a lot of people,and think jr has a good chance to win the title this year.i,m a long time nascar fan,and will not stop attending races just because of the recession.i just don't spend quite as much on souveniers. my husband and i camp out in a tent, and are planning on talladega this fall we,ve been saving up since martinsville last fall i will be a regular visitor here just like i,m a regular listener to your show

  9. Sorry, but boogity, boogity, boogity has outlived its usefulness. Its almost as annoying as the stupid gopher cam. Personally, I hope that Jr never wins a title and I'd like to see HMS get back behind Jeff Gordon instead of fawning over Jr., Johnson and now Mark Martin. Geez, didn't this guy say he was retiring? Years ago? I'm still planning to go to the tracks where I enjoy the racing, but I'll cut back on souvenirs. Honestly the TV broadcasts need to step up and start showing the actual races instead of just babbling on about stuff that has nothing to do with the action on the track. Otherwise, I'll turn the TV off and listen to the radio so I can "see" the race in my head and follow along on the computer. Too bad really that 8 years into the contract, the coverage has gotten so bad.


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