Sport Kevin Harvick blames Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 'stunting' NASCAR's growth

21:20  10 august  2017
21:20  10 august  2017 Source:   For The Win

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on being NASCAR driver: 'I didn't want to work for a living'

  Dale Earnhardt Jr. on being NASCAR driver: 'I didn't want to work for a living' Earnhardt Jr., who is retiring from full-time NASCAR competition after this season, can't believe some of the things he's done in NASCAR.In his media session Friday at Michigan International Speedway, Earnhardt said he got into NASCAR as a driver because he "didn't want to work for a living," and after he won a few Busch (now Xfinity) Series races in the late 1990s he was surprised and thrilled he'd be able to have a career in the sport.

Kevin Harvick doesn’t fully understand why Dale Earnhardt Jr . is NASCAR ’ s reigning 14-time most popular driver when he’s not “anywhere close” to the sport’s most successful driver. More Racing. Recent. Kevin Harvick blames Dale Earnhardt Jr . for ' stunting ' NASCAR ' s growth .

Kevin Harvick believes Dale Earnhardt Jr .' s 14-year reign as Most Popular Driver has not impacted as NASCAR as much as it could have. Kevin Harvick believes the popularity of 14-time most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr . has played “a big part in stunting the growth of NASCAR ” in recent years.

Kevin Harvick blames Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 'stunting' NASCAR's growth© File photo Kevin Harvick blames Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 'stunting' NASCAR's growth Kevin Harvick doesn't fully understand why Dale Earnhardt Jr. is NASCAR's reigning 14-time most popular driver when he's not "anywhere close" to the sport's most successful driver.

While on his SiriusXM radio show Happy Hours, Harvick touched on the growth - or lack thereof - in NASCAR and its fan base and placed the blame on Earnhardt. As Junior rounds the race tracks for his final appearances before retiring at the end of the season, Harvick said he doesn't think more fans are showing up to see their favorite driver for the last time, and it's because of Earnhardt's struggles not only this season but throughout his career.

George Diaz: Kevin Harvick disrespects Earnhardt legacy, NASCAR history with shots at Junior

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Harvick revealed on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show, “Happy Hours,” that he thinks Dale Earnhardt Jr .’ s popularity, in spite of his lack of on-track success, is “ stunting the growth of NASCAR ,” according to Autoweek.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr . made his own statement Saturday. He defended his wife' s Twitter post — and blamed himself for putting her in a position where she felt she had to speak out. Kevin Harvick .

Earnhardt missed the second half of the 2016 season after suffering a concussion, and his last race win was in November of 2015. He won the pole for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July.

The No. 4 Ford driver - who's fourth in the standings and guaranteed a spot in the playoffs thanks to his one win this season - explained that he believes NASCAR's growth isn't where it should be because its most successful active driver, Jimmie Johnson, isn't the most popular. He called it a funny and strange situation that NASCAR doesn't resemble other where the most popular is among the best, citing LeBron James, Steph Curry and Peyton Manning.

Kevin Harvick says his criticism of Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t ‘a personal knock’

  Kevin Harvick says his criticism of Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t ‘a personal knock’ Harvick explained the context of his conversation about Dale Jr.'s popularity.Kevin Harvick accidentally created a firestorm in the NASCAR world last week when he said he thinks Dale Earnhardt Jr. is stunting NASCAR's growth.

Dale Earnhardt Jr . greets fans during driver introductions for the NASCAR Cup auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux). Kevin Harvick (4) is hit by Dale Earnhardt Jr .

(AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr . has long reigned as NASCAR ' s most popular driver. But he thinks too many of his fans have started airing in 140-character bursts a most unpopular opinion — that crew chief Greg Ives should take the blame for the No. 88's struggles this season. Kevin Harvick . 3.

Harvick said on his podcast:

"(Earnhardt) hasn't been anywhere close to being 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).

"So for me I believe that Dale Jr. has had a big part in stunting the growth of NASCAR because he's got these legions of fans and this huge outreach of being able to reach these places that none of us have the possibility to reach. But he's won nine races in 10 years at Hendrick Motorsports and hasn't been able to reach outside of that. So 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."

As Earnhardt approaches the end of his two-decade career in NASCAR, he currently has 26 Cup Series wins but no Cup Series championships. He won the XFINITY Series title twice in 1998 and 1999, back when it was called the Busch Series.

Kevin Harvick says his criticism of Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t ‘a personal knock’

  Kevin Harvick says his criticism of Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t ‘a personal knock’ Harvick explained the context of his conversation about Dale Jr.'s popularity.Kevin Harvick accidentally created a firestorm in the NASCAR world last week when he said he thinks Dale Earnhardt Jr. is stunting NASCAR's growth.

Kevin Harvick believes that Dale Earnhardt Jr .' s struggles on the track have prevented NASCAR from reaching its peak popularity. "He hasn’t been anywhere close to being our most successful driver," Harvick said. "For me, I believe Dale Jr . has had a big part in stunting the growth of NASCAR

NASCAR . Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick gave Dale Earnhardt Jr . a die-cast car autographed by Earnhardt Sr. this week, a gesture that was clearly meaningful.

His numbers aren't even close to HMS teammate Johnson's, who won his seventh championship in 2016 - tying a record number with Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty - and earned his 83rd Cup Series win in June.

Still, Junior first became the sport's most popular driver in 2003, while Johnson has never won it. Neither has Harvick, who came off as more perplexed than jealous of Earnhardt's popularity.

More from Harvick on Happy Hours, via NBC Sports:

"It's really confusing to me," Harvick said. "In my opinion Jimmie Johnson should be our most popular guy because he's won seven championships. You look at the souvenir sheet every week and he's (ranked) three, four, five coming off a championship year of what he sells in souvenirs. That part to me is a little bit confusing."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. reacts to Kevin Harvick’s criticism: That was ‘hurtful’ .
Harvick blamed Earnhardt for "stunting" NASCAR's growth.Earlier this week, Kevin Harvick blamed NASCAR's lack of growth on Dale Earnhardt Jr., claiming he stunted the sport because he's the 14-time most popular driver but not "anywhere close" to being one of the best.

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