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

21:20  10 august  2017
21:20  10 august  2017 Source:   ftw.usatoday.com

Watch Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team strategize in exclusive docuseries clip

  Watch Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team strategize in exclusive docuseries clip A behind-the-scenes look at the No. 88 team.Broken into three parts and released periodically throughout the day, the third episode will be available Wednesday and centers around Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 team's challenges during the 2016 season. Other episodes focus on HMS' influence on NASCAR, as well as drivers Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott and Kasey Kahne.

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.

Dale Earnhardt Jr . reacts to Kevin Harvick 's criticism: That was 'hurtful'. Harvick blamed Earnhardt for “ stunting ” NASCAR ’ s growth .

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.

NASCAR fan sports Earnhardt-themed sunburn

  NASCAR fan sports Earnhardt-themed sunburn No one can accuse Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans of lacking loyalty. During Sunday's I Love New York 355 at Watkins Glen International, NBCSN cameras showed one spectator who got a sunburn purposefully to show support for Earnhardt on his retirement tour.

Dale Earnhardt Jr . doesn’t seem like the type of guy to hold a grudge, but apparently he still feels burned by Kevin Harvick ’s comments from August about him “ stunting ” NASCAR ’ s growth . Earnhardt said Wednesday on The Dan Patrick Show

Home. privacy policy. Contact.

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.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. reacts to Kevin Harvick’s criticism: That was ‘hurtful’

  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.

While plenty of NASCAR fans in JR Nation want Kevin Harvick to apologize to Dale Earnhardt Jr . for blaming him for “ stunting ” the growth of NASCAR , that’ s not what Junior wants. Friday at Michigan International Speedway, both drivers commented on the situation

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.

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.

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.

Heading into Michigan, Kevin Harvick made some headlines on his radio show when he laid blame for the sport’ s lack of progress in recent years in the lap of Dale Earnhardt Jr . That never is a good thing to do. “For me, I believe that Dale Jr . has had a big part in kind of stunting the growth of NASCAR

When Dale Earnhardt Jr . was at the height of his popularity, it’ s hard to argue that he was anything but good for NASCAR . Yet Kevin Harvick did the fellow competitor equivalent of a hot take and tried to do just that last summer.

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. voices support of crew chief Greg Ives .
Earnhardt Jr. isn't doing as well as fans hoped for in his final full-time season, but he wants everyone to know Greg Ives isn't to blame.During Saturday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race, in which Earnhardt Jr.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
This is interesting!