This actually did occur though on Sunday, May 29th at the Coca Cola 600 after Dale Earnhardt Jr. caused a five car wreck in the Coke 600 when he idiotically bumped his own teammate Michael Waltrip sending him around and into other cars. He was also booed at driver introductions. Not only was Earnhardt Jr. jeered by the fans at Charlotte, he was also jeered by his uncle and former crew chief Tony Eury Sr., who still works at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated.
This comes just days after replacing crew chief Pete Rondeau with longtime spotter Steve Hmiel, just 1/3 of the way into the Nextel Cup season. Rondeau, who wasn't given a notice by DEI, said that when he showed up to work on the Monday after the Nextel All-Star Challenge he was told that he no longer worked for the #8 team. Rondeau than preceded to air out all of DEI's dirty laundry following his unhappy release saying that DEI majority owner Teresa Earnhardt never signed his three year contract and that he was fired despite the fact that his contract had a clause in it that claimed he should be given a six weeks notice if things weren't working out.
Rondeau also claimed that the #8 teams hadn't communicated well with teammate Michael Waltrip all year long. It is reported that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is in the middle of an ongoing feud with Waltrip and Waltrip's new crew chief, Tony Eury Jr., Earnhardt Jr.'s cousin. Before this season had started the crews and cars of Earnhardt Jr. and Waltrip were completely switched. Thus this season Earnhardt Jr. had to get used to a new crew chief, new crew, and new cars.
As for the feud with Waltrip, Tony Eury Sr. said following the Coca Cola 600, "I don't know what his [Earnhardt Jr.'s] problem is with Michael [Waltrip]. It'll be fixed tomorrow, I guarantee it. He acts like he's friends with him, but every time he gets near him on the track he ends up wrecking him. DEI has enough problems. We don't need that." Eury also said that this has been going on for year between Earnhardt Jr. and Waltrip, "It's been happening for five years." After the race Earnhardt Jr. fell to 15th in the Nextel Cup standings and is in danger of having the worst season in his six year career.
It is very possible that this team will end up missing the Chase for the Championship if they don't change drastically quickly. For now, many Earnhardt Jr. fans say that "Little E" needs to get his head out of the business aspects of DEI and just worry about driving the car.
They say that Earnhardt Jr. has too many things on his mind to be a championship caliber driver and until he gets his mind on racing first and foremost he won't win a championship, let alone seven like his father did. As of the 1/3 point of the season Dale Earnhardt Incorporated is looking a lot more like Dale Earnhardt Incompetent, and incompetent is not a word that is usually associated with the name Earnhardt.
By: Julian Spivey