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NASCAR: Will Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Appeal Ever Wane?

It’s easy to see why NASCAR’s fanbase embraced Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the aftermath of his daddy’s death. He was young and resembled Dale Senior enough to remind us of The Intimidator. And yes, he was good-looking enough to draw swoons from the fairer gender. But it’s more than a decade since the NASCAR fraternity lost the elder Earnhardt, and for Junior’s career—412 Cup starts—he has but 18 wins. Granted, he also has 94 top five finishes and 159 top ten finishes, but his career, thus far, has fallen far short of fan expectation. Still, his popularity continues to soar, which says much about the loyalty of NASCAR fans. Whenever he takes the lead, fan approval can be heard over the roar of t...

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