That's Racin Magazine

Smith: Junior's slump bad for business

Saturday, May. 23, 2009

CONCORD, N.C. - Speedway Motorsports Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith has his own take on the impact of a sub-par season so far for NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“It personally affects the sale of souvenirs, which you know we are in that business. I guess that means that Dale Jr. is losing fans rapidly and I don’t like that because he’s great for the sport,” Smith said.

“I’ve talked to Rick (Hendrick) and Rick is working with him. I’ve got to believe you will see a change. Dale Jr. is improving. He is tired of some of the bad press he’s been getting.

“I think you will see Dale will start to win some races.”

Earnhardt Jr. is 18th in series points this season with three top-10 finishes in 11 starts. He has one win - last June at Michigan - since May 2006.