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Dale Earnhardt: Many Of You Think I Got It All Wrong!

Well, apparently I know nothing about NASCAR. That's what many readers told me just becauseI dared to say that it was possible that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was losing some of his marketing power after what looks to be his first season without a victory.

"We are die hard fans of our drivers," wrote Matt Ridge. "Win or lose, it's a proven fact that fans will follow their driver and their sponsors regardless of racing luck."

Dale Jr.'s popularity won't suffer, reasons Vito Pugliese: "The blue collar ethic that they represent and the down to earth nature that endears them to those who live and die each weekend with their driver. These aren't Philadelphia Phillies or Eagles fans. When the going gets tough we don't throw stuff at them."

"Don't kid yourself," said reader David Barrow. "Michael Waltrip has only won three races and is commercialized like Santa Claus. Folks just like him."

Finally, and perhaps the most important point made, Jeff Allen writes: "Is there anyone, I mean really anyone, that thinks he won't win next year at Hendrick and make a run for the chase?"

Our poll yesterday,reflected an overwhelmingly pro-Earnhardt sentiment. More than 800 people weighed in and 85 percent told us they didn't think this year hurt Earnhardt. I find it funny how on the day I wrote this, Fathead announces that they're coming out with 2008 versions of Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports launches a brick program that allows fans to buy a brick outside of JR Nation, the exclusive store of "Little E." Junior's engine might not be running well, but the business engine behind him seems to be doing just fine.

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