Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Sister Kelley Don’t Agree on Everything, but Both Aren’t Looking Forward to 1 Specific Race in 2022
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller have a unique relationship in that the pair work together as co-owners of JR Motorsports. But like any brother-sister relationship, they don’t always agree on everything.
In a recent interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Earnhardt Miller talked about one area that she doesn’t necessarily see eye to eye with her NASCAR Hall of Fame brother and also mentioned one thing that she wholeheartedly agrees with him about that certainly won’t make one group of fans happy to hear.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. not looking forward to Xfinity Series racing in Portland in 2022
Earlier this year, just before NASCAR officially announced its 2022 schedule, Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn’t hold back when asked what he thought about the Xfinity Series going to Portland, which last hosted a Truck Series race in 2000.
“We’ve been out there before. I don’t even know what shape the place is in. It’s a road course. It doesn’t do anything for me,” Earnhardt bluntly admitted during the “Ask Jr.” segment of his Dale Jr. Download podcast. “If you’re out in Portland, you’re excited about this. I’m happy for you. If you want to go to the race track and you’re thrilled that they’re coming there, that’s a good thing. That’s the whole point. But for me, it’s just adding another road course, and we’ve added a lot of road courses over the year.”
Earnhardt, who’s never one to shy away from sharing his feelings, said adding multiple road courses is not what he expected after visiting with NASCAR President Steve Phelps on the podcast a year earlier.
“We’re getting back, not to our roots, but we’re not going to try to reinvent the wheel,” Earnhardt said. “I took it as we’re not going to try to introduce a lot of new. We’re going to try to bring back some of the old. That made me think, OK, well, we’re going to maybe introduce a couple of short tracks. We’re going to do less mile-and-a-halfs. We’re not going to try any kind of new gimmicky thing. But it just seems like there’s a few new gimmicks coming down the pike.”
Kelley Earnhardt Miller not looking forward to Portland from monetary standpoint
During an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Kelly Earnhardt Miller talked about a variety of topics, including the disagreements this year between JR Motorsports drivers and how sponsorship is going for the team. At one point she was asked about the addition of Portland in 2022 and whether that might open up new markets for sponsorship.
Like her brother, Earnhardt Miller didn’t sugarcoat her answer.
“In my eyes, and as we’ve talked about our budgets, the Portland thing is — it’s a bit cumbersome to be quite honest because it’s a long ways,” she admitted. “The expense to go there and everything versus mid-Ohio is quite different, but I’m interested to see how the fans support it and the market supports it around there.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his sister don’t necessarily agree on playoffs
While Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller both aren’t looking forward to their teams making the long trek out to the Pacific Northwest in 2022, there was one area in which the two didn’t necessarily see eye to eye.
Earnhardt Miller said she likes the playoffs’ overall format but isn’t a fan of the winner-take-all format in the final race.
“I was thinking about this in Phoenix this year, being there for the final four, and just thinking about I love the playoff format and I love the opportunity that it gives you to keep progressing because I’ve seen in this sport — I’ve seen years where the points leader is so far out that they would win two or three races to go, right,” she said. “And you would know who your champion is. So I love the playoff part, but when it gets down to Phoenix, I just really hate that it all comes down to one race. So I kind of have this love-hate relationship with the way the system works.”
Junior recently talked on his podcast about how he’s a fan of the current playoff system because the format has remained consistent for the last several years, and that’s good for the fans and the sport.
“I think as far as the points, how we add them up, the elimination, all the factors, the size of of the field, let’s just stay this way for a little bit,” he said. “Build some equity. Build some brand identity in it. Some continuity so fans are now understanding what to expect and what drivers need to do, and we can carry this on for a while. I’m really liking where we are.”
While the two might not always see eye to eye on everything, it’s clear they work well together as co-owners of JR Motorsports. The consistent success of the team has proven that year after year.