"My faith in driver humanity is out the window" - Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Letarte discuss missed chances to dump this driver

NASCAR Championship 4 Media Day
NASCAR commentator and Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. speaks to the media during the 2022 NASCAR Championship 4 Media Day at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Last weekend's NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race crowned Ty Gibbs as the 2022 champion, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was not the most content with the outcome.

The title decider at Phoenix Raceway saw three JR Motorsport cars and one Joe Gibbs Racing car contend for the ultimate prize in the junior series, with the #54 Toyota Supra driver ultimately coming out on top for JGR. Earnhardt Jr., who had a 3 in 4 chance of winning the championship with one of three drivers from his team, had to settle for the runners-up spot.

The reason behind JR Motorsports having three cars in the final four was due to Ty Gibbs' actions on the track the week before, where the 20-year-old dumped teammate Brandon Jones, leading to the latter not advancing to the next round. The incident, after which Gibbs was seen celebrating his heart out, was neither well received by the fans, nor Dale Earnhardt Jr. himself, despite him benefitting from the situation.

#NASCAR's Steve O'Donnell on Ty Gibbs wrecking teammate Brandon Jones for a win at Martinsville. #RaceHub

On a recent episode of his podcast, The Dale Jr. Download, the NASCAR Hall of Famer spoke with former crew chief Steve Letarte on the #54 Toyota Supra driver's chances of winning the title. Letarte spoke on how he thought Gibbs was going to be the fastest car in Phoenix on Saturday, elaborating on how he thinks retaliation is on its way for Gibbs, saying:

“I think the 54 is going to be the fastest, but I’ve already written him off. If the #54 (Ty Gibbs) sees the checkered flag, then my faith in driver humanity is out the window.”
The @DaleJr Download: DIRTY AIR - Where to Go From Here? JRM Loses Championship; JGR Loses so Much More💔Painful Loss☀️Phoenix Recap⛺️Wigwam LISTENWeb:

Letarte further elaborated on how he thinks other drivers would make life for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver and said:

“I’m not saying wreck the poor guy. That’s dangerous. He should never have a clear exit or a clear entry or whatever. But you better do it early because, back to your original question, I think the 54 will have the most pace.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. seemed to agree with his guest on how he thought the finale would pan out. Turns out both of them were right after all.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on how he coached his drivers going into the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race

During his conversation with Steve Letarte on his popular podcast, The Dale Jr. Download, Dale Earnhardt Jr. also spoke about how he expected drivers from his team to take on the challenge of Joe Gibbs Racing's Ty Gibbs.

He said:

“I will tell you that I talked to my four guys post-Martinsville and I said, ‘Listen, we’re not dumping nobody this weekend.’ I said, ‘We’re going to try and win that championship. We’re damn sure not going to let that 54 win it, but we’re going to walk out of there with our heads up. We’re not going to win that championship and be embarrassed by how we did it.’”

Ultimately, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Letarte's predictions came out to be true as neither of the JR Motorsport cars could challenge Gibbs, who won the title decider in dominant fashion.

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Edited by Anurag C
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