Despite mediocre production, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has agreed to a five-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports.

The five-year contract extension will keep Dale Earnhardt Jr. with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2017 season.  Earnhardt Jr. is the most popular driver in the sport, but he has failed to win a race in his last 117 starts.  He won 17 races as a driver for Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI), but has won only one race as a driver for Hendrick Motorsports.

Athletes in most sports do not receive five-year contract extensions while they are failing to produce impressive results.  However, most athletes are not nearly as immensely popular as Dale Earnhardt Jr.  This absolutely helps raise his overall appeal.

"The team's been very competitive this season, and we're all excited about the direction of things.  I want to make sure we're giving our fans something to cheer about for a long time," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said.  We're still waiting for Jr. to give his fans something noteworthy to cheer about.  Something like, I don't know, a win!