Friday, May 7, 2010

Dale Jr: An exclusive interview

I was fortunate enough to have a long interview that you can read here with Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently about his late father, Dale Earnhardt Sr. The full text of the interview will be published in Sunday's Charlotte Observer as part of our special section on the new NASCAR Hall of Fame and its first class of inductees (Earnhardt Sr. is one member of the five-man class).

Dale Jr. doesn't talk at length about his father very often, and I'm grateful for him doing this one to help Observer and ThatsRacin.com readers better understand his dad (who died in 2001).

Look for that special section in The Charlotte Observer Sunday. It has some great writing from Ron Green Sr. and Tom Higgins, who witnessed so much of NASCAR's history, as well as everything you need to know about the Hall of Fame to plan a visit. And here's a small taste of the Dale Jr. interview I did:

Q: It has been nine years since your father’s death at Daytona. As the years pass, what is it you hope people remember about him?
A: The one thing that you’re always scared is going to evaporate is how he made people feel when he walked into a room. He entered a room and changed its atmosphere. He had just such a powerful personality. Not like the power of a king, but just this energy that just filled the room.
And that stuff is so easy to forget. One day, it will be hard to recall that. One day I’m worried that everybody will just be looking at pictures and stats of him and that will be it. They’ll just be looking at him in a two-dimensional sort of way.
But he was three-dimensional. When he was at the track, you knew he was there, even if you couldn’t see him. You could just feel it. And that was an awesome feeling.

Q: How often do you think of him?
A: It’s always kind of hovering in the back of your mind, kind of like the hum of an air conditioner. Not something that bothers you -- something you can get used to living with. It’s a part of who you are.
It’s a good thing in most ways when I think of him because it’s definitely something that keeps me making better decisions more often. I make a lot of decisions based on feeling like that he’s over my shoulder still, and I’m glad for that.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Somebody tell that idiot who cant race he sounds like some stupid hick on his Nationwide commercials. You dont pronounce fi"f"ty five with the "F" sound. Its not fity five. Where did this guy grow up? In Charlotte? Jeez.

Anonymous said...

.....and its not "hunderd"

Anonymous said...

Hey,don't pick on Jr!

Anonymous said...

As if Jr isn't bad enough in those commercials, his "agent" is even worse: "Shore dooo!" I can't believe Nationwide allowed those ads to air. It makes all of us from this area look like a bunch of hillbillies.

Anonymous said...

And can you believe Nationwide makes a jingle trying to immitate this clown act in their singing?

Ever heard of white boy ebonics? Jr got it down pat. fi-ty five.
jeez.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte isn't the truth south anyway.. most of you havent gone back home Boston or New York from when you lost your banking jobs.

Feel free to knock an Earnhardt after you get out of our state.

Anonymous said...

they try to claim florida is not the south but it was one of the original 11 too.
all transplants to any southern state automatically become southerners whether they like it or not and have to play by the rules. the old bumper sticker -if your heart is not in dixie then get your ass out- still holds true.
the training process is endless.

Anonymous said...

EARNHARDT
SUXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 2:31- You are a big tough guy eh? Go tell him that to his face and he'll slap you right the mouth, which is what you deserve you yankee punk.

Anonymous said...

If he tried to slap he'd draw back a nub but he would have more sense unless he was looking for a fat lip or black eyes or worse a S.A.W. (serious ass whipping)

Earnhardt is a WUS !!! Get Real.
He couldnt whip his way out of a paper bag. Even his dad looked like a WUS.

Wus begats Wus. Driving a race car does make one a bad ass.

Everyone wants to know one big question ---

IS JR. GAY?

BigMikey said...

Oh look, idiots on parade. I bet when the traffic on I-77 gets up around 70 mph, you guys pee a little. When your name is Dale Jr., and you own actual racing championships as well as victories at the top tracks in the top level of the sport, you can pretty much formulate your diction however the heck you want to. And get PAID for it. Hahahaha, take that, bank workers, as you worry yourselves every weekday morning on 485, hahaha.

Anonymous said...

Who is this dummie calling out bankers? Dont bite the hand that feeds. Who loans hundreds of millions to all the owners and others to pay for those kiddie cars and teams or tracks? Bankers love real speed not that wus speed. We love riding in jet engine planes than go over 600 mph daily. Thats real speed not the wus speeds on the race tracks.

Any skinny little weakling wimp high school drop dumbass out can drive a race car. geez.... get real.

Anonymous said...

Who is dumber? Race car drivers or NBA players? Thats a tough one.

Its a draw.

Anonymous said...

hey Anonymous,,2 tings one I have never seen a ugly bank and 2 all bankers got pretty mouths,if ya didnt loan the money what the hell would ya do with it!!!!!!!!!!! dry up your tears?????????

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I think that the best way to forget all the sufer that it is involved. It is to speak with everybody about it.

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Wonderful interview and very interesting. I am an amateur so that I have read with pleasure. I wish you success.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, a great interview. Keep it up.

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