Off-Track


Dale Jr. recalls dad's reaction to first ticket

June 10, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Most popular driver recalls first car, first job as a teenager

RELATED: Share your #NASCARwithDAD stories, enter sweepstakes

On Sunday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Pocono Raceway, a place where his NASCAR Hall of Fame father, Dale Earnhardt, won twice, claiming the second races at the track in 1987 and 1993.

On Tuesday, Earnhardt Jr. discussed his father's reaction to his first speeding ticket as well as the possibility of a son named Dale III. The two-time winner in 2014 joined the "Dan Patrick Show" on NBC Sports Network.

The 11-time Most Popular Driver told Patrick that his first car was a 1988 S-10 short-bed 4x4 pickup truck. 

"It was a 4.36 cylinder so it wasn't super-fast," Earnhardt Jr. said. "The first fast car I had was probably a 1998 or '99 Corvette that Chevrolet gave me for winning the Nationwide Series championship in 1998 so that was my first fast car. I don't think I got pulled over in that. I got pulled over in the S-10 pickup truck more often."

Earnhardt Jr., who will turn 40 in October, said his youth was the reason behind the tickets in the truck.

"For whatever reason from the time I was 16 to the time I was 18, I was speeding everywhere," Earnhardt Jr. said. "As you know, when you get older, you don't care about speeding or being in a hurry anymore. But for those first two years, it was just hammer down everywhere you went."

Following a disagreement with his dad at the family farm, he headed home at a fast rate of speed and pulled himself over.

"… I pull out of the farm, and I'm hauling ass home and speeding," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I got about two miles from the farm, and I passed a state trooper and I saw his brake lights. So I just went ahead and pulled over and waited on him. And here comes the state trooper and he gets out and he's writing me a ticket and dad drives by."

"So dad drives by and goes up about a mile down the road to a gas station and pulls over. I get my ticket, pull out. Go on home, or I'm heading toward the house. I see dad. Pull in there behind him.

"He says, 'Did he write you a ticket?'

"I said, 'Yeah.'

"He said, 'Looks like you need to get a job.'

"So I went down to a gas station up the road from the house and applied for a job there and pumped gas there for several months to pay for that ticket."

Patrick asked Earnhardt Jr. whether he thought his future child would want to race.

"If he has any interest in doing that, I definitely have all my money saved up to handle it," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I've got a nephew that my sister's raising that I'm sure is gonna have some interest in racing that I want to have a big part of. So that's something that I think excites me and the potential of that happening."

When asked whether his son would be named Dale Earnhardt III, Earnhardt Jr. said, "No, I doubt that. I don't think so. I don't know. We'll just have to see."

Earnhardt Jr. said he took his Pocono trophy home with him and hung out with friends and family in his basement "man cave" until 5 a.m. Monday morning 

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway this week for the Quicken Loans 400 (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, TNT), and Earnhardt Jr. said he's ready to open his basement bar again.

"Man, I'd love to do two in a row," Earnhardt Jr. told Patrick. "That'd be awesome. Winning's fun so I'm ready to party again."

Check out the entire "Dan Patrick Show" interview below:

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