News & Media

Six Pack of Pop: Earnhardt more Stroker Ace than Ricky Bobby

May 17, 2011, Joe Menzer,

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, answers this week's six questions.

1. If you could watch one movie on the new big screen at Charlotte Motor Speedway -- now the world's largest High Definition television -- which would it be?

Earnhardt: If I could watch one movie? I don't know, it would probably be Stroker Ace.

2. No Talladega Nights with Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a role in 'Talladega Nights' but prefers his racing movies from the '70s. (Getty Images)

Earnhardt: You need to go watch Stroker Ace. That'll answer that question for you.

3. For the first time in a decade, you are not guaranteed a spot in Saturday's All-Star Race. You figure the fans will vote you in -- like everyone else is figuring?

Earnhardt: I'm not too worried about not being in the All-Star Race. I'm looking forward to showing up and getting our practice on and seeing what happens. It's a fun deal. I've never been part of the Open or the Select or whatever it is they call it (the preliminary event, from which the top-two finishers advance to the All-Star Race, currently is called the Sprint Showdown). So it will be a good experience for me to be a part of that. I'm sure the intensity is really high in that event as well, yet different from the actual All-Star Race. It'll be a good experience for me, so I'm looking forward to going through that process.

4. What did you think of the penalties handed down by NASCAR for the recent Kyle Busch-Kevin Harvick dustup at Darlington (each driver was fined $25,000 and placed on probation until June 15)?

Earnhardt: I think NASCAR has to make themselves visible and tangible as the governing body. If they just kind of step back and let the idiots run the asylum, that's not going to work out too well. So any time we get out of hand, they need to step in and do whatever they think they need to do, whatever that penalty is.

I'm just glad they didn't set a precedent by taking away points. We don't know a lot about the new point system and how it's going to shake out, so I was a little worried to see if they did take points away from those guys -- and I was glad they didn't touch that, because that's kind of a commodity at this point that we're all trying to understand. I don't know if even they understand the true value of a single point yet, so I'm glad they didn't go in that direction.

5. Do you think NASCAR enjoyed the attention that altercation brought to the sport?

Earnhardt: I think there is a definite value to that type of drama in the sport. I think it will resonate with the fans -- and even if they don't like it, it will spark conversation. ... Nothing really happened except two guys having a little disagreement. That happens every race. It's just that some of them spill over a little more than most.

I don't like getting in the middle of those deals myself. I like getting up front and being in the news for running well. I'm not really confrontational when it comes right down to it -- but when a guy pushes your buttons, you've got to push back. And that's what all that was about the other night. Both of them probably felt like they were in the right, and NASCAR handled it however they felt they had to handle it.

But as drivers, we're all going to have those moments. I think it's part of the sport.

6. Do you think it's over between those two?

Earnhardt: I don't know. I think they got a lot out of their system [at Darlington]. It looked like they got a lot done.