Dale Earnhardt Jr. took some time out of his busy schedule during Champion’s Week in Las Vegas to call in to NBCSN’s “Dan Patrick Show” Thursday morning, discussing a variety of topics — both deeply personal and fun-spirited.
The call was originally supposed to last 10 minutes, but it turned into a 21-minute conversation with Patrick; one that was abruptly ended mid-sentence due to other prior commitments. Although Earnhardt talked longer than the allotted time, it seemed he wanted to talk longer. Patrick even shared on-air that Earnhardt later sent him a text apologizing for cutting their talk “short.”
Paying particular attention to the fun stuff, baby names were quickly brought up by Patrick as Earnhardt’s wife, Amy, is pregnant with the couple’s first child. With their daughter due in May, Patrick asked if they have a few names picked out already.
“We do. We have a list on our phones that we share. I had a lot of names that I liked, but all those got sent to the trash can,” Earnhardt said with a laugh.
“I’m learning as I go that it’s really going to be down to her. She’s got some great ideas and whatever she chooses is going to be just perfect.”
Patrick then asked what other NASCAR driver Earnhardt would name the baby if it was a boy.
“Oh, man. That’s a tough call,” Earnhardt said. “Kyle Larson is a cool name. I think Chase Elliott, that’s a cool name. And Ryan Blaney. All these young kids are coming in with all these racing names.
Earnhardt then came up with the perfect mixture.
“I think Chase Blaney.”
When asked if he would ever want to take on being the president of NASCAR someday, Earnhardt shared that he didn’t see himself thriving in that position.
“I think it would be interesting to be in those conversations, to be in those boardroom meetings, understand a little bit of what’s going on and how they come to the decisions that they come to,” he said. “I’m sure there’s a lot more moving parts than myself or a lot of people know that make up the decisions they have. I don’t think I would want to be a president of NASCAR, nor do I think I would be a great president for the sport.”
But, Earnhardt didn’t rule out an executive role of some form potentially down the road.
“I think I could be just underneath that in maybe a Mike Helton-style role or a Steve O’Donnell-style role where I have some influence,” Earnhardt said. “I think the France family should and always should be the leaders of the sport. They are the ones that brought this together and created it. I do think it would be fun and be something I would be good at if I could be an influence in the sport some way, some how.”
The two-time Daytona 500 champion and 14-time Most Popular Driver wrapped up the show by talking about his beloved Washington Redskins, as Patrick suggested he pack up the RV and take his family around to games across the country.
“I mean, yeah, why not? That sounds like a lot of fun,” Earnhardt said. “They are more fun to watch these last couple years as the defense has gotten better. It’s funny … I get invited to go see them play away, but I don’t feel comfortable going into the opponent’s stadium. When they play the Panthers, or the Cowboys especially, I cannot go to the Cowboys stadium.”
When Patrick asked if he hated the Dallas Cowboys, Earnhardt didn’t mind giving his opinion.
“I don’t like them, yes,” he said. “Hate is a strong word. I grew up with a family that had a lot of Cowboys fans in it and it’s been a tug-of-war all my life.”