Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr Lowes Motor Speedway garages
                        Humpy Wheeler predicted that youíd win the 2000 All Star Race (the Winston) did that put any added pressure on you being only a rookie?

            No, Dad didnít like me being under any more stress than I was. But, we were all stressed out anyway having just won a race to get us into the All Star, and being a rookie team and all. Besides Dad had told me about Humpy and I thought he was just pulling a stunt or a gimmick. I didnít think he really thought I could win it.


                        The race is run a short segments, is it still a tough race? 

            Oh ya, it wears you out. You race as hard as you can from the drop of the flag. Itís like those Saturday night races we used to run. You have to bring youíre A game and itís more stressful than the 600. Humpy is changing the format this year because he says there were too many crashes in the past. Wrecks are good. Wrecks are exciting. When I was just a fan wreckiní was a big part of it. You gotta have some wrecks.



                        What was it like to win the All Star Race? 

            That was my favorite moment in racing. Dad came with us to victory lane and stayed all the time we were there. He never did that before. He was having as much fun as we were. He was the car owner too, you know.  He kept telling meÖ ďThis is big. Make sure you enjoy it.Ē


                        Did your dad teach you much about driving a racecar? 

            No, we never talked about driving or how to get into a corner. But, he did walk me around and point out the bad people and the good ones that I should listen to and respect. Humpy was one of the good ones.


                                    Did you watch the races when your dad was running?

            Yes, when I was about 10 I remember the Earnhardtís and Eureyís would park their trucks on that infield hill down in turns one and two and watch from there. Iíd play with my little racecars on the banking of the road course. Then we had the condos and the view was great from there. You know, all the changes that have been made here are great and I like it when people think outside the box. Like these new yellow walls. I think thatís way cool. But itís still the same old place. All though itís not a living breathing thing, it does have a personality and itíll reach out and get you for good or bad. And I have a good relationship with it.


                        Do you want to run on dirt tracks like some other NASCAR drivers do?


            I got no business driving dirt cars. I started right here at Charlotte driving Legend cars. Ran on dirt for a year or so.  I was the first one to need the front clip replaced on a legend car and also the first one to ever flip one.  But I like dirt races. Itís the roots of our sport and I even promote dirt tack races. I donít make any money doing it, but I have a lot of fun.


                        How do you feel about Jeff Gordon trying your fathers NASCAR win record? 

            Itís Ok. I think it was great of Jeff to take the #3 flag around the track at Phoenix when he tied the record. You know, when you win a race itís all about you. You donít have to share that moment with anyone else. But Jeff did share it with dad. They had a lot of respect for each other. Dad hated to loose to Jeff, but they were business partners on property and other things and I believe he had more respect for Jeff Gordon than most any of the other people in racing.

                        Do you find yourself being more like Dale Sr as you get older?

When I was younger I tried to be different. Be my own person and different from him. But, yes I find myself being more like him every day. I donít put any effort into it but it is a compliment to be told Iím like him. Who wouldnít want to be, he was cool.














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Revised: February 23, 2013