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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Life with Nascar and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., has the title of the most popular driver in NASCAR,
but that's not why I love him and his family.
He's a way of life here in my part of the hills.
"There are so many "ways of life" with a true Southerner."
Fried chicken after Sunday sermon's, Tennessee's,
U.T. football games (Volunteers) in the freezing cold of winter,
with a fire crackling in the open fireplace, and NASCAR
races on a warm summer afternoon sipping sweet tea
with a piece of peach cobbler. Growing up in Tennessee,
I remember Darrell Lee Waltrip 17, Caleb Yarborough 28, and,
"The Intimidator #3". I've always liked driving fast it's sort of unexplainable.
The wind rushing over my face, my hair blowing in the wind,
the freedom while I am under that wheel. It's like speed with no ill effects.
You could find a confederate flag in most homes.
It's just bred in the south. Back in the 70's, the speed limit was
80 miles a hour on the interstates. You didn't get pulled over for going 90.
My Mom would fly down I-65 towards Nashville.
The track we went to in Nashville was at the Nashville Fairgrounds
it was a short, oval, track. The ramming of those loud engines,
and the different color decals on those bright colored cars,
it was sight to experience. We had to scream over each other
at the track just to be heard over the stock cars.
Earnhardt raised his kids like he drove his cars, hard, and fearless.
Jr., had always wanted to walk in his father's foot steps.
He was always at the track with him and the team.
Teresa, the Step-Mom, tried to be a buff for the kids
but it didn't always work. When Jr., began racing with the circuit,
Sr., never gave Jr., a race. He had to win with his own grit and, raw determination.
Oh, he was always hard on Jr. but, Sr. was proud of his boy.
Then the unthinkable happened, Earnhardt Sr. # 3,
was involved in a muti-crash and hit the wall in turn 4 hard
at Daytona 500 in 2001 and died. Dale Jr., 26,
immediately left the track after finishing
second in the race to be at the hospital with his father and step mom, Teresa.
Earnhardt's newest driver, Michael Waltrip,
was interviewed in the Daytona press box after
his first career victory in 463 starts without realizing
his car owner was already deceased.
He won the race but he didn't get to enjoy this win with such a dark cloud
over the NASCAR family.
The last few years Jr., has struggled. Theresa wasn't supportive
and wouldn't give Jr., a role in his Dad's company.
He had been there from the beginning. Earnhardt would have
wanted his son to have control of the company
with his siblings by his side. With many losses, and being snubbed at D.E.I last year,
he began scouting for a team who would help his career
and much as he would bring all his many talents
on and off the track. He is a simple man, his home is a modular home.
Two kits brought together. He lives a simple life.
Something about Jr., that has been bestowed upon from his
Grandpa and Dad. Hard work, and little family time was the
legacy behind the dream from the "legend." He's simply Jr., and I love him.
I am so happy with the success he has had in 08 , do you want to come along for the ride?

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 10) - Dale Earnhardt was widely considered the best restrictor-plate racer in NASCAR history - the one guy who could see the air, work the draft, slice his way through the field and always a threat to make that one, final winning.
Jr., wins Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona in his debut race as member of Hendrick Motorsports. This wouldn't count to the top 12 drivers "Race to the Chase."
Tony Stewart thought , when Dale Earnhardt Jr. used a late pass to snatch the exhibition Budweiser Shootout away from the two-time champion. The victory ended a nearly two-year winless streak and returned Junior to the forefront of NASCAR's best plate racers."It's hard to beat Dale Jr.," Stewart said. "He's one of the best restrictor-plate drivers there's ever been. He learned a lot from his dad, and I'm not sure he's not better than his dad in all honesty."Debatable? Yes. Out of the question? Maybe not. Even Junior pretty much acknowledged his success at NASCAR's most famous track."Daytona is a special place. How many times has an Earnhardt won here?" he asked. "Daddy won 30-something. I won, I don't know? Eleven races? That's a lot. I didn't think it was that many."I embrace that. This is where we lost him and I want to keep whoopin' it, you know what I'm saying?"

Jr. put the longest drought of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career behind him Sunday, winning the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Earnhardt had gone through 76 races since his previous win on May 6, 2006, at Richmond. Mr. Hendrick was sure proud of his boy. He's taken him under his wing and is a surrogate Dad. Jr. talked about that race, yes it was won on fuel mileage. None the less; he, took the checkered flag to victory. He's found a home to put his hat on the hall tree at Hendrick Motor Sports.

Until we meet again..

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I love this entry it speaks what comes from my heart another southern girl here and a huge jr fan.