Seems like he likes a cold vodka these days as well (with the release of he and his wife Amy’s new High Rock Vodka), but that’s another story.
Back to beer…
When you think Dale Earnhardt Jr., it’s hard not to picture that red Budweiser #8 Chevrolet that he drove for a good part of his career. But more than just the name on the car, Dale used to have so much beer shipped to the house that the distributors thought he was selling it.
He’s also shared some of his drunkest stories on his podcast The Dale Jr Download, so like I said, the man likes a cold beer… or a few.
And with Ross Chastain taking the checkered flag this past Sunday at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, it was big day for Ross and his team, Trackhouse Racing, who both secured their first career Cup Series win.
The kind of big day that deserves an ice cold beer.. or five.
Only problem… there wasn’t a beer in sight in victory lane.
And Dale Jr. pointed it out:
It’s weird to say. And I also heard there wasn’t one beer available in victory lane post race. That needs some work.
As Dale Jr. was trying to figure out what to do for her birthday this year and plan something she would know about in advance of the event, given that she hates surprises, it led him to tell the story of the time he actually met George in Key West on his podcast The Dale Jr. Download this week.
They had gone to Key West several years ago with Amy’s sister and her husband, as well as another couple from Texas, who are all big fans of The King, too. And it just so happened that George was in Florida recording an album at a studio in downtown Key West while they were there.
One day, around lunch time, Dale Jr. and his friend, Billy, got split up from the rest of the group. They ended up wandering around Key West for most of the afternoon looking for their wives, and vice versa.
They went to the house they were staying at twice, all the bars they could think of, but they never saw them again all day, no matter where they went after hours of searching.
And as luck would have it, one of them had left their phone in the locked house (they didn’t have a key with them either… men), and one of their phones was dead, so they couldn’t call anyone to find out where they were.
It sounded like it was a complete shit show, and eventually, Dale Jr. and Billy gave up on their search, knowing they’d find the girls at some point, because Key West isn’t that big of a place. So, they ended up back at a bar called Schooner Wharf to have a drink.
At this point, it was 10 or 11 o’clock at night, and they decided to just stay there and wait, because sooner or later, they knew the rest of the group would end up there as it’s their favorite hangout spot when they visit.
And when they walked in, George was sitting nearby having a drink with his son, Bubba.
Of course, Dale Jr. and Billy start debating whether or not they should approach him, and Dale Jr. felt like it couldn’t hurt since Dale Sr. and George were big hunting buddies back in the day (I would kill to hear those stories, too):
“Right there sits George Strait, having a drink. And so I told Billy, I said ‘Man… I know he hunted with dad, I know he knows dad.’
And as we’re kind of having that conversation, he looks over and his sons with him, and his son walks over and says, ‘Hey, dad would like to have a drink, hang out.’
And I was like, ‘Of course, you dang right. George Strait, you bet.’ So we sit down with George, we took a picture, we talked, he told me about hunting with dad, and we had a beer.”
Can you even imagine George Strait approaching you about having a drink? I would actually die…
As they were sitting there talking and having a grand old time, Dale and Billy realized they might be able to use Bubba’s phone to get in contact with their wives.
So what do they do? Instead of calling or texting one of them, they used it to send their wives the photo they took with George:
“While this is happening, it dawned on us that if George’s son was okay with it, we could use his phone to text the picture to them, to our wives. And we did.
So we send them the picture on his phone, we’re like ‘Man, we ain’t got our phones, they’re at home, we gotta find our family, if we could use your phone we’ll send this picture that we just took of George Strait and us to them.’
We do that, George stays for another couple minutes, says ‘Alright, I’m gonna head home.'”
And you already know where this is going, right?
They thanked George for his time, and Bubba for letting them borrow his phone, and not but a minute or two after George and Bubba left, the girls came barreling through the bar on a mission to meet The King:
“As soon as they walked out, literally moments later, here comes our gang, wide open, loud, ‘Where’s George? Where y’all been?’ Barreling into this bar. They were out of breathe trying to get there fast enough.”
And I’m no runner by any stretch of the imagination, but if I got wind I had the chance to meet George, sign me up for the NFL combine because I’d break the 40-yard dash record (and probably an ankle) to get there.
Unfortunately though, the girls were just a few minutes too late, and Dale Jr. had to break the bad news to them:
“He left… And then, you know, the attention went from that to this is all our fault.”
Of course it’s your fault, Dale. You should’ve chained him to the dang table until they got there to ensure that they, too, would get the chance to meet George.
To this day, Dale and Amy still go back and forth about the whole ordeal.
Honestly, you wouldn’t think it’d be all that difficult for Dale to get something set up for them to meet again, since he’s literally a Hall of Fame driver and his dad is the most iconic racer ever who lived (and was also friends with George), but what do I know.
And because Dale still can’t let the whole thing go, he framed the photo from that night and put it in their beach house, so Amy has to look at it every time they’re there:
“This happened years ago, and it’s been an ongoing joke.
I have that picture of me and Billy and George Strait in my beach house for Amy to see every day. I don’t let her live it down. It goes back and forth.”
And while he was hoping they might meet again for Amy’s (and the other wives’) sake, it doesn’t look like it worked out on this trip.
But, it looks like they still had a great time at the show, and Amy has a fantastic sense of humor about the whole situation, as she hinted at the debacle in her Instagram caption with photos and videos from the weekend: