Dale Earnhardt Sr. Recalls Getting Airlifted In Tiny Helicopter After Pocono Crash: “I Remember A Lot Of Sky & Thought I Was Goin’ To Heaven”

Man, making me tear up a little.

Dale Earnhardt was coming off his fourth Winston Cup Series Championship back in 1990, and made a little appearance on the Late Night With David Letterman show.

Rockin’ his glorious mustache per usual, the two discussed the success he’d had in NASCAR up to that point, already wracking up four Winston Cup Series wins in his 10-year-career at that point, and his pursuit to beat Richard Petty’s record of seven.

However, things got funny as shit when Letterman brought up his brutal crash at Pocono back in 1979 when Earnhardt earned the nickname “Ironhead.”

Although a typically soft-spoken and reserved guy (except for when you pissed him off on the track), Earnhardt had this witty sense of humor about him, where he’d casually say something wild, and it would be hilarious.

This was a perfect example of it.

When recalling the crash, he said:

“I hit the wall in Pocono and it put me out… hit driver’s side first and it knocked me out, and they were transporting me to the hospital in a helicopter and it was a narrow helicopter, my feet were out one side and my head was out the other.

I sort of came to a little bit, saw a lot of air and sky, and I thought I was going to Heaven.”

He also delivered one of the most badass lines I’ve ever heard in the interview.

Letterman asked him why drivers tend to follow each other so closely in NASCAR, as opposed to other automobile racing, which is more spread out.

And with a smirk, Dale responded:

“Because we got more guts, I reckon.”


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock