Is it Sunday yet?
The NASCAR season gets underway this Sunday with the annual running of the Great American Race, AKA… the Daytona 500.
Joey Logano is looking to defend his title, Dierks Bentley is kicking off the pre-show festivities, I’m friggin’ pumped.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows a little something about winning the Daytona 500, he won milestone race in 2004 and again in 2014.
On an episode of Straight Up Steve Austin, Dale Jr. broke down the race in incredible detail, including his battle with Tony Stewart to take the lead, holding him off down the stretch, and sealing up the victory.
“So, put yourself in my shoes. I’ve been growing up in racing all my life and watching my dad go to Daytona, he would either get outrun by another car that was better, he would have an issue, flat tire, whatever… year after year after year there was something.
He went all his career, all the way to the very end, 1998 he finally wins that race… I’m thinking, ‘damn, do I have to wait all my life to win the Daytona 500?’ Or maybe not win it. It was hard for daddy to do it, shit what if I don’t ever do it… that’s the race I want to win.”
Luckily for Jr., he didn’t have to wait nearly as long.
He explains the first victory to Stone Cold Steve Austin:
You can also watch Dale Jr. and Stone Cold rip up the track on a pair of go-karts.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Says He Was “Never Scared” Flipping A Race Car At 200 MPH
What does it feel like to be in a 3000-pound, car traveling 200mph while it shoots and spins through the air?
That’s a question anyone who’s even seen NASCAR clips has asked themselves at least once, but most of us don’t have the opportunity to ask someone who’s been in the situation.
Insert Mike Tyson.
A few years back, Iron Mike had none other than Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his podcast Hotboxin’ w/ Mike Tyson and this exact question came up.
When asked what it feels like when your car takes off, Dale Jr. had quite an interesting take.
“I was never scared. I was always thinking in my mind ‘I’m never going to be able to explain this to somebody. I’m never going to be able to tell somebody what this is like.’
You feel the car, it’s so damn heavy, but it’s flying through the air and you cannot describe it. It’s the weirdest thing.”
Never scared? Never?
Those Intimidator genes must run strong in the Earnhardt blood because I can’t imagine for a single second, no matter how much safety equipment is installed, no matter what helmet I’m wearing, no matter anything, not being scared if a car I’m in goes airborne.
Hell, I get scared when passing a tractor trailer on the highway, no way I’m not feeling a damn thing while getting thrashed about in a racecar while spinning through space and time.
To be fair, Dale said going 130 is much more nerve-racking than going 200 on a racetrack:
“I get nervous driving on the highway going 130, whereas on a racetrack on a closed course, in a car that’s supposed to be as safe as can be, I’m not concerned.”
But that’s why he’s Dale Jr. and I’m just me…
Hell of a conversation between these two, highly suggest listening to the whole thing.