I live for a good Dale Earnhardt story…
And this one is good.
On an episode of his podcast Dale Jr. Download a couple years back, Dale Earnhardt Jr. had his friend Hank Parker Jr. on, who is a longtime childhood friend of Jr.’s and a former NASCAR driver himself. His dad, Hank Parker Sr., is a famous bass fishermen and was a good friend of Dale Sr.
Of course, they had tons of great stories to share about each other and some of their wild memories growing up, but the funniest one was about the time Jr. and his dad went on a hunting trip with Remington, which was a sponsor of the Earnhardt’s back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Jr. wasn’t much of a hunter, unlike his father, and he thought it would make the trip better if his friend Hank Jr. could tag along, too.
Hank Jr. was much more of a hunter than Dale Jr., and says that Dale Sr. (who he refers to as Big E), made the wise decision to separate them for most of the trip:
“The funniest thing that happened that day was, we went up there to go on a pheasant hunt. And Big E thought it would be appropriate, which was very wise, to separate us two.
We had been known for getting in trouble.”
And Jr. says he wasn’t happy about it, because he had been looking forward to spending time with his friend and dad together.
As it turns out, Jr. went off with some of the Remington guys, and Hank Jr. and Dale Sr. went in a different group together:
“I was so pissed off, ‘cuz we went to two different fields. ‘Cuz dad was like, ‘This is an appearance, you’re going on this hunt. Get your ass up and be ready.’
And I was like, ‘Hey can Hank go? It would be fun for me if Hank goes.’ I wasn’t into this shit. I don’t like to hunt. And I certainly wasn’t getting up in the morning and going hunting. And he’s like, ‘Yeah, he can go. That’ll be great.’
And we get there, and they’re like, ‘Alright, Hank, you’re going with them. Jr. you’re going with them.’ And I’m like, ‘Wait a minute!’ He got to go with dad. I wanted to hang out with dad and Hank Jr.
And their two asses are going to a different field. I gotta hang around these Remington guys.”
As the day went on, the two groups eventually met up again on a hill, but Hank Jr. and Dale Sr.’s group were at the top of it, while Dale Jr.’s group was closer to the bottom.
Of course, the #1 rule of hunting or doing any kind of shooting is that you never shoot anywhere near where people are standing, for obvious reasons, but like he mentioned already, Dale Jr. was not a hunter in any capacity.
Hank Jr. said for really no reason at all, while everyone’s standing around talking, a pheasant just up and takes off, flying not but 10 feet over Sr.’s head:
“So we get up on this hill, and we meet Dale Jr. and them. And Dale Jr.’s at the bottom of the hill, we’re kinda standing up the hill.
And the rule is, you don’t ever shoot around another person, I mean obviously, for safety reasons.
And this bird, we were sittin’ there talkin’, and this bird jumps up and he flies right in between us, Big E goes, ‘No!'”
Probably because he already knew exactly what his son was fixin’ to do…
Right about that time, Jr. pulls the trigger and smokes this pheasant directly above his dad’s head:
“And he gets about 10 feet over his head, Dale Jr. goes ‘Pow!’ and smokes it.
And all these feathers are coming down over Big E, he’s about to get mad, Dale Jr. goes, ‘Yes! I finally got one!’ I could not stop laughing, which got me in trouble.
But I didn’t even do anything wrong, I was just laughing! He’s out there celebrating.”
I can only imagine this whole scenario in my head, and luckily nobody got hurt, but it’s freaking hilarious.
Just the thought of all these feathers falling on Sr. as you know he’s about to rip his son a new one six different ways to Sunday for doing something so amateur, but he’s so excited about it, and has no clue he did anything wrong… classic.
And Jr. agreed, laughing while he admits it’s pretty damn funny to look back on now:
“The idea of the feathers falling around dad as he’s turning beat red in anger…”
The full episode is hysterically called Let The Feather’s Fly, and there are a few clips of it on Youtube, but you can find the whole thing with this story wherever you listen to podcasts.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Reveals The Most Important Father/Son Moment Of His Life
I’ve always been a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr., even though I only started getting into NASCAR in the past few years.
He’s just a likeable guy that’s engaging, entertaining and pretty open about a lot of areas of his life, both on and off the track. And he’s especially candid when it comes to the complicated relationship he had with his father.
Dale Jr. stopped by fellow driver Danica Patrick’s Pretty Intense podcast a while back, and while they talked a bunch of topics across the spectrum, they inevitably dove into growing up with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. as a father.
Danica called it one of the “most open hearted honest interviews” she has done:
“This was truly one of the most open hearted honest interviews I have done. Dale Jr. told so many great stories about his personality, his goals, who his dad was, and what makes him happy.
The funny thing that happens when you work with (and for) someone as I did with Dale, is you don’t get this deep. You just deal with the current day to day issues or topics.
So, this was really fun and interesting! So glad we did this Dale.”
He also shared a story regarding a touching article he wrote about his father for the racing magazine Winston Cup Scene.
It was a heartfelt essay detailing how he felt about his father, but he had to check it over with Dale Sr. first:
“So I asked him if I could see him for a second. He’s up in his office at DEI. I go up there with that piece of paper, and I said, ‘Hey, I got this thing I wrote, and it’s about you. I want to put it in the Winston Cup Scene in a couple weeks, and I just need to make sure you’re ok with it.’
He takes it, and he reads it, and he stands up, and he starts walking around reading it… and he says, ‘You know, we never tell each other how we feel about each other, but in reading this, I know exactly how you feel.’
And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘Man, that’s exactly how I feel about you, and I didn’t know you didn’t know that, you know, that I thought you were this great, amazing thing.
And he was like, ‘I’m so glad you did this. I’m so glad you shared this with me.’ He doesn’t talk this way.”
And at that point, Danica admitted that she was choking up at Dale’s story which he later called the “most important moment” in his life with his dad.
“I think had that not happened, had I not had that written… that moment is the most important moment in my life with my dad, without a doubt.
We had won races together and stood in Victory Lane together, but to know that he knew how I felt about him is really important because knowing that he would pass away many months later.”
Man, grab the Kleenex… this one went DEEP.
Dale has also discussed his relationship with his dad on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Dale Jr. and Danica also discussed the time they appeared in Jay Z music video together way back in 2006.
Makes me feel old as shit…