He’s also a North Carolina native like Dale Sr., and they were friends long before either one of them had any sort of notoriety or success in racing.
And aside from telling Jr. about how his dad used to throw lug nuts at people’s windshields on the road, things actually somehow got crazier.
Tony started out by telling a story about a race way back in the day, when the pair of friends were both desperate to win first or second place at every race, so they would win money, and be able to make it to the next week and try again.
Needless to say, Dale Sr. was giving all he had every week, and of course, rubbed quite a few people the wrong way, both literally and figuratively, I guess.
In fact, he almost started a riot at Metrolina speedway on a perfectly sunny day, where Tony, his crew chief at the time, notes there was not 1% chance of rain in the forecast or a cloud in the sky.
As luck (if that’s what you wanna call it) would have it, the bottom fell out right after Dale bumped the fan-favorite Dickie Anderson out of the race and moved up to second place.
They had to red-flag the race and stop because of the bad weather, and fans were pissed… he didn’t have the best reputation back then, to say the least. Fans started running onto the track and trying to find Dale Sr. to do who knows what to him because they were so mad.
It was clearly a very different time, too…
Tony said Dale Sr. of course took off runnin’:
“Your dad gets out the car, comes running over to us, he’s driving my ’73 Torino that I gave him, he’s got no license…”
This man, who became the greatest NASCAR driver of all time, had been out driving all over creation without an actual, legal driver’s license… insane doesn’t even feel like the right word here, but it’s the first one that comes to mind.
A shocked Dale Jr. responds:
“He ain’t got no license?”
And Tony told him:
“Oh no, your dad didn’t have no license for a long time!”
Jr. of course wants to know why, and though Tony’s hesitant to say, eventually admits:
“I would say he had a couple DUI’s…
He didn’t have no license, hell, til about 31 years old, probably.”
At this point, Dale Jr. and co-host Mike Davis are in shock, and Mike has the same reaction I did:
“What the hell? Good heavens!”
And as it turns out, because of what Mike refers to as an act of God with the rain, the race is red-flagged and called with Sr. in second place, so he actually takes home the second place money.
Can you even believe it? Just when you think you’ve heard everything with him…
Some stories are just too good, and too unbelievable, to make up, though.
What a life Dale Earnhardt Sr. lived, and it’s so cool that his friends are still around to tell the tales that shaped his legendary, outlaw career, and that Jr. has them on his podcast to share with the world.
Make sure watch the whole story below, because the story really ends with Dale Sr. jumping a barbed wire fence within an inch of his life while a mob of fans are trying to catch him…
Top 10 Moments From Dale Earnhardt’s Legendary NASCAR Career
A couple years ago, ESPN is aired an incredible new documentary on the 20th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s death titled, Intimidator: The Lasting Legacy of Dale Earnhardt… it’s well worth the watch.
However, a year before that, NASCAR put together a fantastic compilation video titled, Top 10 Dale Earnhardt Moments in NASCAR.
“From winning the 1998 Daytona 500 to banging fenders with Terry Labonte at Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR.com has assembled some of the best moments from Dale Earnhardt’s Hall of Fame career in this top 10 NASCAR Countdown.”
Go back in time and relive the greatness.
Raise hell, praise Dale.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Reads Powerful Note To Ken Schrader
If you’re a NASCAR fan, you can probably still remember everything about the day that Dale Earnhardt died on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
I know I can… I was 12 years old, and I still remember thinking “Oh, he’s going to be fine, I’ve seen wrecks that look a lot worse.” And then I remember my shock when I heard the news a couple hours later: “We’ve lost Dale Earnhardt.”
But there’s nobody else in the world who has the memories of that day that Ken Schrader does. Ken was involved in the wreck that took Dale’s life, and he was the first person to run to Dale’s car after the crash. You’ve probably seen the video of Ken looking into the car and then frantically waving to the medical crews. He knew it was bad as soon as he looked inside.
Exactly what did he see, though?
We’ll never know – because Ken has refused to talk about it, even after 20 years. And on his Dale Jr. Download podcast, Dale Jr. got the chance to tell Ken just how much that means to him:
“I’ve known you a long time and a lot of time his passed since that happened. And you’ve been a great friend to me.
You’re one of only a few to see the darkest moment for my dad. Though you have intimate knowledge of those moments, you are a keeper of that delicate information.
It makes me feel close to you, Kenny. I feel pain for you to have to carry that memory, but you carry it for me, you carry it for Kelley, dad’s family, you carry it for anyone who’s ever cheered for him.
It’s a secret that you’ll keep ’til your last breath.
Kenny, I know you might sometimes wish you weren’t the one, but I’m glad it was you.”
It’s clear from hearing Dale Jr. talk to Ken about something so personal that the two share a special bond over the tragic loss of Dale Sr.
And it was a special moment on the podcast for Dale Jr. to tell Ken just how much that bond means to him.
"I feel pain for you to have to carry that memory, but you carry it for me… you carry it for anyone who's ever cheered for him."