Anytime you see the words “pants on fire,” you assume that it’s the second half of the popular child saying “liar liar.”
However, a pair of pants being on fire was unfortunately the truth for NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr, and it could not have come at a worse time.
Dale was leading an XFINITY series race last week when 47 laps in, his car caught fire, and the flames started to come in through the floorboard.
Earnhardt Jr, who hasn’t raced regularly since he started his NASCAR analyst position, was forced to bring the car into pit lane.
We all got to learn more about the situation that unfortunately pulled him out of the race when Dale Jr. visited the Today Show this morning. He was there to promote his new children’s book called Buster Gets Back on Track, which actually honors his late father, whose childhood nickname was Buster.
Before they really got into the book, the Today Show crew had to ask about the car fire during the race. Earnhardt Jr. was clearly in good spirits about it, though you could tell he was still a touch upset that his car gave out on him:
“We were running good. We led about 47 laps and was running much better than I expected, so it was hard to pull off the race track.
But I felt the pinch of the fire, it was inside the car. We had a little electrical issue that created a fire in the car and the floorboard of the car.
I was hoping it might go out, but it started to get a little bit painful.”
The video team then pulled up an image of his suit, which showed the lower leg that was partially charred from the fire. There’s no telling how bad that must have hurt, though Dale Jr. downplayed the situation and said:
“It ended up burning the fire suit so we’ll have to get a new suit.”
The show’s hosts then talk about how good it was to see him racing, and asked if his good performance in the XFINITY Series could mean that he gets back out there and races more often.
Earnhardt Jr. somewhat shut that idea down, though he did confirm that he would get back out there every now and then, and gave his reasoning behind it:
“I run one race a year. As an analyst, I want to be reminded by all of the things that a driver goes through, thinks about, the smells, the sounds, just what it’s like being inside the car and being in competition.
I think that really helps me. Obviously, I’m selfish and I’m spoiled a little bit and I don’t want to quit racing, but doing one a year is very helpful for me in the booth as well.”
It’s always good to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. out there doing his thing, but he’s also pretty damn good in the booth, so as long as we are seeing him do something on our televisions, I’m sure we’ll all be okay.