He was a fascinating guest, and told some pretty insane tales about Sr. that are almost impossible to believe, though they are very true stories.
And the most mind-blowing of all is that The Intimidator, a racing legend who is the best to ever do it in terms of getting behind the wheel of a race car, didn’t have a real driver’s license until after he was 30 years old.
Furr told Dale and co-host Mike Davis that not only was he driving around without a license until he was 31, he would throw lug-nuts at people’s cars on the highway, and even hit parked cars on the street, pretty much driving like a crazy person:
“Dale Earnhardt ran around without a driver’s license… probably had a couple of DUI’s, whatever, Tony wasn’t sure.
But he’d lost his license, and I knew by listening to Tony Sr., and my Uncle Robert G that dad was wide ass open on the highways, you know. Speeding, breaking laws, doing whatever. So it’s no surprise to me, I guess, that he ran afoul and got himself in a little bit of trouble and lost his license.
But the fact that he might’ve been running around for years without one, and no care in the world still driving up and down the road, pretty crazy. Brazen, very brazen.”
Yeah, that’s an understatement.
It’s wild enough to think of someone doing that with a driver’s license, so knowing that he didn’t even have one, and seemingly never got caught or got in trouble for those things is mind-blowing, honestly.
And of course, this was back in the late 70’s during a vert different time, before Sr.’s career in the Cup Series took off, and he was doing quite literally whatever he could to make it.
Dale Jr. also talked about how his dad would quit jobs when it conflicted with his race schedule before he was competing full-time, and in between paychecks, they would eat “scraps,” and have to go without in terms of electricity, water and other household necessities:
“He would quit his job to go race, and everything else had to suffer. Bills, the family, Christmas, whatever, right?
And he knew what he needed to make to race, or to get to the racetrack and buy the tires he needed, and he’s running around to… anyone who would give him something for nothing.”
They also noted that Sr. would break into junkyards and take things he needed for his cars if he couldn’t come up with money for it, to which Jr. seemed to be in awe over, doubling down on his dad’s “brazen” attitude:
“Just brazen, so brazen. I can’t believe how brazen he was. Like Tony said, he was fearless.”
There’s a reason he became the iconic American legend he’s known as today. The man was a true one of a kind in every sense of the term.
That’s not to say he always did the right thing, obviously, and I’m sure he probably regretted some of those things as time went on, but there’s no doubt that he sacrificed everything to achieve the success that he did.
And I can certainly respect the hell out of that.
They also react to some of the other wild stories they heard about a young Dale Earnhardt on the podcast this year, and it really is a fascinating listen.