The Earnhardt name is synonymous with NASCAR as any other name in sports. Dale Earnhardt Jr. took after his dad the legendary Earnhardt Sr. in every sense of the word. With numerous championships and a two-decade career, Earnhardt Jr. is a force to be reckoned with in the NASCAR world. Earnhardt comes from a racing dynasty, his father being one of the most well-recognized drivers in the business.
Few drivers have managed to stack up the wins the way either Earnhardt has. Before Earnhardt Jr. retired, there were a lot of stories that he made over the years. We took a look at what NASCAR drivers had to say about Earnhardt throughout his legendary career.
20: Destroyed His First Car
Michael Waltrip is a respected NASCAR driver and TV personality who had the pleasure of racing alongside Earnhardt Sr. He shared a story about Earnhardt Jr. destroying his car in his first major race in USA Today. “Finally the last wreck, I had no fenders on my car, hood’s gone and we had a restart. And we just had a restart, and I’m back there [like], I’m gonna ride this out. I’m OK. And I come down in the corner, and I was underneath I think it was [Ryan] Blaney’s dad, [Dave], and he came down, and I hopped his tire with my car because I didn’t have any fenders. And I jumped him, and when it landed, I was at the fence. And it bent the steering wheel â I still have that steering wheel â it bent the steering wheel into the dash and just killed this car.
Every driver is going to have their ups and downs, and for a rookie, it can be hard. For Dale Earnhardt Jr, he had some huge shoes to fill already. Interestingly enough, it would appear Waltrip was a part of his life since day one. Waltrip and Earnhardt Sr. had their differences, but it would appear that they become close pals.