Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Long Awaited Emergence

Dale Earnhardt is all atwitter. (HHP/Alan Marler photo for Chevrolet)

Dale Earnhardt is all atwitter. (HHP/Alan Marler photo for Chevrolet)

Gotta go...to an indie bookstore!

Clinton, S.C., Monday, February 24, 2014, 10:03 a.m.

The first time I saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. drive a race car was at Martinsville Speedway sometime around 1993 or ’94. He was driving a Late Model and appeared to be nothing special. My impression at the time was that his sister Kelley was the better driver.

Then, of course, he emerged, and of all the questions I asked and answers I received, the one that sticks came from Mark Martin, who said the most impressive aspect of Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t how young he was but how little he had raced. Earnhardt Jr. didn’t start out racing go-karts when he was five. He was well into his teens before he ever gave it a try, and Martin was impressed that he had honed his skills in a relatively short time.

And now, going on 20 years later, that’s right, sports fans, *Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on Twitter.

This, obviously, is the one item he lacked. Already he’s mastered the art of the “selfie,” and now, working his way through the serpentine undulations of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase format is a mere formality.

Ah-hah, Jimmie Johnson, you’ve been had! Junior is on Twitter! Egads!

With Junior on Twitter, all bets are off. (HHP/Harold Hinson photo for Chevrolet)

With Junior on Twitter, all bets are off. (HHP/Harold Hinson photo for Chevrolet)

Neither rain nor wind nor a squadron of JGR Toyotas can dissuade the Second Coming of Dale from his appointed rounds, particularly the most recent 200.

“It’s not a weight when you’re able to deliver,” Earnhardt said. “It’s a weight when you’re not able to deliver. When people say you’re the face of the sport, you’re running fifth or 10th every week, it’s very challenging because you want to deliver and you’re not delivering.”

Incredibly, he wasn’t referring to Twitter, at least not in so many words.

The beard? That was so 2012, man. (John Clark photo)

The beard? That was so 2012, man. (John Clark photo)

All kidding aside – Jeff Gluck: Who’s kidding? – Earnhardt devoted an astonishing amount of a media conference Sunday night to talking about NASCAR. He actually mentioned such items as cars, tires and engines. It was very educational.

Each year, NASCAR holds a breakfast to honor its great social-media performers, and it’s not unusual for the winner of the Daytona 500 to be mentioned, too. On Monday morning, the fans were afforded a rare luxury. Why, sure, Earnhardt had won the Daytona 500 before, but he’d never been on Twitter, so it was special.

If that rascal starts fooling around with Snapchat, all bets are off.

What? He already does? My God. It’s over. Now it’s really over.

*Also won the Daytona 500 Sunday.

[cb_profit_poster Beer1]

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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3 Responses to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Long Awaited Emergence

  1. Carol Dahlberg says:

    My cheekbones are still aching from smiling and laughing at and with Dale, Jr. I love when he wins and laughs just after he crosses the s/f line. His laughter is so genuine and so joyful!

    AND he is on twitter sending out one of his selfies! I am betting he won’t be on long because he doesn’t have the ability or desire to put down the haters as deftly as Jimmie Johnson does. If he lets Mike Davis do those responses, we could all have some good laughs at the expense of the foolish dolts.

    What a day and what a race! Passing all over the place, drivers with the skill using the draft and side draft. ..ok, I wish Dale hadn’t used the side draft to beat JG, but payback will be fun to see.

  2. tommyhubcap1946 says:

    My wife and I actually watched the race in real time (vs delay via DVR) with the laptop tuned into the NASCAR leader board. Jeff Gluck and Jenna Fryer on Twitter provided updates from the track. In spite of DW’s blathering, we enjoyed the race and especially enjoyed Junior’s joy in winning the Big One. Monte, I don’t always agree with your comments but find that they are well presented and glad that your “take care of your Mom”. Sorry that you no longer have your old reporting job but are happy that you have the freedom to share your views with regular readers of your blog! Keep it up and good luck with your new book!

  3. Monte says:

    Thanks for the kind words. I’d think less of you if you agreed with me all the time.

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