A Buzzed Dale Earnhardt Jr Needed His 11-Year-Old Fact Checker to Fill in the Gaps as He Dissects the Lernerville Speedway Action

Published 09/29/2023, 5:31 PM EDT

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In 1975, a 24-year-old driver made his racing debut at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. With legendary genes in his blood, his 17-year-old son was ready to race in North Carolina’s Motorsport Park in 1991. As the next generation stepped on the tracks, a 10-year-old kid was already winning micro-sprint races in 2022. This was the astounding legacy of the Intimidator, now carried by his 11-year-old grandson Wyatt Miller.

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His son and Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr cherishes the enthusiasm and passion inherited by this budding racer. Dale Jr‘s recent podcast showcased young Miller’s drive and sheer devotion to the sport as they recounted their trip to the Lernerville Speedway.

The newest generation of Earnhardt racers might be the most fact-savvy of them all

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After his roller-coaster race in Bristol and his broadcasting commitments, Junior desired a day where he could just be a spectator. And he found the perfect race with Cup driver Kyle Larson’s High Limits Sprint Car Series. Larson, the 2021 Cup winner, was set to participate with co-founder and four-time World of Outlaws champion, Brad Sweet. Junior and his nephew Wyatt were excited about the prospect of watching those stalwarts compete. Unfortunately, neither of them won the race.

In the Dale Jr Download, the 2x Xfinity champion expressed his disappointment at the outcome of the race. Charmingly, whenever he paused for details, his young guest jumped in with unbridled excitement. Junior recalled, “We watched a lot of race and that was great. Thought that Kyle Larson was going to win. He bicycled and went over the edge…Thought Brad is going to win it, he got into a little bit of trouble. And who ended up winning the race?” 

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At his question, Miller immediately chimed in with, “David Gravel!” Dale Jr confirmed, “David Gravel, driving #2”. But the tables turned soon after.

Although Sweet finished third, he won the pole for the track with a record-setting qualifying speed. Dale Jr raved about the opportunity of having witnessed it in front of their eyes. He said,

“One of the other cool things that I thought was lucky and fortunate for us to see was the track record get broken. 21-year old track record was broken by Brad Sweet.” 

At this point, the racer-in-making confidently asserted, “Brad Sweet had the track record.” This befuddled the veteran driver. He questioned, “Really? I don’t think he’s been running for 21 years. Anyhow, I believe they said it was a 21-year-old record.” But with Dale Sr’s blood in his veins, his grandson wasn’t going to back down.

Miller reaffirmed his stance and said, “No, the last record was in 2017 and it was Brad and then Brad set it again.” With older ears and a beer in his belly, Junior readily accepted the possibility of an error. He admitted, “I had just drank one of those Iron Sea beers. I had one of those the night and maybe I misheard that statistic”. He jovially exclaimed, “See? You need a fact-checker in this studio at all times!”

As per FloRacing, the last track record was set by Daryn Pittman in 2022. Nevertheless, the Thriller Miller gets brownie points for his ardent racing fervor. As his team got busy verifying his claim, Dale Earnhardt Jr revealed the best part of the entire event for him.

Watch this story: Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Dilemma: Losing a Prized Pupil to Spire Motorsports

Dale Earnhardt Jr bestows racing wisdom upon his family’s future

Dale Earnhardt Jr drove in his rookie Cup season in 2000 when his father set an unbelievable record on the Talladega Superspeedway. He watched his father race past him from the rearview mirror. Dale Sr marked his 10th victory while Junior quietly finished 14th. A year after his tragic demise, Dale Jr announced his own dominance at the same track. Although he could not match his number, he tied for a close second with wins. And he added his unique flourish with a remarkable record of his own.

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Between 2001 and 2003, Junior registered four consecutive wins on the superspeedway in honor of his legendary father. Perhaps, that legacy swam before his eyes when he talked about Brad Sweet’s achievement. He said, “My favorite part was watching when the track was at its peak and speed. And Brad went down there to qualify and put down an incredible lap. Just how fast that car went into turn 1 and changed directions, it seemed to defy physics.

And the level of bravery and commitment to drive a car like that, at that limit, it’s very very rare. Only a few people on this Earth can do what he can do. So that’s pretty incredible.” Perhaps remembering the legend he grew up with, who possessed that rare courage, he spoke to his grandson, “Wyatt will one day do that.”

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To the millions of fans who grieved for that braveheart and the millions more who proudly watched his son, Wyatt Miller made a resolution. The future of Dale Earnhardt’s lineage said, “I will one day do that.

The Intimidator’s NASCAR Legacy in Safe Hands as “The Thriller” Earnhardt Rises Up to Take the Baton From Dale Earnhardt Jr

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Written by:

Parika Singh

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Parika Singh is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. Her combined love for writing and motorsports drew her to the world of sports journalism, where she fell in love with the thrill, unpredictability, and charisma of covering racers and race tracks. She especially looks out for the #5 Chevrolet of Kyle 'Wheelman' Larson, because of whom, she holds a soft spot for the 2021 season where he emerged as champion.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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