Dale Earnhardt Jr Reveals the Time His “Head Exploded” at Former NASCAR Team Hendrick Motorsports

Published 04/30/2022, 11:55 AM EDT
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – AUGUST 30: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #8 Hellmann’s Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway on August 30, 2019 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

In NASCAR, the numbers are slanting backward for every car. However, Dale Jr. and his father preferred to have their numbers slant forwards. This was a unique thing, and Dale Earnhardt Jr spoke about the positions of his car’s racing number. As per his justification, it was a personal preference, and it was part of the Earnhardt brand.

He declared that brand continuity is extremely important for an athlete. In fact, JR Motorsports has adopted that strategy with the racing number. According to him, the number orientation will be the same, no matter which side of the car it is. He noted that Hendrick Motorsports likes to slant the number backward, but not him individually.

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Dale Jr. recalled an incident where his wishes were not fulfilled. He said, “I remember…I walked into the shop, and it’s like January. My numbers were leaning backwards. My head exploded! Forgive me, I’m going to be a bit of a diva here, but I was like, ‘Who in the hell leaned my freaking numbers?”

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about 1 month ago

“I’m going to find out about it, walking into the shop and it’s on the car? I figured out who it was. It was Marshall Carson. He’s kind of the general manager and I’m like, ‘Marshall’s a good guy, we got a great relationship’. How in the hell did this happen?”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. revealed why his father liked the number that way

Speaking about his late father, Dale Jr. revealed why his father wanted the number like that. According to Dale Sr, when a person runs, they do not lean backward and run. Instead, they run while leaning forward and it looks faster. It is only natural for the head to lean forward when running somewhere and heading towards someplace. As a result, the number should also mimic that action.

AVONDALE, AZ – JANUARY 31: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. addresses the media during NASCAR testing at Phoenix International Raceway on January 31, 2017 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

The former NASCAR driver agreed with his father, saying that the number leaning back looked strange to him. In the end, it was just a personal preference. Of course, he acknowledged that with certain types of graphics and car liveries, the forward-leaning number would be odd. However, if his father wanted the number leaning forward, Dale Jr. was not going to argue.

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WATCH STORY: “A Life Dedicated to Building Our Sport” – From Jimmie Johnson to Chase Elliott, NASCAR Community Pays Tribute to Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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Dhruv George

12956 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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