“Not a Terrible Thing” – Dale Earnhardt Jr Defends His Stance on Ryan Blaney After Backlash From NASCAR Community

Published 11/08/2023, 7:53 PM EST

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Dale Earnhardt Jr, a voice many turn to for NASCAR insights, defends Blaney’s on-track actions and his own comments on those actions behind the wheel. In his podcast, Earnhardt Jr shared his perspective on the fiery demeanor of Ryan Blaney, stating that it’s not a negative attribute but rather a source of entertainment for fans and even for broadcasters like himself.

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As the Championship Race at Phoenix Speedway entered its final stages, the excitement and tension were at their peak. Ryan Blaney, who had been performing exceptionally well in the latter half of the postseason and was a strong contender for the championship, found himself in a high-stakes battle with Ross Chastain. With only 56 laps to go, Blaney was eager to overtake Chastain and secure the lead. However, this would prove to be no easy task.

Dale Earnhardt Jr defends his stance on calling Ryan Blaney a ‘short fuse’

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Chastain, who was not in contention for the championship, was determined to maintain his position at the front of the pack. Blaney’s #12 Ford Mustang was in hot pursuit of the #1 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. After multiple failed attempts to pass Chastain, Blaney’s frustration boiled over, leading to a moment of unforgettable drama. He raised his middle finger to Ross Chastain.

While the Blaney-Chastain incident was the center of attention, it’s crucial to note the context of the championship race. Blaney was fighting not only Chastain but also the other contenders in Championship 4. With Kyle Larson in third and William Byron in fourth, the championship was hanging in the balance. Blaney had the daunting task of passing Chastain while keeping Larson at bay, all while racing for a championship title. It was a high-pressure situation that pushed Blaney’s emotions to the limit.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr spoke about Blaney’s gesture on his podcast recently. Earnhardt Jr referred to Blaney as having a “short fuse” behind the steering wheel. A term he has used in the past to describe the driver. He shared, One of the things that was so fun. Let’s go over the Blaney hand gestures, alright? So my man, Blaney, is easily annoyed behind the steering wheel. Man, I’ve said this on the broadcast a couple of times. Specifically, using the word short-fuse, Blaney’s got a short-fuse.

The former NASCAR driver acknowledged that when he used the term “short fuse” to describe Blaney. He often faces backlash from Blaney’s passionate fan base. He recalled, And as soon as I say it, Man and I go on Twitter, and all of the Blaney fans will be like, Why does Dale say he has a short fuse? That is not true. And man, they go to his defense. Am I wrong?

Mike Davis, co-host of Earnhardt Jr’s podcast and a close friend of the NASCAR legend, chimed in to support Earnhardt Jr’s perspective. He emphasized that having a short fuse in race cars is not uncommon and should not be viewed as a degrading attribute. Davis said, “No, I think that goes back even years like, you and him have even had little issues with him while you were still racing, his rookie year. No, that’s not a problem. People act like that’s a degrading thing to say. No, short fuses in race cars are not uncommon.”

Earnhardt Jr revealed that he doesn’t just tolerate Blaney’s hand gestures and occasional cursing. He actually enjoys them. From his standpoint, it adds an element of entertainment to the broadcasts. He stated, “And not a terrible thing to have.”

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There’s a deeper and more personal angle to Ryan Blaney’s racing journey. Despite a rough start to the playoffs, the belief in the #12 team remained strong, thanks to unwavering support from family and friends, including Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Blaney hints at his biggest supporter after his maiden Cup Series Title

In an interview with LiveKennyAndMark, the Team Penske driver reflected on his racing heritage and the profound influence of his family. He comes from a long line of racers, with his grandfather being a dirt racer for decades. His father, too, transitioned from dirt racing to NASCAR in the early 2000s.

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“I just grew up wanting to be like Dad and I was really lucky to have a shot to do what he did and to race. And you know, to look back on that stuff, my childhood, and being around the racetracks,” said the newly crowned champion, reflecting on his racing roots and family influence.

Blaney’s father’s support throughout his playoff journey was evident, but there was another significant figure in his life that played a pivotal role in his path to glory: his mother. He credited her with making tremendous sacrifices during his childhood to support his racing aspirations. “I think my mom’s the biggest MVP though. I mean how much she sacrificed when I was a kid,” Blaney acknowledged.

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So, do you agree with Dale Jr on Blaney being a short fuse on the track? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh

710Articles

One take at a time

I come from a family that lives and breathes football, but I never quite fit that mold. Ever since I was a kid, something about motorsport drew me in and helped me develop a lifelong love for racing. The sight of stock cars zipping past close to 200 miles an hour bumper to bumper just makes you appreciate the sport in a different way.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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