“That Saved My Bu-t” – Dale Earnhardt Jr on How He Avoided Getting Fired in NASCAR

Published 01/02/2022, 10:00 PM EST
TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 25: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, reacts on pit road after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 25, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)


Dale Earnhardt Jr is part of a NASCAR racing dynasty. He is the son of the legendary Dale Earnhardt and a fair number of Earnhardts have either raced or are still racing. Unfortunately, Dale Jr has not enjoyed as much success as his father has. Recently, the Hall of Famer opened up about some of the toughest moments in his NASCAR Cup career.

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He said, “There was a stretch when things were going pretty bad with my job with Rick Hendrick. There were days when you just looked around and you knew you didn’t have that same confidence as the guy next to you. My fan base and the support I had from those fans is the reason why I wasn’t let go. Being that most popular driver, that saved my bu-t a few times in my career. I was able to turn it around and get back to victory lane and all that.”

What else did Dale Earnhardt Jr say?

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Of course, a large part of his popularity came from being the son of Dale Earnhardt. Admittedly, a fair number of critics have wondered whether he truly deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. Dale Jr is a 15-time Most Popular Driver Award winner. However, he does not have any titles, and only 26 wins to his name.

FORT WORTH, TX – NOVEMBER 03: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide/Justice League Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 3, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

Of course, there would be people who think that he merely got by on his famous father’s name. This would have dealt a bit of pressure on the driver during his career. However, Dale Earnhardt Jr still had his legion of fans who were loyal to the Jr Nation. He once acknowledged that he felt guilty about considering the pressure a bad thing.

This was because everything was made better because of the support from the fans. It was also because of them that he was somehow able to keep his seat during rough patches.

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Dhruv George

12555 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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