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Race 2 Win's Q&A with Little E
Part One

Jan 2000 - 2000 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year candidate and 1998-99 Busch Grand National Champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. took time out of his busy schedule to hold an exclusive four-part question and answer session with the readers of Race 2 Win.

 

Hi Dale.... I am sure that your Dad is tops in the role model and influence department, but I would like to know if there is another driver or drivers in the Winston Cup Circuit that has played a role in your racing career? Also, whom do you admire of the drivers that you will be out there racing with?
Kelly Marlow
Holland MI

That's a tough one. I really can't name just one. It would be easier to name the ones I don't ! Just kiddin.'

 

Hey Dale.... I was wondering if you and Steve Park have had any experience working together either on the track or in the garage? I would also like to ask where you foresee Park's success in the 2000 season as opposed to yours? Thanks.
Swamp Fox
Lexington, SC

Steve and I rarely see one another. When we happen to get that chance, I'm pretty quick to pick his brain for information that will help me. He has been a good person in helping me develop. I believe he has lots yet to show us on the race track.

 

What's the hardest thing about being Dale Sr's. son?
David Czarsty
Waterbury, Conn

One of the hardest things about that is understanding people's motives. I have a hard time trusting anyone around me sometimes. I may be too careful to keep someone from taking advantage of me and my surroundings.

 

Dale, do you think the media and the racing (NASCAR) community is going to put more pressure on you than needed in your rookie season like breaking rookie records? How will you handle it? Good Luck !!
Ray Parkhurst
Claremont, NH

I can say that the media has already taken some of the pressure off. I have read in many comments that Matt Kenseth is the favorite to win "Rookie of the Year" next season. I feel like the expectations are now lower for me and perhaps higher for him. As far as NASCAR goes, they have a good idea of what each driver is going through. They know what to do to help a driver cope with pressure or whatever seems to be the trouble.

 

Having Dale Earnhardt as a father, what has been the biggest advantage for you and the biggest problem as you've made your way through BUSCH and now on to the Cup Series?
Rocky Phillips
Berrydale, FL

I had no problem adjusting to the Busch Series. None. It fit me perfectly as a person and a driver. Moving into the Cup Series is where I believe the microscope will come out. We will have to just wait and see.

 

In our house, you and your dad are # 1..we love to see you two race. What does it feel like to race with your dad and when he passes you and/or you pass him on the racetrack, is it as exciting to you as it is to us? Thanks so much and keep on racing just like your dad. We love ya both!
Patricia Scheibe
Shreve, Ohio

Thanks! It has to be one of the largest feelings of relief. Being able to compete with Dad was one thing, but passing him, that's the best !! I had no idea it was gonna mean so much to me.

 

Two questions for you. I've always wanted to know, do you drive the speed limit 55 when you're not racing? Also, when are you and your Dad going to be in Illinois again?
Pam Policz
Rices Landing, Pa

I have been taught many lessons on the nation's highways! I received four tickets before the age of 18. In the past seven years, I've obeyed the law to the best of my ability. Oh, how am I tempted though !!! As for Illinois, no telling this early.

 

Instead of calling you "Little E," what do you think of Chip Earnhardt? You're very much like your father, therefore "A Chip Off the Old Block." Best of luck to the Earnhardt's in the year 2000.
Dixie Hendershott
Jonesboro

That's interesting.... Little E is pretty cool though. Most call me Jr. I'm most comfortable with that one.

 

You obviously are as fast as any Winston Cup regular on any given day. You have your dad's offtrack guidance and support. With all that you'll still need a fair amount of luck to win a WC race. Do you have the crew and the overall team to make that luck go your way?
Stuart Dickman
Los Angeles, Ca

Sure we do !! Every ingredient is there, but remember, there are over thirty other teams in the same situation.

 

Do you let Daddy play with your NASCAR3 game on your computer?
William Beggs
Kitchener, Ont CANADA

My father will not go near it! I think he'd like it if he'd give it a chance.

 

Can you have a season like Tony (Stewart) had? Or are you going to take it easy? And who's your favorite driver? Peace and love from stugis/michigan. Happy New Year. And Happy New Year to your dad too.
Robbie R. Robinson
Sturgis, Michigan

Thanks. Can't name just one favorite driver. Tony had a great season no doubt. I am not sure that we can have that same type of year. I have low expectations, just to be on the safe side. A win or two will be good, but they are not mandatory for me to be satisfied.

 

Now that you are driving full-time for Budweiser, what changes, if any, are being made to the 2000 Monte Carlo design and layout?
Richard Kobemat
Stillwater, Minnesota

The car that we have sure looks different from anything I ever saw. I think the Chevy fans are going to be pretty surprised.

 

You are doing a fantastic job so far. I was wondering if Kerry and Kelly Earnhardt are your half brother and sister, or do you all have the same mother? You do not look like them, but of course, you look like your dad, all of you. Thank you.
B. Crouch
Salinas, CA

Kerry is from Dad's first marriage. Kelley and I came along during the second marriage. Teresa, Dad's wife of 18 years, gave birth to Taylor.

 

How do you handle the fans, when you're sitting in the pizza shop trying to eat?
Al Dressler
Harrisburg, Pa

I can't recall that ever happening before. I guess I would continue eating until the fan or fans had a request of some sort. I don't let too much get in the way of me and my pizza though!

 

Hey Dale. I was in Jamaica for the NASCAR Beach Bash at Sandals Negril. What do you think about the beach bash that Air Jamaica put on for the fans, drivers, and crew chiefs? Do you think more drivers should be involved with this and will you ever do this type thing again? Thanks, a member of Dale Jr's Fan Club.
Janine Smith
Hodge, LA

It was fun!!!!! I think that I will be back. If the other driver's knew what they were missing, I believe they would make the trip too.

 

Will you take over the number 3 car when your Dad retires? And how long did it take you to reach the NASCAR circuit (how many years)?
Major
Elkhart, IN

I will keep the number 8 for as long as I can. It has been in the family for a while. I have been racing for 8 years now. I am very fortunate to be at the level I'm at already.

 

Hey Dale, congrats on a great BGN season. Here's my question: Is there anything about a Cup car that you've noticed that you wasn't expecting? (I.E., horsepower? speed? handling?)
Jeff Kent
Paducah, KY

Thanks. Not really any surprises. Some adjustments were made and I got comfortable pretty quickly.

 

What goals have you set for your first season in Winston Cup, and how do you deal with the pressure of being Little E? Thank you and good luck on the Rookie of the Year.
John Penny
Thomasville, NC

I want to finish in the top 10 in points and win at least one race. Overall, I would like to have about 20 top tens next year.

 

I hope u had a wonderful Christmas....What did u get for Christmas??
Winter, TN

I received a digital camera from Dad, that was really neat. He doesn't think much of modern technology, so I was surprised. Plus I got a lot of other neat little things.

 

Dale, you've had some advice and guidance on your racing career from you Dad. If you are ever in the position to advise or help your child (future) in their racing endeavors, what would you do? Thanks for the many great laps of racing you've provided the fans! I wish you (us) many more!
Raceboy
Seabrook, Texas

Thank you. What my Dad mostly did was let me and the others make up our own minds. I believe the choices he made were the right ones for us. I would make sure my judgment was close to his.

 

Hey Dale..Your love for music is obvious..what types of stereo equipment do you have in your home or vehicles??? Would love to hear some details on that.. thanks.. and good luck in 2000.
Lynda
Tonawanda, New York

The best !!! I get the stereo's with the most output. Loud is how it's gotta be! Brand names are important, but I'm not loyal to only one company.

 

What bands do you listen to?
Chad Sowers
Pelzer, SC

Third Eye Blind has been a good choice of mine. Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Dr. Dre, Guano Apes, Foo Fighters...... and the list goes on.

 

We all know that you are a big computer fan. Do you ever look at pages about your father?
Tim Snyder - Webmaster, Total Intimidation
Halifax, PA

I used to look for Dad's stuff, but then Jr. things were popping up here and there, so I started looking at that. I couldn't resist checkin' it out!

 

Does all your family get together at Christmas, if so, where and what do you buy your Dad???? Sandra Sandy
West Burlington, Iowa

I get Dad a bunch of ties mostly every year. I gotta keep him in the latest fashion. We spend the holidays at our grandmother's. It is the only time of the year for Dad to get together with the whole family.

 

Your team and crew were the best during your 2 championship seasons in the Busch Series. How much of that team will go to your Cup team? Or will they stay in Busch working for Ron Hornaday?
Tom
NYC

Thanks! All but two guys are moving up with us. My jackman, Kevin Pennel, and shock specialist, John Quinn, will stay behind to aid Ron in his quest for a Busch title.

 

How much information does your Dad give you on how to drive all the different tracks that you drive on?
Doug Elbers
Fairmont, MN

Not much advice. Only if I seek it out. Dad rarely comes to me ready to give advice. Most of the time you gotta pry it away from him!!

 

When you go to the mall, where do you shop??
Heather
Chapel Hill, NC

Music and computer software... gotta go to them first. Then it's on to pants. Lots and lots of pants!

 

Well, that wraps up part one of the Q&A with Little E, I would like to express my deepest thanks to Dale for taking the time to answer these questions. Be sure to check back in for part two of the session on Friday, January 21st at 5:00 ET. Until then, everyone take care and everyone Race 2 Win!

  • Q&A with Little E - Part Two
  • Q&A with Little E - Part Three
  • Q&A with Little E - Part Four

     

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