As the most popular driver in NASCAR, there’s plenty of fanfare about what Dale Jr. does every Sunday. But as it turns out, he’s an interesting guy off the track too. To honor his swan song year, we asked Dale Jr. about road trips, speed limits, podcasts, and much more.
Q: How old were you when you first learned how to drive?
A: I guess I was 15 years old when I first learned how to drive before I got my driver’s license.
Q: What was your first car and how long did you drive it?
A: My first car was a 1988 Chevy S-10 that I drove for two years before I got another truck. I have a replica of that truck today that I drive quite a bit that was restored by Ray Evernham and his team.
Q: What do you drive when you’re not on the track?
I have several different cars I like to drive. One of my favorite cars from the 70s is a Chevy Laguna
, so I have one of those. I like to drive my ’88 S-10 because you don’t see many of either of those around, so it’s cool to take them out.
Q: What’s your wife Amy’s favorite vehicle?
A: Amy’s favorite vehicle is an El Camino.
Q: Off the track, are you more of a speed demon or a Sunday driver?
A: Off the track, I’m more of a Sunday driver. I like to just take it easy and not get in too big of a hurry.
Q: What’s your go-to drink for late-night driving?
A: My go-to drink for late night driving is obviously Mountain Dew.
A: I don’t have any specific driving songs, but my Pandora playlist has a mix of punk and alternative music.
A: I enjoy listening to our Dirty Mo Radio podcasts. Mike Davis and our team at JRM/Dirty Mo Media has a good mix of podcasts, so I think it’s important for me to stay tuned in to what we’ve got going on. This year, I took over my own Dale Jr. Download podcast, so I think listening to others can only help me when I record.
Q: What’s your favorite road snack?
A: I’d say my favorite road snack would be Doritos.
Q: How many hours a week do you spend in the garage?
A: I don’t really spend much time in the garage. We’ve had some projects we work on from time to time, but during the season, my schedule is very busy whether it be sponsor commitments during the week or being at the actual track on the weekends. Maybe that will change once I’m out of the car, but right now, I’ve been too busy to really get in there and mess around too much.
A: I always enjoyed the road trips to Daytona for the races. It really hasn’t been that long that we’ve been flying to and from these races, so it was always fun to drive down to Daytona for Speedweeks or the July race. A lot of good memories there.
What’s one road trip
you still dream about taking?
A: I’d really like to drive coast to coast some day in the future. It would be great to get out and see different parts of the country.
Q: If your life philosophy was a bumper sticker, what would it say?
A: Sh*t happens.
A: The most frustrating thing about driving off the track is irate drivers. There’s really no reason for people to get so upset about the things that make people mad on the road.
Q: What’s the longest drive you’ve made in one sitting?
A: One time I drove to Buffalo, New York to pick up my spotter T.J. Majors and help move him to North Carolina. That trip was something like 22 hours.
Q: If you were named King Of The Road, what would be your first decree?
A: I’d say we should raise the interstate speed limits in North Carolina up to a minimum of 70 and an 80 miles per hour speed limit.
Q: What do you think cars will look like 50 years from now?
A: I think cars are probably going to look pretty much the same 50 years from now.
Q: What’s one car that’s still missing from your garage?
A: The one car that’s missing from my garage would be that El Camino for Amy.