Dale Earnhardt Jr. experienced plenty of ups and downs throughout his Hall of Fame NASCAR career. Earnhardt Jr. had his fair share of adversaries on the track that created bubbling tension. However, there remains anger he can’t move past toward Jimmy Spencer’s controversial comments nearly two decades later.
Jimmy Spencer creates controversy over Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2001 Daytona win
In July that year, Earnhardt Jr. earned only his third Cup Series win by taking the checkered flag at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. It marked the first victory following his father’s death that brought forth plenty of emotions.
However, it wasn’t all positive as fellow driver Jimmy Spencer attempted to throw controversy on the situation by stating it was a staged win. (H/T NBC Sports)
“I knew going in that the 8 car was going to win this race,’’ Spencer said after the event. “Something was fictitious and he was really fast the other night. They were fast down here in February. It’s not ironic that the 8 car would win with what happened here in February.’’
Spencer received much criticism for his remarks that unsurprisingly angered Earnhardt Jr. and many others in the NASCAR community. His stance questioned the integrity of the race and the legitimacy of the victory.
Those comments caught much ire over the years, which still hold much disdain from Earnhardt Jr.
Angry Dale Earnhardt Jr. still upset years after Jimmy Spencer’s controversial comments
It’s been nearly two decades since Dale Earnhardt Jr. captured his emotional win at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
However, the disdain remains from Earnhardt Jr. toward Jimmy Spencer. During an “Ask Jr.” portion of the Dale Jr. Download podcast in August 2019, the 46-year-old aired out lingering frustration with the matter.
“That was rude as hell,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. “It was certainly the greatest moment in my career. Great night for our company and our team. Everybody is out there celebrating, and he’s standing in the garage with the microphone in his face saying, ‘It’s fishy, He’s cheating. That car is too good.'”
Earnhardt Jr. holds a tremendously strong connection with that win in his NASCAR career. It wasn’t only another victory, but the first one following his father’s death on the track where his fatal accident occurred.
Spencer’s remarks may be from nearly two decades ago, but it still strongly strikes a strong emotional chord with Earnhardt Jr.
Don’t expect a podcast interview anytime soon
Over the years, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has worked to maintain a strong connection to his father.
One of those avenues is through his Dale Jr. Download podcast, where he routinely discusses his dad. With Jimmy Spencer’s comments still striking a strong emotional chord, Earnhardt Jr. voiced that he’s never interviewing the former longtime NASCAR driver.
“As a broadcaster in the booth, I play no favorites. “Earnhardt Jr. said. “If I don’t like a guy, I am still going to call it straight up even if he does something great. But when it comes to this show, some people will never be on it.”
Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast is one that he brings more attention to NASCAR, but it’s his show to decide which direction he wants to head. Clearly, Spencer will never be featured on any episode.