Athletes train hard most of their lives to reach the pinnacle of their sport. So when they compete, they want to win. And when things don’t go their way, they don’t always react well. Some athletes even get into verbal and even physical altercations with other competitors. That’s exactly what happened when NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn’t take kindly to Kyle Weatherman accidentally running him into the wall at Richmond two weekends ago.
NASCAR Xfinity Cup Series GoBowling 250 at Richmond: Race highlights
Austin Cindric and Harrison Burton led the pack at the start of the race, but A.J. Allmendinger led after 75 laps, winning the first stage.
Cindric was the first out of the pit to start the second stage on lap 76. The second stage ended after the 150th lap, under caution, with Ty Gibbs in the lead. Allmendinger was second at that point, and Burton rounded out the top three.
In the final stage, a caution came out with 13 laps to go after Noah Gragson took the lead. He had some competition from Justin Haley in the final laps, but Gragson’s half-second lead with a lap to go held up, and he took the checkered flag to win the race.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. became irate during his 1st NASCAR race since 2020
Earnhardt finished 14th at Richmond, but he made headlines for his dispute with driver Kyle Weatherman. He discussed the situation on his Dirty Mo Media podcast last week.
Here’s how it went down: Earnhardt was running on the outside of Weatherman on turn 4. Weatherman moved up to avoid another car, prompting the 24-year-old to hit Earnhardt accidentally. The NASCAR Hall of Famer admitted it angered him, and he sought retaliation by ramming his car into the back of Weatherman’s car three times.
But that wasn’t enough to avenge himself in Earnhardt’s mind, as he admitted he “wanted to hit him again” even after the three bumps.
The two drivers exchanged words after the race, and Weatherman told Earnhardt he, too, was upset because he works on his own cars and now had to fix it. That didn’t seem to phase Earnhardt, though.
“Next time you hit me, I’m hitting you,” the racing legend warned the third-year NASCAR driver.
But Earnhardt also admits he doesn’t want to ruin anyone’s career
Even though Earnhardt got aggressive with Weatherman after the accidental contact at Richmond, he said he doesn’t want to ruin Weatherman’s or any other driver’s career. Sure, Earnhardt wants other drivers to know he’ll come back at them if they do something he doesn’t like, but that’s where his aggression ends, he says.
He’s had a long career in NASCAR, and he knows what it takes to become a star in the sport. He doesn’t want to be the reason for any drivers not to live up to their potential. On his podcast, Earnhardt discussed not wanting to ruin a driver’s career or point situation. “I don’t want to be involved in anything that’s gonna be a bad experience for somebody,” he admitted. “But … this ain’t a parade.”
Weatherman made sure Earnhardt didn’t get the last word on the situation. Earnhardt may have a bigger following, but Weatherman used his social media presence to fire back at the legendary driver playfully. Three days after the race, Weatherman tweeted to Earnhardt, “I just finished putting the bumper back on this morning,” with a thumbs-up emoji and a crying laugh emoji.