Dale Earnhardt Jr. only briefly competed against his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr. on the NASCAR track. There may not have been many instances battling his dad, but he experienced firsthand Earnhardt Sr.‘s aggressive racing style. One of which led to him taking the route of exacting revenge against his father.
Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s infamous racing reputation
Beyond the impressive career accolades, Dale Earnhardt Sr. garnered an infamous reputation on the NASCAR track.
Earnhardt Sr.’s aggressive driving style earned him the nickname of the “The intimidator” due to how he competed against other drivers. His no-holds-bar approach didn’t always rub his colleagues the right way, creating several intense moments over his career.
Earnhardt Sr.’s approach to his craft also didn’t fall short into extending into how he raced against his son Dale Jr. All that guided things to a heated situation that saw Earnhardt Jr. decide to exact revenge on his father.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. once exacted revenge against his dad on the NASCAR track
Although Dale Earnhardt Jr. briefly raced against his dad on the NASCAR track, the two still managed to create tense moments.
One of those instances occurred at a Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in 2000. Earnhardt Jr. recalled the incident on his Dale Jr. Download Podcast in March 2018, stating that his dad turned Elliott Sadler’s car on the first lap that wrecked him in the process.
“We dropped the green flag, went down into turn one, Dad ran into the back of Elliott Sadler, turned him sideways, and he backed up the track into the front of my car and crashed us both. I was so pissed, and so dad came by later in the race. I got my (expletive) fixed, get back on the track.”
Earnhardt Sr. had a strong reputation for pushing other driver’s buttons on the track with his aggressive driving style. That approach also applied against his own son, which nearly wrecked him out of the race.
It didn’t take long for Earnhardt Jr. to get his revenge against his dad in the same event.
Payback time on the track
After Dale Earnhardt Jr. managed to have his car fixed to continue the race, he resumed the event with a one-track mindset to get revenge against his dad.
That opportunity came later in the race as he pulled up alongside Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s car, to which he proceeded to scrap the entire right side of the vehicle.
“Dad comes by, and I just turned right and dragged the right front tire all down the side of his car,” Earnhardt Jr. recalled on his podcast. “And [I] just was so mad. And he comes over the radio, and Tony [Eury] Jr.’s like, ‘Richard Childress said don’t be running into him no more, all right? If you know what’s good for you.’ So we had some rough days on the race track for sure.”
There weren’t issues from that point forward in the race, but it’s an instance where their familial relationship didn’t matter. Earnhardt Jr. got what he wanted in that situation to send a message to his father.
Earnhardt Jr. didn’t have much experience racing against his dad, but this moment certainly sticks out in his mind. It’s one of the few situations with his dad on the track that he’s glowingly discussed a few times on his podcast.