Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still one of NASCAR’s biggest influencers. Despite retiring from full-time competition several years ago, the 47-year-old remains very involved in the sport, working as a race analyst during NBC’s NASCAR coverage and serving as a host on his popular weekly podcast.
His words matter. We found out just how much after the NASCAR Hall of Famer mistakenly referred to Chris Buescher as Christopher Buescher multiple times during the last two race broadcasts, which prompted the driver to change his name to the lengthier spelling in a couple of prominent places, and resulted in a personality in the sport to refer to the two-time Daytona 500 winner as “NASCAR Jesus.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. incorrectly refers to Chris Buescher as Christopher multiple times
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a pro at delivering colorful commentary from the broadcast booth and providing the audience with the driver’s perspective when things happen during the race. His excitement in the booth is palpable.
In the last couple of weeks at Michigan and Richmond, he’s done just that. He’s also done something else that’s caught the attention of race fans, by repeatedly referring to Chris Buescher as Christopher Buescher. He’s done it so much that it’s become a running joke in NASCAR circles. The former driver has got in on the action and openly acknowledged his mistake on Twitter.
“Can I call @Chris_Buescher Christopher enough that @RickAllenracing mistakenly does the same?” he tweeted.
Buescher, who’s shown he has a sense of humor himself, responded.
“Also, Christopher has always implied that I am in trouble,” the driver replied. “I don’t think I’m in trouble.”
Buescher changes names in prominent places
In addition to replying to Junior’s remarks, Buescher has embraced being called Christopher, as evidenced by changing the display of his name on Twitter to the full spelling. But he didn’t stop there.
This week the RFK Racing driver tweeted a photo of his name rail above the driver-side window, and told fans if the post received 3,000 likes, he would change it to Christopher for the upcoming race at Watkins Glen. Less than 30 minutes later, the likes had already surpassed the goal.
“Geez. Guess I should’ve went for 10K y’all are quick Messaging with our designer now…,” he wrote.
As of this writing, the tweet had received more than 16,000 likes.
Earnhardt referred to as ‘NASCAR Jesus’
This week on the Door Bumper Clear podcast, which is part of the Dirty Mo Media production company owned by Earnhardt, each member of the crew highlighted the best-performing driver from the Cup race at Richmond. Justin Haley’s spotter Brett Griffin couldn’t resist.
“I got to give it to Christopher Buescher,” he said, which drew a laugh from his co-hosts. “Listen, NASCAR Jesus calls him Christopher Buescher, so that’s his name. Not debatable.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. wields a lot influence in NASCAR. He’s proven that time and time again, including getting rules changed at the Hall of Fame inductions earlier this year. Now he’s getting drivers to change their names, albeit temporarily. If he could somehow get NASCAR officials to return the number placement back to where it was before this year, as he’s been outspoken about in the past, it would truly be a miracle.