Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s life has his father’s fingerprints all over it as he ventured whole-heartedly into a NASCAR career. Earnhardt Jr. didn’t hold the greatest connections with his dad, but it grew stronger as he became older. With that came advice from his father that Dale Jr. has sternly followed throughout his adulthood.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s relationship with his dad
Growing up, Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn’t have the typical father-son relationship with his dad.
Earnhardt Jr. went through various moments as a child that tested him emotionally, such as being sent to military school. He didn’t experience the normal childhood interactions with his dad t until he became involved with racing.
Dale Jr.’s journey toward becoming a professional driver in NASCAR helped foster a stronger bond between them. It was the pursuit of a racing career that the younger Earnhardt utilized to get closer to his dad.
Their connection only grew stronger through their love of competing behind the wheel until Dale Sr.’s tragic passing in 2001 at the Daytona 500. The shortcomings aside in their relationship, Earnhardt Jr. was forever impacted by one piece of advice from his father.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. struck fear into his son to avoid a dangerously dark path
It’s no secret that Dale Earnhardt Sr. had some tremendous influence on his son’s life that pulled him into professional racing.
Dale Sr.’s impact went far beyond any race track as he embraced his role as a father in various ways that left an everlasting imprint on his children. One of which he repeatedly sternly advise his son and daughter Kelley to avoid becoming involved with drugs.
All that struck an everlasting fear of those scenarios in both Earnhardt Jr. and his sister, pushing them entirely away from it. (H/T Bleacher Report)
“I’ve know some friends to have some trouble with drugs and struggle with several years of their life, getting mixed up in certain drugs,” Earnhardt Jr. “You see it every day amongst a lot of people, and fortunately or unfortunately, we hear about it on the radio or the television a lot. I didn’t know how difficult or how vulnerable of a situation I was in until I got older and realized how close it was”.
Earnhardt Sr.’s guidance on that end kept his children off the pathway of falling into those disastrous decisions. Dale Jr. did have his vice with smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, but it never strayed away from those two habits.
Although Dale Sr. didn’t exactly father his kids in the ordinary sense, his words did keep his children away from the pit holes and struggles that come with drug use.
Paved the way for a lasting NASCAR career
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s decision to heed his father’s advice helped him stay on the straight and narrow path.
It allowed him to construct a NASCAR career that spans over two decades. He has become a prominent face of the sport, even in retirement.
Earnhardt Jr. experienced his fair share of struggles with his health due to concussion issues. Despite that, he managed to push through that to remain a permanent fixture in the NASCAR scene. He has fully embraced being the face of health for sport by shining a light on his personal problems.
Meanwhile, he has taken on broadcast duties to cover the sport while hosting a weekly podcast that is arguably the most popular in the industry. All that has been a ripple effect from his following his father’s words of wisdom.