With the brief NASCAR offseason in full swing, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s media production company — Dirty Mo Media — has been using its Twitter feed to share some of the top moments from 2022 on The Dale Jr. Download, the weekly podcast Earnhardt co-hosts with friend and longtime business associate Mike Davis.
Recently, Dirty Mo shared a hilarious segment from a September podcast in which Earnhardt and Davis discussed a near-mishap that occurred when Earnhardt was driving around Bristol Motor Speedway at full speed with his wife, Amy Earnhardt, riding shotgun.
Suffice it to say, it’s probably a good thing Dale Jr. logged thousands of laps at the high-banked .533-mile oval over the course of his 18-year career in NASCAR’s top series. Otherwise, what was supposed to be a fun pace car ride-along with his bride could’ve turned downright ugly.
Even with his extensive experience at Bristol, it almost did.
What went wrong in the Dale Earnhardt Jr.-Amy Earnhardt Bristol ride-along?
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Bristol ride-along with his wife started off in fun fashion, with Amy Earnhardt clearly enjoying herself, as evidenced by the NBC camera inside the car that captured her facial expression.
But just as the couple was cruising along, probably at well north of 120 miles per hour, Dale suddenly jerked the wheel when he ran over a part of the track where drivers tend to lose grip. For a brief moment, it even appeared that he might wreck — with Amy at his side, no less.
Thankfully, the 2004 winner of the Bristol night race gathered it back up and was able to avert potential disaster and continue on.
No harm, no foul.
So what exactly happened to make the car get all squirrely?
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s dialogue with Mike Davis helps here as the two discussed the matter at hand while watching an in-car video recording of the ride-along that included Amy’s arm-waving, “I’m-done” reaction to her husband’s slipup in Turn 2.
Junior: “She’s not happy.”
Mike: “Did you almost wreck?”
Junior: “We just got loose.”
Mike: “That feels like almost wreck. She went from having the thrill of her life to not having fun. Her face changes. That is hilarious.”
Junior (smiling): “Yep, yep.”
So did Dale Jr. really almost wreck with his wife in the car?
If you can believe Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s account of the Bristol ride-along with his wife, Amy Earnhardt, the two were never in any real danger of wrecking.
“It just turned sideways, and we slid out to the wall right at the flag stand,” NASCAR’s 15-time Most Popular Driver said, still grinning from ear to ear. “We just kind of dirt-tracked off the corner.”
Davis then offered some slightly comical, albeit candid, perspective on what could’ve happened if Earnhardt had lost full control of the car.
“I’m glad you saved it. I really am,” he said. “And ‘saved’ may not even be the right word because you don’t think you almost wrecked. I’m going to tell you something. Let’s just think for a second. Had you hit the wall with your wife in the car, are we even remotely aware of the attention that would have gotten? I mean, that would have been news. That’d have been big news.”
“I guess, yeah,” Earnhardt replied. “Oh, that would be interesting. We’d have had to have brought her in here to tell her side of it.”
The look on Amy’s face and her arm gestures after Junior’s slipup in Turn 2 say everything that needed to be said, though. For at least a brief moment, she was scared out of her wits.