Dale Earnhardt Jr. – or “June bug” as NASCAR drivers called him when he was growing up – was raised by the man they called the Intimidator. Apparently, that monicker wasn’t just for the race track. Based on the talk Dale Earnhardt Jr. had on the Dan Patrick Show, the Intimidator believed in instilling old-fashioned discipline and responsibility in his kids. In the radio interview, Dale Jr. related how his NASCAR legend father handled things when he (Junior) got his first speeding ticket.
According to Dale Jr., being the son of a famous NASCAR driver was good enough to get him a pretty sweet ride for a teenager — an ’88 Chevy S-10 pickup truck — but not enough to have dear old dad cover speeding tickets. While by all accounts Dale Sr. was thrilled when Junior followed in his footsteps — er, tire tracks — on the NASCAR circuit, he wasn’t quite as thrilled to have his son speeding on the open road. Instead, he used the incident to teach a valuable life lesson.
The two Earnhardts had been in an argument, as Dale Jr. tells it, and the younger had torn down the road, only to have a police officer clock him speeding. According to Junior, he saw the police car and didn’t even bother waiting for the lights in the rearview. He pulled over of his own accord and waited for the officer to catch up (a courtesy he doesn’t show rival drivers on the Sprint Cup circuit), knowing he was busted.
Dale Earnhardt Sr., meanwhile, wasn’t far behind. The Intimidator drove right past his son and the police officer, waiting until Junior got home to confront him. Dale Jr. ‘fessed up to the ticket, to which the Intimidator reportedly said, “Well, I guess you’re going to need to get a job, then.”
Dale Jr. did get a job, pumping gas at a local filling station. According to his account, he pumped gas for several months to pay off that first speeding ticket. The experience apparently stuck with him. Dale Jr. suggested that by the time he was 18 — when he was given a Corvette for his performance on the track — he had learned to slow down on the road and save the speeding for the race track.
According to a report by Yahoo Sports, Junior is having an S-10 similar to his first truck restored. No word on whether hDale Earnhardt Jr. plans to test fate and burn rubber once the restoration is done.