SouthBound Replay: Dale Earnhardt Jr. On Fatherhood, Concussions, And Life After Racing
A note from Tommy: Today’s episode is a recut version of the conversation I had with Dale Earnhardt Jr. last March. We’ve done some editing and reshaping so it might sound a little different, but we thought it might be a good time to re-air it with the Daytona 500 coming up on Feb. 17. You’ll hear Dale Jr. talk about his mixed emotions about retiring as a race car driver, and his relationship with his legendary dad, Dale Sr. He also talks about getting ready to become a father, which happened just a few weeks after our talk; he and his wife, Amy, had a baby girl named Isla on April 30.
Dale Jr. has a heightened sense of awareness. That was a useful thing on the track in his long and successful career as a NASCAR driver, and now as a broadcaster for NBC. But off the track, it made him nervous and anxious and sometimes hard to be around. He has spent the last few years doing a lot of growing up – partly in response to a series of concussions that led him to retire, partly because he fell in love and wanted to start a family. He’s one of the most open and honest people I’ve ever interviewed.
Let's keep the conversation going. Who do you want to hear from next on the SouthBound podcast? Submit your idea in the box below. You can also send a tweet to @tommytomlinson or @wfae, and email me at email@example.com.
- The Amazon link to Dale Jr.'s recent memoir, "Racing To the Finish"
- The story I wrote about him for ESPN the Magazine
- The Instagram feeds for Dale Jr. and his wife, Amy
- His Dale Jr. Download podcast (with links to other Dirty Mo Radio podcasts)