Dale Earnhardt Jr. may have had sky high expectations put on himself by others when he followed his father’s footsteps into racing, but he has always maintained that his career has surpassed his wildest dreams.
He knew as a kid he wanted to race, but his motivations were surprisingly realistic even as a young racer.
“I hated working for a living. I didn’t want to work for a living,” Earnhardt said. “This is silly, but the way I thought in ’97, ‘Man, if I could get into an Xfinity car and win just one race, what do I need to do just to say … that’s enough to keep me around?’
“So when I won my first few races in the Xfinity Series, I thought, ‘Well, all right, I’ll be able to keep a job in this sport for a while because of this little bit of success I’ve had.'”
Say what you will about his ambitions, but it is refreshing for an athlete and celebrity to be so honest about their motivations. And who can blame him, who wouldn’t choose racing over the grind of a 9-5?