Nowadays, with a wife and a kid and a job behind the booth instead of behind the wheel, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is relishing in a more laid back lifestyle. It’s far and away a different lifestyle than the high-octane one he had during his NASCAR racing days, particularly the early days, back before Dale Jr. started racing with Hendrick Motorsports and was still with his late dad’s Dale Earnhardt, Inc. racing team.
Take July 24, 1999 at the NAPA Autocare 250 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, for example. It was during this Busch Series race (now the NASCAR Xfinity Series) that Junior showed that fiery spirt that reminded people of Dale Sr.
He just so happened to show that spirit in the post-race interview rather than on the track, when, after his No. 8 Chevrolet stock car got wrecked by Todd Bodine (who would end up earning a third-place finish), Dale called him a “cueball-headed fool.”
Now, considering he just got wrecked, you could say that Junior reacted in a much calmer way than most other NASCAR drivers would. There’s a good many drivers who would probably throw hands after something like that. That being said, we haven’t heard a solid putdown like that from Dale Jr. in quite some time, and wow, does it bring back memories.
When he looks back at that Pikes Peak race from all those years ago, Dale probably doesn’t have the best of memories and for good reason. But, besides that less-than-ideal finish, Junior is also probably just a little bit disappointed that “Cueball-Headed Fool” didn’t stick as a nickname for Bodine.