NASCAR’s 15-time Most Popular Driver and winner of two Daytona 500s, Dale Earnhardt Jr., hosts his very own podcast, The Dale Jr Download on Dirty Mo Media. Earnhardt and co-host Mike Davis raise the bar with unparalleled perspective, candid commentary, and fascinating, first-person insight into the life of a broadcaster, celebrated racer.
Shawna Robinson: Bye-Bye Boys
She may not have been the first, and won't be the last, but she is undoubtedly a pioneer in Motorsports. Former NASCAR racer Shawna Robinson sits down with Dale Earnhardt Jr and co-host Mike Davis for a fascinating conversation.
Robinson's start in Motorsports didn't come as most people would predict. It wasn't behind the wheel of a car. It was behind the wheel of a truck. And we're not talking your everyday truck, we're talking about a Big-Rig going up to 160mph. Fresh out of high school, the small-statured Iowa girl got her first chance in competitive racing in one of the largest race vehicles possible. Her father, a man they called Lefty, and her brothers, were a part of a traveling circus of Big Rig Racing and entertainment. It was a series her dad founded and the family promoted. Sliding an 8-thousand pound truck around fairgrounds tracks sprinkled throughout America, people took notice of the young female phenom excelling in a sport full of rough and rowdy men. When the Great American Truck Racing series hit the big tracks, people took notice of Robinson. She became the first female to ever win on a superspeedway, winning at the Milwaukee Mile.
Success and an unwavering work ethic created a path to NASCAR. There, Robinson went from the biggest vehicle to racing the compact stock cars of the NASCAR Dash Series. Just three races in, she made history becoming the first woman to win a NASCAR Touring Series race. Her climb to the NASCAR Xfinity Series came with some success, but some heartache as well. She was the fast qualifier at the Xfinity race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1994. In that race, she didn't make it around to complete the first lap. She was wrecked. Was it intentional? Other drivers and a commentator told her it was. Shawna shares the story.
The ups and downs of racing intersected life and the start of her own family during one phone call. It was her best opportunity yet, but one she had to turn down. She shares the emotion of turning down a ride due to pregnancy. A few years later, Shawna found herself trying to qualify for the 2002 Daytona 500. The Cup Series rookie became the first driver since Janet Guthrie, in 1977, to race her way into the Great American race.
Shawna's racing career didn't pan out the way she wanted, but she's someone who will always be remembered. For Dale Earnhardt Jr., she will also be remembered as a woman who stood her ground. The table conversation gets interesting when the two drivers talk about an incident that stemmed from a practice get-together, continued into the race, included a middle-finger and an angry Robinson going to confront Earnhardt in his hauler.
Shawna opens up to Dale Jr. and Mike Davis about some of the challenges she faced throughout her career being a female in a male-dominated sport. She also shares her thoughts on the females who have gripped the wheel after her career and what advantages they have in creating opportunities. But her biggest challenge came outside of the racecar. A cancer diagnosis and rigorous chemotherapy and radiation was just another hurdle for her to jump. Shawna discusses the day she found out the news and how she got through it.
Before Shawna's arrival, the DJD gang talks about the big moment for Formula One driver Daniel Riccardo getting to drive his father's famed no. 3 car around Austin, Texas' Circuit of the Americas. Dale Jr. reveals just how much the gesture means to him and his family. Dale Jr. breaks some news on this week's podcast, announcing which NASCAR Xfinity Series race he will drive during the 2022 season.
AskJr presented by Xfinity was "the funnest" segment of the day. Dale talks about his upcoming NASCAR Next-Gen test at the legendary 1/4-mile Bowman Gray Stadium. He also gives fans a peek behind closed doors of what it is really like inside the NASCAR hauler when you are called to the principal’s office. Dale shares some hellacious times during Halloween that were both risky and mischievous.
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Cole Swindell: You Should Be Here
Grammy award-winning Country Music superstar Cole Swindell pulls up a chair at the big wooden table to have a chat with good friend Dale Earnhardt Jr. The two giants in their perspective industry have a special bond. They open up about the loss of their fathers and mothers and how they each found ways to cope with unthinkable loss. It's a conversation that brings us closer to how Cole, who lost his father in a freak accident as a child, and his mother to illness recently, was able to carry on. He didn't miss a beat, playing his popular song, "You Should Be Here" in front of packed audiences for an even deeper meaning. We learn how the particular song brought Dale Jr. and Cole together.
Swindell didn't have a typical start for a country music artist. Yes, he was a songwriter, that moved to Nashville in hopes of achieving his dreams of being on the big stage. But his story really starts at a college dorm, where he met fellow Georgia Southern alum and country music artist Luke Bryan. The friendship grew into Cole going on the road with Bryan. But, not to perform... rather sell his merchandise. From slingin' t-shirts to writing music, it was time for Swindell to shine. He explains the opportunities that led to his first big break in music.
Dale Jr., co-host Mike Davis, and Swindell bring us inside what it's like in the Country music scene as a songwriter and performer. How playing the bar circuit in Nashville can connect an artist to the next shot. Speaking of bars, which Nashville watering hole is Cole's favorite? We find out.
Swindell is not shy about sharing his love for his alma mater, Georgia Southern. It's the same place that Mike Davis went to school. The two share some fun talk about their different paths from the same institution. Davis also asks Cole about some of the stigma surrounding the new-country scene.
Swindell is a big Atlanta Braves fan. Many people know that. But what some don't realize is how big of a NASCAR fan he is. This isn't just some celebrity fly-by-night NASCAR fan, the Dawson County native has been following the Cup Series since he was a child.
Before Swindell arrives Dale Jr. answers some amazing fan questions in our AskJr segment. We learn about how Dirty Mo Media was started, Dale's new square body Chevy truck, and the day Dale Earnhardt Jr lassoed a fish. Yes, I said "lassoed a fish."
The biggest moment of the show comes when the cat is let out of the bag. Amy Earnhardt, Mike Davis, Swindell and the Dirty Mo Media gang had been scheming a birthday surprise for Dale Jr. Well, let's just say the surprise not only closed the show, but it brought Dale Jr. to tears.
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Alex Palou: From Spain with Speed
He came with speed, and he came with gifts. IndyCar Series Champion Alex Palou, the young champion, sits at the table with Dale Earnhardt Jr. to talk about his sudden rise to the pinnacles of motorsport. The colorful Spaniard didn't come from a racing family. It was a local go-kart track near his home village of Sant Antoni de Vilamajor Spain, that sparked his interest in becoming a racecar driver. From there, a path of persistence, raw speed, and opportunity led him to eventually become the 2021 NTT Indycar Series Champion.
Palou connects with Dale Jr. and co-host Mike Davis about life in Spain and what it was like to grow up overseas. A racing path that took him far from home at a young age to Japan, Palou had to get used to different cultures as he tried to find himself as a racer and a man. That path didn't come without disappointment and setback. From homemade mountain dynos to racing for big teams in GP3 and F3, it's a true racing story.
Alex Palou came on the scene with success in his rookie IndyCar season with Dale Coyne Racing. But it was his sophomore season that set the stage for his meteoric rise. An opportunity came with Chip Ganassi Racing and he took full advantage of it. Leaning on veteran leadership of teammates Scott Dixon and Jimmie Johnson, the youngster made a name for himself with three victories and the series title. To boot, he nearly won the Indianapolis 500. The near-miss in the world's biggest race didn't set him back though. Palou shares how the 7-time NASCAR Champion, Johnson, helped him mentally break through setbacks.
Palou also came into the Bojangles studio with gifts, for Dale's Birthday and also some keepsakes for the crew. The 24-year old shares his personality as he and Dale Jr. talk about the dynamic personalities of the international scene that IndyCar presents. Dale Jr. first experienced it in iRacing, and it is why he and Mike on fire for the open-wheel brand of racing.
Before Palou's arrival, Dale Jr. took control of the room. We're joking. Actually, an energy drink and a spunky mood had the whole gang wondering where Dale Jr. would go next. From Frankenstein to Cash-only soda machines... Dale Jr. held court in ways only Dale Jr. can. He and Mike also touched on the hottest topic in NASCAR today, the ongoing rivalry between Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick.
In Ask Jr. it's all about the triangle... of the tasty kind! Dave Portnoy's latest Dale Jr. invoked Pizza review brings up some questions about how it went down and the Key West drunken pizza hotspot. We also learn about Dale Jr's latest Chevy Silverado and how he decided the wild graphics he put on it.
That and much more in this entertaining version of The Dale Jr. Download.
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Lyndon Amick: Freedom on the Other Side
Nothing is more powerful than redemption. Dale Earnhardt Jr. sits down with friend and former NASCAR racer, Lyndon Amick, about his life as racecar driver, combat soldier, and his miraculous journey to pick up the pieces of a broken life.
A young man from a family of South Carolina chicken farmers decided to take the path of most resistance. He wanted to be a racecar driver. Sugartit Speedway in the Palmetto state fueled his desire to give racing a try. And boy did he try. The big boy stuffed himself in a go-kart with the goal of being fast. His ascension into the upper ranks of the sport came just as fast. Fast forward some race wins and a championship in the Goody's Dash Series, and suddenly the Amick Family Farms had their very own NASCAR Xfinity Series team. And with it came struggles. A new team, a driver trying to learn. Although he showed glimpses of raw talent, things never seemed to work out for Lyndon Amick.
Shortly after the birth of his first son, a race at Talladega was the pivot point for Lyndon Amick. While spinning backward in a massive 20-something car crash, he decided that he was done. Lyndon walked away from the life of a NASCAR driver. He decided to enlist in the military. His life switched from race days, interviews, and appearances to drill sergeants stripping down his being to build the perfect soldier. His mindset was clear. Not only did he want to serve his country, he wanted to fight for it.
The journey took him across the globe to Afghanistan. While there he learned the mindset of what it took to stay alive amidst the everyday reality that each day could be his last. No day more apparent than when his company ended up in a fire-fight. With bullets forming a canopy of smoke above him, Amick turned into the proven leader.
But when the combat stopped, he admits the realities that faced him when he got back home, were not so fulfilling. What he escaped for was something he now had to face, himself. An imperfect husband, a dead-beat dad. Simply put, his marriage was broken and his life was about to come off the rails. Just how did the story transform from darkness to light? Lyndon shares his soul with Dale Jr. and co-host Mike Davis. He reveals the inner workings of the healing that put back the pieces of his broken life.
Before Lyndon came into the studio to share his incredible journey, Dale Jr. admitted to some faults of his own. His came in the NBC broadcast booth. The two-time Daytona 500 winner and rookie play-by-play broadcaster asked producer Matthew Dillner to point out his mistakes calling Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway. The result provided a look into Dale's life as a broadcaster, his goals, and some laughter too.
Dale Jr. also brings up his disappointment with the rain-filled weekend and race postponement at Talladega Superspeedway and offers a solution that can be done within the fine print of a race weekend.
Dale, Mike, Matthew, and Leah pull the curtain back on the Texas World Speedway episode and what made the visit to America's only Lost Superspeedway such a moving explore for the team.
Recently, daddy-Dale-Jr. had a day alone with his youngest daughter Nicole. What sort of adventures did they get into? Well, let's just say it ended with a hot air balloon in the buffalo pen on his property. Ask Jr brings out that story and so much more.
Everyone on the entire Dale Jr. Download team agrees, this is an episode full of amazing moments, but most importantly, one that a lot of us can learn from.
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Robert Pressley: The Real Racers
Two racecar drivers from two hard-nosed racing families converge at the big wooden table as Dale Earnhardt Jr. sits down with "The Bent Creek Bandit" Robert Pressley.
Where has the former NASCAR driver been? He's still proudly from Asheville but now he serves the people of the popular North Carolina city in a different way, as a County Commissioner. How the hell does a NASCAR driver turn into a politician? And does he even like it? We find out the truth right away.
Robert's father Bob Pressley was a legend of the Carolina Short Track scene and his son followed right in his footsteps. And let's just say, the apple didn't fall far from the tree. They were both cut from the cloth of self-made grizzled short trackers that didn't back down from anyone... including each other. Bob Pressley's rivals turned into Roberts and then with the one bump to the back bumper, father and son became the rivalry. Just how intense did it get? Robert gives us the details inside a family feud that helped define their relationship and ultimately bring them closer together.
Where the Earnhardt and Pressley family connection is one of the more interesting conversations. Apparently, there was a generational bullying that started with Dale Jr.'s grandfather, short track great Ralph Earnhardt, and continued on through Dale Sr. and Robert. It's a story you have to hear.
Robert's start in racing came at the now-defunct New Asheville Motor Speedway, racing against greats like Bosco Lowe and Jack Ingram. It's a place that was very close to Pressley's heart and the reason why Dale Jr. decided to have him on his Peacock TV television show "Lost Speedways." Pressley gives us the inside scoop on the concerns the city of Asheville had before shooting on location at the track, now called Carrier Park, and the community reaction afterward. How did the show also get the truth out there about its closing while closing the book on its biggest controversy, a famed incident between the Pressley's and "The Iron Man" Jack Ingram?
Another North Carolina great, Basketball star turned broadcaster Brad Daugherty, got his fingernails dirty as a crew member on Robert Pressley's race team. They traveled around winning races and getting shot at in the process. They even showed up to the racetrack one night with a truck, a couch, a loveseat, and a racecar, and whooped their butts.
From Late Models, the second generation driver launched a NASCAR career and soon found success on a myriad of raceways across America. This led to opportunities that he couldn't turn down, but some that left him with regret. From replacing the great Harry Gant, to getting fired at Alliance, to his up and down tenure at Jasper Racing, Pressley tells all. He also explains how one rivalry spelled the end for his first Cup Series ride.
Pressley, Dale Jr., and co-host Mike Davis enjoy some laughs talking about racing, fighting, and cheating. Boy, the stories go deep. But none deeper than a surprise moment at the end of the show when Dale and Robert let the cat out of the bag about an incident between them. The story reveals a truth never known until now.
Before Pressley arrived, Dale Jr. talks about his work weekend in Las Vegas with his wife Amy. While the trip was nice, they came home to a more hostile Monday. Two dogs fighting and two children not getting along produced a not-so-perfect day in the Earnhardt household.
Recent "Behind the Scenes" social media content sparks conversation in the studio about what it was really like filming Lost Speedways. We learn that Leah Vaughn is grossed out by Dale and Matthew kicking the "poop pipe" and if Dillner really did fart on the backstretch during the explore?
In AskJr, fan questions spur some incredible insight from Dale Jr, including a fantastic story about his father hopping on the radio to give him live-time insight into how to get around Bristol Motor Speedway. A rare father-son moment of instruction that Dale Jr shares with us all.
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Danny Earnhardt Sr.: All in the Family
Racing has always been a family affair for the Earnhardts. Dale Earnhardt Jr. decides to sit down with his uncle, Danny Earnhardt Sr., about life as one of the most low-key parts of the Earnhardt racing legacy. Danny gives us a peek at what life was like growing up on Sedan Avenue in Kannapolis, NC as the son of a dirt track legend, Ralph Earnhardt. What were the Earnhardt children like growing up? He tells us about a path from playing in the streets and flunking fifth grade to working in the famed garage preparing Ralph's stock cars. Dale gets Danny to open up about when the family lost their patriarch to a heart attack in 1973.
This family isn't a simple one. Danny and Dale Jr. outline how three racing families, the Earnhardts, the Eurys, and the Gees became one.
It wasn't always racing for Danny, life at the Mill in Kannapolis was hard work, but a choice for the quiet gentleman. All the while, he kept weekends for racing, Danny was always there for Dale Sr. in his racing career from working in the shop, pitting the cars, to being his biggest fan in the stands. He tells a never-told story of Dale Earnhardt's first laps on pavement at North Carolina's Hickory Motor Speedway. When some third-generation driver named Dale Earnhardt Jr. came along, it was Danny who bent his brother's ear about the young driver's talent and promise.
The story could've been over in February of 2001 after the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr. But, Dale Jr, Danny, and the rest of the family carried on with the strength and grit that is known from this family. Nephew and Uncle talk for the first time about that day and how they spent the moments after the crash in Daytona.
Before Danny arrives, Dale Jr. and co-host Mike Davis share their thoughts about the NASCAR weekend at Bristol that included a spectacular finish in the Xfinity Series and a post-race dust-up between Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick. What's their take on the fireworks between the two angry drivers? Also, Dale Jr. phones Xfinity driver Kyle Weatherman after wrecking his bumper in the recent Richmond race.
In AskJr presented by Xfinity, Dale is asked if he's ever impeded the finish of a race. He also gives his hot-take on the 2021 NASCAR schedule and what he thinks about Bristol's return to dirt racing. Plus, what Lost Speedway in Wilkes County, NC should think about a dirt surface of its own. Dale and the DJD gang of Matthew Dillner and Leah Vaughn talk about their favorite racing destinations if Dale Jr. brought a Motorsports time machine to the Bojangles Studio.
That and much more!
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Fantastic podcast my absolute favourite, your passion for nascar and nascar history is amazing I can’t enough of your down to earth mentally to the amazing stories . You sir are an absolute legend thanks for the insight you provide on every episode.
Love the podcast
Hey. Huge listener. Wait every week for it. First time I read the write up ever and it is fantastic!! Keep it up!!
Hey guys just watched lost speedways for the first time up in Canada loved it keep up the great work love the history of the sport you guys have down a great job hope there’s lots more to come.