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Earnhardt and Son closer than ever
August 19, 1999 - excerpt from NASCAR Online article

In just a matter of months, the relationship between seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt and his namesake has risen to the point where the two men are near equals. OK, that's really stretching it a bit, but the two have shed new light on each other.

"I've got to thank my dad for letting me be my own man," says Dale Earnhardt Jr., last year's NASCAR Busch Series champion. "He could be calling the shots for me and answering questions for me, but he's not. He's letting me say what I want to say and do what I want to do. That's a tribute to him to let me have that kind of freedom.

"We've gotten a lot closer. We talk more, I listen to him more and he listens to me more. We're doing a lot of things together, personal and business. He understands where I'm coming from and I understand him, too."

But how does a young son relate to a man who has won so many races and developed such a powerful business in racing? They say they're still learning the delicate ties that exist between a racing father-son duo, and how the relationship is never static.

Dale Sr. admits the occasional urge to correct his son, to tell him what to do rather than give him the means to discover things on his own. But he assumes that's natural.

"I scold him once in a while," Dale Sr. says. "I don't think there's a dad who doesn't voice his opinion with his son. I have to be careful, though, because I want him to learn.

"I remember my dad (Ralph, a former NASCAR champion) telling me what to do and what not to do and I was like, 'Nah.' I'd go do it and learn that's what was true. I know Dale's not going to believe me until he learns it, so I've tried to give him some freedom, some latitude, and it's worked out well.

"It's really exciting to watch him, to be a part of it. He's like, 'Don't worry, Dad, I've got it handled.' I can't tell him anything anymore. He knows what it's all about now."

What it's about is racing for himself and nobody else. That's what Dale Jr. learned through his championship season a year ago. While that may be true in principle, like any son, he wants to impress his dad.

Of course, impressing Dale Sr. and getting him to admit it is not an easy task.

"Until you succeed and do something he's done, or something he's proud of, you never feel up to par," Dale Jr. says. "I'm not out to match his accomplishments or anything like that. I want to be competitive. I want to be happy with my team, and I want to be satisfied with what I'm doing."

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Blk3GM's Dale Earnhardt Site was born on July 26, 1998 and is owned and maintained by Gary Harris.  This site is a tribute to "NASCAR's Greatest Driver" and his up and coming son.  We are not affiliated with any official Team, Sponsors, Media Group or NASCAR.  This site is solely for entertainment purposes.  Information and statistic's on this site have been collected from various NASCAR related sites on the internet, from Winston Cup Scene, Newspapers, Television and our personal experience at Winston Cup and Busch Grand National races.  All statistics are believed to be accurate at the time they are updated but cannot be guaranteed.
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