Dale Jr. now feels "emotionally invested" as NASCAR broadcaster

Dale Earnhardt Jr. still has an “itch” to drive but these days he’s more concerned with working to become a better TV broadcaster.

Dale Jr. now feels "emotionally invested" as NASCAR broadcaster
Dale Earnhardt Jr on the Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro pit box
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife Amy
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Letarte

Earnhardt retired from fulltime NASCAR competition following the 2017 season and joined the NBC Sports TV booth this season, which concluded last month. He drove in one Xfinity Series race during the year, finishing fourth at Richmond, Va., in the fall.

“I have this itch or urge to go race or run a race or just drive a car somewhere or whatever but I don’t have a clear regret or like a real urge that’s got to be satisfied,” Earnhardt said this week during a Nationwide Insurance appearance in Mooresville, N.C.

“The way that I feel about it and the way that I miss it is kind of healthy toward doing the job as a broadcaster. It makes me excited to go watch the race and excited about what I'm going to see and that comes out genuinely in my tone.”

Earnhardt said he really didn’t know what to expect as far as how fans would accept his role as a regular broadcaster.

“Week after week after week, it was just so fun and people seemed to be happy with it for the most part,” he said. “I know there are some people probably don’t love it. But the majority of the feedback that I got was positive, and that spurred me on just to keep digging and keep working and keep doing what I was doing.

“Hopefully, that will be enough to keep me around for a while. I really had a lot of fun. I went in not sure I’d be able to do it and not sure I’d be any good at it, then as it got going, I found out that I liked it a lot and I want to do it for a long time.

“Now, I’m sort of emotionally invested and I want to do whatever I need to do to become as good as I possibly can.”

Earnhardt admitted he was “really scared” about his work as a broadcaster and NBC’s part of the season grew closer but as soon as his appearances began he grew more comfortable.

“You still kind of go some on-cameras and they’re terrible, or you feel like they’re terrible, so there is a lot of room for improvement for me. And that’s great. The response has been positive and if I can improve a lot, it can only make people be more excited about me being part of the broadcast.

“I still have a long ways to go, though. You’re always kind of judging yourself and critiquing your performance.”

Earnhardt said that it’s “hard” to go back and re-watch his appearances on camera.

“I know it’s good practice to do that because that’s the only way you’re really going to see what you’re doing wrong,” he said. “It’s so weird when you do the broadcast. You’ll say, ‘That 15 minutes right there didn’t feel good’ and you’ll go watch it and it wasn’t that bad.

“Or you’ll think something is great and you go back and watch it and it’s not really as good as you thought. If you don’t watch, you’re never really going to know where you’re screwing up and what you can do better, what you need to avoid and what you do repetitively.

“I haven’t gotten comfortable yet listening to myself and watching myself but I need to.”

shares
comments
Kurt Busch: Ganassi's "streamlined" two-car program was appealing
Previous article

Kurt Busch: Ganassi's "streamlined" two-car program was appealing

Next article

Broadcast times released for 2019 NASCAR Cup Series events

Broadcast times released for 2019 NASCAR Cup Series events
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021