Saturday, April 22, 2017

Two Dales on the media tour

We were on the annual Winston Cup Media Tour one year, around 2000, and I assume it was Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s first tour.

We were going from shop to shop, and we were at Dale Earnhardt Inc. The media members immediately spread out. Some were talking to DEI executive Ty Norris or one of the crew chiefs, something I probably did. A bunch were swarming around Earnhardt, and the rest were attracted to Junior.

Before joining the fray, I watched both Earnhardts for a minute.

Earnhardt, by then a veteran at meeting the press, was answering questions but also watching his son. All I could see of Junior was his face, with a halo of tape recorders around it. Dale looked calm in a storm of questions, and Dale Jr. appeared almost overwhelmed in a similar cyclone.

Welcome to the big time, Junior.

Fortunately, it got easier. I saw Dale Jr. at Rockingham that same year, and he looked more comfortable. Of course, he didn't have 50 microphones and tape recorders stuck in his face at one time, either. Maybe 15 or 20.

And by now it's probably no big deal ... as it was with his father.

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