Even though he’s been a NASCAR fixture for more than 15 years, there are apparently a number of things we still don’t know about Dale Earnhardt Jr.
For example, in an interview posted Thursday on USAToday.com, Junior opened up and gave readers a side of himself that few knew about before.
Among his answers: he loves chicken melts from Waffle House, he occasionally gets mistaken for Brian Vickers and Neil Patrick Harris, would play Bob Seger tunes during races if he were allowed to do so by NASCAR, and is ready to give up one of his favorite activities if a genie would grant his wish of a Sprint Cup championship in return.
Here’s some excerpts from that interview with USA Today’s Jeff Gluck.
* He talked about his first job at a gas station in Mooresville, N.C., where he’d eat at Waffle House next door every day:
“That was the best part of the job, getting those chicken melts.”
* Earnhardt laughed when asked if he’s ever mistaken for another driver or celebrity:
“Yeah, Brian Vickers a couple times. I think the casual fan gets me (confused) for Brian Vickers every once in awhile.
“And I get picked on by my friends that I look like Doogie Howser (Neil Patrick Harris’ TV sitcom character). I think that’s more to get under my skin a little bit, which I don’t really mind.”
* As for playing music in his race car – if he were allowed to by NASCAR – Earnhardt would tune in Seger from his Pandora account. But there’s a catch:
“You can’t thumbs up or thumbs down while you’re driving — you can’t skip songs if you don’t like it — so you’ve got to pick something pretty solid. I can trust Bob Seger Pandora.”
* And then there’s the ultimate sacrifice Junior is willing to make if it means winning a Sprint Cup championship:
“I would give up barbecuing for a championship. It would be easier than giving up a toe, which is what was proposed as an alternative (last year on Twitter).
“That was hard, because no, I’m not cutting off a toe. But I’d certainly give up barbecuing. I can certainly find another hobby to fulfill my off time.”