Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a lucky man. He survived having a fake snake in the cockpit of his No. 88 Chevrolet.
Yes, you read that right. A fake snake. Earnhardt shared a picture of the plastic snake Saturday while he prepared for Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway.
The next night, after winning the race, Earnhardt shared the story behind the snake, which had been part of a nefarious plot by the team of Joey Logano. Turns out they had successfully pranked Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski before setting their sights on the 12-time most popular driver.
“The story was my interior guy is Adam Jordan,” Earnhardt said. “He’s the best interior guy in the garage, not only because he pulled the snake out of the seat, but even before that he was the best in the garage. He used to do the interior on Carl (Edwards) car, and when Carl and Tony Stewart went to Homestead for the final race of the year to win the championship (in 2011), they had that close battle that was decided by one point.
“Tony was trying to play some mind games with Carl and put something in his car, in his seat as a joke, and Adam was going to take it out and Tony was like, come on, leave it in there, it’s funny. Adam was like, whatever, okay. Carl got very upset, and when Carl got upset the crew chief got upset, and then the crew chief went and chewed Adam’s butt and got (him) in trouble. So when Adam saw that snake in there he yanked it out of there because of the history he had had with issues before. But hey, it would have scared the hell out of me, and I’m glad that I didn’t get punked.
There’s a long history of drivers playing pranks on one another in the garage. That history includes Dale Earnhardt Sr., which Dale Jr. made mention of.
“It reminded me of the old stories about dad and Rusty (Wallace) and the sardines under the seat and all that stuff,” Earnhardt said. “We could get carried away here. I mean, there is another week of racing, and it could have got pretty ugly in Homestead.”
The Hendrick Motorsports driver is no stranger to snake driven practical jokes. Four years ago Earnhardt pranked a series of JR Motorsports employees with a fake snake in a cooler, which you can see in the video below.