How many of his diehard fans would give anything to sit alongside Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet?
NBC Sports’ Joe Posnanski found out for himself, sitting next to Junior while he performed burnouts on Las Vegas Boulevard last week during NASCAR’s annual Champions Week.
Here’s an excerpt from Posnanski’s great and up-close revelation of what it’s like to be so close to Junior in his race car:
“When it ended and Junior had almost run us into a truck — I don’t think he REALLY came close to hitting the truck, it just felt that way — Dale looked over with that evil smile. He suddenly looked SO happy, like a kid who just got away with something you’ll find out about later. He’s pushed race cars to the edge for more than half of his life. And the coolest part is that it still thrills him.”
As for how he felt afterward, Posnanski added,
“My stomach did not quite recover for the rest of the day. That part was weird. After the ride ended, I just felt this slightly queasy stirring in my stomach. I wasn’t sick, exactly. It wasn’t a familiar feeling. It was like my stomach was saying, ‘Everything SEEMS to be OK, but you know what, we’re going to keep things at DEFCON 4 while we do some safety checks.’ And that lasted the rest of the day.”