dale tales

Dale Tales: When Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove Kyle Busch’s car at Texas in 2007


The history books shows that Dale Earnhardt Jr. first drove for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008 when he began racing the No. 88 Chevrolet.

But Earnhardt’s first time in a Hendrick car actually came in 2007 in a race where he drove both his Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 8 Chevrolet and Kyle Busch‘s No. 5 Chevrolet.

Earnhardt recalled this odd episode in his career on this week’s “Dale Tales.”

The episode occurred on April 15 at Texas Motor Speedway. It began when Busch rammed into the back of Earnhardt’s car as they navigated through a smokescreen created by Tony Stewart, who had spun exiting Turn 4.

Earnhardt’s team was able to make repairs to his No. 8 car and return to the race. But his engine eventually expired on Lap 288.

He returned to the garage where Busch’s car had been repaired from their incident but Busch was nowhere to be found.

“So there was this interesting perfect timing for me pulling and their car’s ready to go,” Earnhardt recalled. “I’ve talked to Kyle since this and his version of the events is he didn’t think the car was going to get fixed and he felt he got cleared to leave. So a buddy of a mine, one of my drinking buddies that was on the 5 car that I hung out with during the week, he comes over and is like, ‘Hey man, can you drive out car? We’re in a points situation, we need to get a couple more points here and go out and run.’

“I’m like, ‘This is awesome. I’ve always wondered what the Hendrick cars felt like. What the motors felt like. This is a crashed car but maybe I can at least feel the power compared to my car and what I’ve been driving.'”

Earnhardt called it “recon” and said there was nothing behind his decision to drive the No. 5 “other than my own curiosity.”

Watch the above video for more.

Dale Tales: Dale Earnhardt Jr. remembers 2005 win at Chicagoland Speedway

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Ahead of Sunday’s Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. sat down with NBC Sports’ Nate Ryan to look back on his 2005 win at the track.

The victory snapped a 20-race winless streak for Earnhardt, who was in his sixth year driving the No. 8 Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. He was on his second crew chief of the year with Steve Hmiel after having parted ways with Tony Eury Sr. after 2004.

“That was a long year for us,” Earnhardt said. “You got to remember this was Michael Waltrip‘s team. … I had never worked with most of these guys before I had been with the same team out of the Xfinity Series into the Cup Series with Tony Eury Sr. and Tony (Eury) Jr. Then I moved over to an entirely different group of guys. Not only a new crew chief, everybody was new.”

Earnhardt had only seven top fives in 2005 and only two of them would come after the win at Chicago, which was the 18th race of the season.

“I don’t even remember how the rest of that season went, but I know this was pretty much the highlight of the year,” Earnhardt said.

Watch the above video for more.