NASCAR driver and team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. normally competes in the Spring Cup Series driving his 900hp No.88 Chevy Impala, but he recently competed in ESPN’s first running of the Golf Cart 500. Dale was racing against ESPN anchor Jay Crawford for the chance to win a bottle of Mountain Dew, from one of Dale’s racecar sponsors.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was visiting ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, to promote the Chase for the Sprint Cup in what NASCAR bills as the “Chase Across America.”
Both racers were driving identical Yamaha gas golf cars, although before the race Dale was concerned that the cart he was driving was the slower of the two steeds. Ever the race car driver his finely honed instincts kicked in before the race when he pre-race inspected his golf cart, with a quick tire and suspension check.
"I just made sure the tires had air in them, that's all," he said.
More as an afterthought, Jay did the same and also checked that the cart still had its motor by checking under the golf cart's seat. Confidently Jay said he liked what was under the hood.
Despite a complaint from Jay that Dale tried to jump the start, Dale raced ahead over the 1/4ish mile road course to take the checkered flag. At the winners presentation he didn't say if this was the greatest win of his career, but he did make the obligatory winners speech.
"I'm more happy for my fantasy team, I believe," Dale enthused, referring to his NFL Football fantasy picks.
Dale will be returning to his day job later this month when he attempts to win the Nascar Sprint Cup Series and take the title away from defending champion Tony Stewart. Earnhardt, who finished third in 2003 and fifth in 2004 and 2006, returns to the track for the start of the "Chase Across America" on September 16 at Chicagoland Speedway.