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Professional stock-car racing driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. spends his days battling for first place in the chaotic world of Nascar. Here, he shares his five most memorable moments behind the wheel, both on and off the track
This was one of the only opportunities I had to race my dad [Nascar Hall-of-Famer Dale Earnhardt, pictured right] head-to-head for a win. I thought I’d timed my pass for the lead perfectly, but he door-slammed me coming up to the chequered flag, halting my momentum to take the win. To this day, that is one of my favourite racing memories, even though I finished second.
Car of choice: 1999 Pontiac Firebird
The day after Christmas 2001, a few buddies and I made a road trip to East Bethany, New York to pick up TJ Majors (spotter for the No.88 team)and move him to North Carolina. We took backroads the whole way, stretching the first half of the trip to 22 hours. In the Pennsylvania hills we almost got stuck in the snow at 2am. It was a fun challenge to make it there, avoiding the interstates as much as possible.
Car of choice: 2001 Chevrolet pick-up truck
An engine change forced us to start from the rear of the field, but I knew we had an amazing car that day. There was a huge wreck on lap five and my car took some damage. After a lot of work I finally drove to the front and made a three-wide pass on Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth for the lead in the last five laps to win the race.
Car of choice: 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
I had always wanted to drive around the country in a tour bus, so we had a guy pick us up in Charlotte and do just that. We started by going to Auburn, Alabama, then over to New Orleans to party on Bourbon Street. After that we went up through Memphis and on into Nashville. We were worn out after raising hell for a week, so we had a plane pick us up and take us home.
Car of choice: Tour bus
We started the race 29th and knocked the right-front fender off our car on lap three. That sounds bad, but it actually helped us keep that tire cooler and made our car handle incredibly. I made it up to the top five and got spun out again, racing with Ryan Newman. But that day our car was so fast I drove all the way back through the field to finish fourth.
Car of choice: 2006 Chevrolet Monte Carlo