After a long week of constant criticism, Dale Jr. sat down with Darrell Waltrip, and got to the bottom of the "Big One," once and for all, after DW said, "I don't care what your name is, you don't hit someone like that," following the crash at Daytona.
The interview started with DW asking Jr., "So uh, how has your week been." Jr responds with there have been a lot of wrecks at Daytona and Talladega, and none have been scrutinized as much as this one." " It was not a good day, but I have had worse."
DW then goes into mentioning the pit road incident, when Jr. passed and claimed he couldn't recognize his bit board. He responded with, "Ya, I was just coming up with an excuse to cover my butt."
Jr. then goes into mention how he used to practice pit stops with his team all the time, but hasn't in about three years.
This winter, Tony Eury Jr. (Jr.'s crew chief), called him up and told him to come practice pit stops with the team. Jr. then said that was the end of that, 'cause you can "obviously" see why.
DW talks about Jr.'s penalty of being over the pit line. He then says that after that he could see the "raging bull" in Jr.
Witty Jr. responds with, "First off, what's wrong with that." DW says nothing and that he likes that, but it was out of character for Jr.
Jr. agrees and goes into how he felt he had the car to win and just needed to dig them out of the hole. He mentions how they need go, I mean after all,this is the Daytona 500.
Then we get to Vickers and the "Big One." Jr. says that he had a good run on Vickers, so he slowly went underneath to let Vickers know he is coming.
Vickers came down and hit the right front fender of Jr., and pushed him below the yellow line. Jr. continues, "I saw grass and turned up back onto the race track."
Jr comments on the wreck by saying, "The first half of the wreck was his doing, the second half was my doing."
Good Ole DW asks the ever-longing question, "Did you mean to do it?" Jr. says that he did not do it intentionally and that Vickers is not an enemy of his. Jr. says that he does not want to blame Vickers, but a wreck like that doesn't just happen on its own.
He says that he felt bad for about 80 percent of the cars in the wreck, and the other 20 percent he couldn't care less about.
Jr. also goes into how he feels that most of the new guys don't really understand his driving style. A lot of the new guys don't understand when the popularity and the results don't match up.
DW goes into saying what would Jr. do if car owner Rick Hendrick, told him to forget about Whiskey River, his buddies, and his ranch and just focus on racing for the year.
Jr says, " You should take a week off, hang out with me every day of that week and you would be surprised where my mind is on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. It's pretty close to that."
Darrell pulls out the big guns with the final thought. He asked Jr., "Did you cause the wreck?" Jr. replies with an honest comment, "I take responsibility for it, I came back up and hit him and spun him out...that's obvious."
They talk about how it is not going to affect Jr. in any other race, and that he can't wait to go back to Daytona, and drive just as aggressively if needed.
Jr. is an honest person who tells it like it is. This interview has been the best yet, and let's hope Jr. can rock the rest of the year, like Jr. Nation knows he can.
Courtesy of Fox Sports and http://www.nascar.com/video/cup/2009/02/22/cup.cal.earnhardt.waltrip.nascar/
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