Dale Earnhardt Jr. may have been racing royalty, but even he had to get a job or two at some point.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. made his son start working after the younger Earnhardt got into trouble. Not only did Earnhardt Jr. make the most of his first paying job, but it perfectly foreshadowed everything that was to come when he started racing in NASCAR.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. made Dale Jr. get a job after a ticket
The most successful NASCAR drivers race fast. Unfortunately for Dale Earnhardt Jr., he wasn’t in the Cup Series when a police car pulled him over for speeding at a young age.
During a conversation with Dan Patrick in 2014, Earnhardt admitted that he received a speeding ticket while driving ahead of his father one night. USA Today transcribed the younger Earnhardt’s comments.
“… I pull out of the farm and I’m hauling [expletive] home. I got about two miles from the farm and I passed a state trooper and saw his brake lights so I just went ahead and pulled over and waited on him.”
Dale Earnhardt Sr. pulled into a nearby gas station and waited for his son. When Dale Jr. said the trooper gave him a ticket, his father suggested — as fathers do — that his son get a job.
Dale Jr. enjoyed life at the gas station
To pay off the speeding ticket, Dale Earnhardt Jr. worked at an Exxon gas station.
What may sound like a miserable experience at first glance — at least for the son of a NASCAR legend — actually provided Earnhardt with some happy times. In a 2015 conversation with USA Today, Earnhardt reflected on the fond memories he had from working at the gas station.
“[W]hen I worked there, it had a little service bay and I’d work on odd jobs on the cars. It was full service, so I was out there pumping gas. There was a Waffle House out behind it, and we’d go eat chicken melts every day. That was the best part of the job, getting those chicken melts.”
Eventually, after months on the job, Earnhardt paid off the ticket and life returned to normal.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s first job was perfect foreshadowing
Dale Earnhardt Jr. turned a speeding ticket into experience working on cars and chicken melts at Waffle House.
If any Hollywood directors want to make a movie that isn’t a superhero blockbuster or something involving a great deal of CGI, that right there is a great pitch. A young NASCAR hopeful gets busted for driving too fast, and the reward, of sorts, is working with cars.
Eanhardt Jr. won in the end by having his own incredible racing career. This is, of course, a story that NASCAR fans should not try emulating in hopes that they too will get to service cars and enjoy Waffle House meals if they drive too fast.