Frustrated Dale Earnhardt Jr. Drops Multiple F-Bombs in Tirade at Homestead
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is as authentic as they come. He isn’t one to hold back what he’s thinking. That was true throughout his career, and today, you can regularly hear his NASCAR thoughts during NBC broadcasts or on his podcast.
This past weekend at Homestead, the Hall of Famer shared what was on his mind in another context when he strapped inside the No. 88 car for the Xfinity Series race and encountered repeated communication issues. He didn’t hesitate to let his team know how he felt about it, and his longtime fans couldn’t help but smile, flashing back to the good old days.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. racing in Xfinity Series
Since retiring from full-time competition after the 2017 season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has made it a habit to run a single race in the Xfinity Series each year. He has done so with success, including top-five finishes at Richmond (4th in 2018), Darlington (5th in 2019), and Homestead (5th in 2020).
However, the 49-year-old has experienced a drop-off in performance more recently, with two finishes outside the top 10, including a 14th at Richmond in 2021 and an 11th at Martinsville last year.
Junior changed it up a bit this year, adding a second race to his schedule. In his first outing at Bristol in September, the results didn’t reflect the performance. He finished 30th because his car caught on fire late. Before that happened, he had a fast car, running inside the top 10 for much of the race, including leading an impressive 47 laps.
He arrived at Homestead, his second race of 2023, with confidence.
Earnhardt gets heated and drops multiple f-bombs in rant
After qualifying 23rd on the 1.5-mile track, Earnhardt knew it would be challenging to match his fifth-place outing of 2020. Working with a crew chief and spotter who have had little time together would only add to those challenges. That was evident early on in the race.
“Well, knocked the s*** out of the 25 there,” Earnhardt said, describing his contact with Brett Moffitt.
“Yeah, copy. Snuck in there on me,” the spotter admitted.
“How bad did you hit it?” the crew chief inquired. “We’ll get a picture of it.”
“We ain’t coming to pit road, I’ll tell you that,” Earnhardt said. “But you’re telling me one thing. The spotter’s telling me another. I know we don’t all work together, but we need to clean it up a little.”
Unfortunately, that was only the first time Earnhardt had communication issues with his crew. It happened again later in the race. The second time around, the two-time Daytona 500 winner was more aggressive in his approach and what he had to say.
“I’m just trying to get into a f****** rhythm here,” he said. “There is a lot of f****** talking going on right now. I hit the wall like a motherf***** the last couple of laps. Let me concentrate.”
Involved in incident with Josh Berry
This year, Earnhardt has painfully watched multiple times as two of his JR Motorsports cars have been involved in the same incident. On Saturday, he got in on the teammate-on-teammate action late in the race when he slid up the track hard into the side of the No. 8, which then went up into the wall.
At the next yellow flag, Earnhardt talked about his mistake, and unsurprisingly, communication, or lack thereof, was the main problem.
“Oh, man, that sucks. Right here,” he said. “When I felt like I was here and the 8 was in the middle. I didn’t know anybody was to the outside.”
Berry’s day ended early, and he finished 32nd. Earnhardt steadily made his forward in that final stage and finished fifth. And he confirmed what he already knew — racing is hard, and communication is key.