It seems like Dale Earnhardt Jr. was born to race. It's hard not to think of it that way—his dad's name still looms large in NASCAR lore, more than 16 years after his tragic death.
But being the son of a NASCAR legend didn't mean Junior was guaranteed a path into motorsports. It didn't even guarantee him an easy, h childhood.
Just listen to Earnhardt Jr. . He didn't grow up in the lap of luxury—his dad hadn't yet made it to the top in motorsports. And he went through some major tragedies and deep personal challenges to become the star racer we know him as today.
Take a listen to the short five-minute clip here:
This five-minute clip proves Earnhardt Jr. is one of the most intelligent, self-aware, thoughtful characters in motorsports today. As our own Fred Smith wrote on the day of Junior's retirement, he didn't lean back on the laurels of his famous name—he charted his own path.
The full 20-minute Dan Patrick interview is here: