A colorful, fearless portrait of the larger-than-life first family of NASCAR, the Earnhardts, and the rise of the world’s fastest stock car racing organization.
More than sixty years ago, Ralph Earnhardt toiled in a cotton mill in his native North Carolina to support his growing family. Weekends he could be found going pedal to the metal at the dirt tracks, taking on the competition in the early days of box car racing and becoming one of the best short-track drivers in the state. His son, Dale Earnhardt Sr., would become one of the greatest drivers of all time, and his grandson Dale Jr, would become NASCAR’s most popular driver of the 2000s. From a simple backyard garage, the Earnhardts reached the highest echelons of professional stock car racing and became the stuff of myth for fans.
Earnhardt Nation is the story of this car racing dynasty and the business that would make them rich and famous—and nearly tear them apart. Covering all the white-knuckle races, including the final lap at the Daytona 500 that claimed the life of the Intimidator, Earnhardt Nation goes deep into the fast-paced world of NASCAR, its royal family’s obsession with speed, and their struggle with celebrity. Jay Busbee takes us deep inside the lives of these men and women who shaped NASCAR. He delves into their personal and professional lives, from failed marriages to rivalries large and small to complex and competitive father-son relationships that have reverberated through generations, and explores the legacy the Earnhardts struggle to uphold.
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About the Author
Jay Busbee is a lead writer at Yahoo Sports, where he writes for the official Yahoo Sports NASCAR Blog. He lives in Atlanta with his family.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Up From Dirt 15
Chapter 2 Go or Blow 25
Chapter 3 That Earnhardt Boy 35
Chapter 4 Gimme Back My Bullets 47
Chapter 5 Keep Your Damn Composure 63
Chapter 6 Win Some, Lose Some, Wreck Some 71
Chapter 7 If There Ain't A Hole, Make One 87
Chapter 8 I Don't Look Like No Eleven-Millionaire 101
Chapter 9 Wonder Boy 111
Chapter 10 Hell-Raisers 123
Chapter 11 Milk Toast 135
Chapter 12 The Gunslinger Slows 149
Chapter 13 No More Monkeys 161
Chapter 14 Earnhardt vs. Earnhardt 171
Chapter 15 Cage-Rattling 181
Chapter 16 Find Your Own Way Home 189
Chapter 17 Lost 201
Chapter 18 It Didn't Look That Bad 209
Chapter 19 The Days After The Day 221
Chapter 20 The Savior's Burden 229
Chapter 21 Free Beer 241
Chapter 22 The Schism 255
Chapter 23 Second Chances 263
Chapter 24 Eulogies and Memories 277
Chapter 25 @DaleJR 287
Chapter 26 Time Rolls On 299