Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dale Earnhardt Jr Press Conference Transcript

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Are you a NASCAR fan?  Is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. you favorite driver?  I'm a Dew Crew and a Mountain Dew Insider.  I recently received the Mountain Dew Swag Package and I thought I would share it with all of you. I  received a backpack, a bottle of Mountain Dew, hat, koozie and a bumper sticker.  I was asked to share this full transcript with my readers of the digital press conference that they hosted on October 31st with Dale Earnhardt Jr and some of your fellow Dew Crew members.  Hope you enjoy it!

Dew Crew Press Conference

Mountain Dew
The Mountain Dew Insiders
10/31/12

Moderator (Tom Stern): Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the Diet Mountain Dew Crew Press Conference with Dale Earnhardt Jr.!  Thank you for joining our exclusive Google Hangout today with the King of the Dew Crew himself!  An even bigger thanks goes out to the
most influential 6 Diet Mountain Dew Crew Insiders for participating.  They earned their spot by going above and beyond and showing their commitment to Dale Jr. and the Diet Mountain Dew Crew.

As members of the Diet Mountain Dew Crew you were able to make real decisions about the #88 team in addition to being part of an awesome community of other #88 fans!  You blogged, tweeted, and chatted about everything Dale Jr. and Diet Dew, and got access to some amazing prizes and gear – best of all you now have the opportunity to chat with the man himself... Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t really need an introduction – he’s had your loyalty and passion since day one!

You’ve helped vote Mr. Earnhardt in as NASCAR’s most popular driver for 9 consecutive seasons.  So let’s get started with some questions.  First up is Lisa Weidknecht from Planet Weidknecht.  The first questions we’re going to have is from Lisa, “Dale the interview
and letter from you as a teen about your dad was very inspirational.  Does he come to mind when you're driving?”

Dale:  Yeah, I mean I don’t know if I would say he comes to mind while I’m driving, but I definitely carry the legacy with me and it’s important for me to carry on the family name and honor the family name.  My father and his father as well, they’ve invested a lot into the name, and it carries a certain weight around the sport, and I just want to kind of add my niche to it and not do anything to hurt that or harm that.  So yeah, I think about that when I’m driving and know that the decisions I make are going to be a reflection on my family and the legacy.

Moderator:  Absolutely, the second questions we have from Lisa is, “What is your favorite track to run and why?”

Dale:  It’s hard to pick just one because we run on so many different race tracks and they’re all really different.  There’s something cool about each one, and each one has its own character.  I like short tracks a lot, Bristol and Richmond are tracks that I enjoy racing.  I just like the close
quarters that short tracks provide, there’s always a competitor close-by to compete with.  On the mile and a half tracks we get a little spread out and it’s kind of difficult to enjoy those races as much because the close-quarters racing is what I thrive on, you know, what I really enjoy.  But there’s a different mentality and a different way to race at different race tracks and they all, like I said, have their own character.

Moderator: Sure, thanks very much.  Dawn Pruitt of Check It Out with Dawn, you’re next.

Dawn:  Hey Dale, I’m so excited to be able to talk to you.  My first question is, “What other sports do you participate in?”

Dale:  Well me and my friends have a basketball league that we play every summer and I’m involved in that and I play softball as well.  There’s a league in town, and me and a lot of people that work at JR Motorsports and the former team we’re a part of that league.  So we go play with the rest of the community and that’s a lot of fun as well.  It’s good clean fun and, aside from that I don’t know.  I picked up golf about a year ago.  I’m not very good but I do enjoy getting out on the course.  I just like how beautiful the courses are and being outdoors and being out in nature’s a lot of fun, good relaxing time if you get the opportunity to do it.

Dawn:  Cool, OK! My second question is, “I just suffered a house fire and lost my home in a fire.  So my question is, If your house was burning down and you could save 1 item, what would it be?”

Dale:  I’m sorry to hear about your misfortune.  I was in a house fire as well when I was about seven years old.  Me and my mother and my sister lived together in Kannapolis and we woke up one morning and our house was on fire.  It burnt down and she moved to Norfolk to be with
her mother and that’s when custody of me and my sister was given to my father.  So I had quite an interesting childhood, so I can imagine what you’re going through.  I would definitely have to say my dogs, Killer, would be the first thing I’d go looking for.

Dawn:  We lost our pets, so that’s a great answer.

Dale:  Yes, ma’am.

Moderator:  Dawn, thank you so much you had a couple of great questions there.  We’re going to move on to Cristine from More from Mom’s Book.

Cristine:  Hi, my first question is, “I have two little boys at home, when did you realize you wanted to be a race car driver and how old were you?”

Dale:  I guess I was around twelve years old when I realized that I was going to make a serious effort and commitment to driving cars.  When I was really young I wanted to be a football player, and when I was six or seven I dreamed of being a football player, but as I got older I got
exposed to racing and the sport, and what my father was doing I started to fall in love with the sport and what he did, and I loved going to the races and being around it, and I guess around the age of twelve or thirteen is when I sat down and realized, wow, I want to drive race cars
and I’ve got to wait until I get my driver’s license to do it.  That was about three or four years, I thought I was going to go crazy sitting on my couch waiting on that to happen.  Just going and observing was becoming really difficult.  I was missing something that I hadn’t even been a part of yet, but I knew driving was what I wanted to do and just being patient and waiting on myself to grow up and mature was probably the hardest part.

Cristine:  My second question would be, “Do have any pre-race rituals that you have to do every time before you get out on the track?”

Dale:  I don’t have any superstitions or rituals.  Our weekends and our Sundays are really consistent.  We have the same sort of schedule.  In the mornings we’ll get up go do a few meet and greets with our sponsors, Mountain Dew, the National Guard, a third with Chevrolet at the Chevy Stage which really involves meeting fans and interacting, taking pictures with fans and just seeing some of the people that our companies might have brought in and enjoy the race.  Then, after that I will go to the drivers meeting and I’ll have about a 45 minute break in between the drivers meeting and the drivers intro where I need to get something to eat and to get my uniform on and that’s pretty much, every weekend’s similar to that.  I kind of like the repetitiveness and having everything sort of, I know what I’m getting myself into.  I’m the kind of person who really doesn’t like surprises, so we’ve sort of got it structured the way we like it and, the only thing I’m superstitious about is probably just the standard stuff that you get taught when you’re young about black cats crossing the road or walking under ladders or breaking mirrors, you know those are the kinds of things, I’m definitely superstitious about
those things.

Cristine:  Thank you!

Dale:  Yes ma’am

Moderator:  Thanks very much, next up is Z. Smith from NASCAR Race Mom.  Her first question is, “Dale, what was the best piece of advice your father gave you?”

Dale:  One thing that was important to him was that we finish school.  He dropped out of school in eighth grade at sixteen years old and even though he was able to have a successful career as a race car driver I think that he knew as he got older and understood just what he had done, I think he understood how limited and how the odds were stacked against him to have that type of career and have that kind of lifestyle so it was really important to him that myself and Kelly finished school and attempt to earn a degree in college.  He was really glad that my sister went the extra mile to do that.  I went to Mitchell, which is in Statesville, North Carolina, twenty minutes up the road and got an automotive degree because I wanted to work on cars, and at this time, when I graduated high school, driving race cars and being a race car
driver for a living weren’t a guarantee.  So I went and got an automotive degree to be a mechanic in a dealership, and that’s what I actually did for about four years.  But, that’s what was most important, the standard stuff, stay away from drugs and alcohol and hanging around with the wrong crowd.  He was always worried about us sort of getting mixed up in the wrong things and I just think he knew what the pitfalls in life were out there and how dangerously close we were to those and how easily affected and impressionable young kids are so he was really worried that we make the right choices at that age, but once we got done with college we got a lot of freedom, we made the choices we wanted to make and he wasn’t quite as concerned after that.

Moderator:  Great, well just going along with that, “Dale, do you feel that your popularity with the fans carries its own set of responsibilities?”

Dale:  Yeah absolutely.  I guess I’m always cognizant of the decisions I make, what I say, how I react because I know that it has repercussions whether good or bad, and I have to represent not only myself but the sponsors that we have, the guys that work on my car, everything that
you do is a reflection of everything around you and I don’t want to upset my sponsors, I don’t want to embarrass the guys that work on my team and are trying to help me, I don’t want to upset my mother.  You think about all those things when you’re out there working and doing what you’re trying to do, and the fans are willing to support you and they’ll go through thick and thin to stand by your side and they’ll argue with their coworkers and argue with their other family members about your abilities and your talent and all that stuff, and so you want to do things that make them proud and you don’t want to do anything that goes against what they believe, and sort of, you don’t want to insult their intelligence or do anything that’s going to upset them in any way.  So yeah I’m really cognizant of that and I think it’s important that you are aware of what you’re doing, and know that everything you say and do has repercussions and you have to be smart about that.

Moderator:  Most definitely.  Thank you very much to those questions from Z. Smith!  Dale, several influencers were unable to attend today’s press conference due to hurricane Sandy, but we’d like to pass several of their questions along.  To everyone out there affected, we sincerely hope that you and your families are safe and we’re wishing you the best of luck!

First up, we have a question from Susan of Susan Heim on Parenting.  She asks, “Dale, what is your favorite flavor of Mountain Dew?”

Dale:  I like Diet Mountain Dew.  I think it was the blueberry or whatever they came out with for the Dark Knight movie was really, really good.  I drank a lot of that on Sunday in Michigan.  But, Diet Mountain Dew is my favorite and I like Orange Amp as well.  They’re coming back out with the Orange Amp so I’m excited about that.

Moderator (on behalf of Dawn):  Excellent. Next up we have a question from Dawn, from With a Side of Thriftiness.  She asks, “What is the fastest speed you’ve driven?”

Dale:  I really don’t know.  Our cars don’t have speedometers in them so it’s hard to know for sure exactly how fast we went, but I believe at Michigan this year with the repave that we ran, 200 miles an hour as an average lap.  So, I would say that at the end of the straightaway we were running about 217 to 218 miles an hour and that’s probably as fast as
I’ve ever driven, 218.

Moderator (on behalf of Tony):  Wow, our next question comes from Tony, of The Tunnel Turn.  He asks, “Have you ever disguised yourself so that you could go outside without being recognized?  If so how far will you go to go unnoticed?”

Dale:  I have done that before.  When we leave the night races at Richmond on Saturday night we park our car way out in front of the race track across the street so we have to walk through the grandstands and basically, as the fans are exiting the racetrack we’re kind of walking right through that.  So, earlier in the day I will go to a souvenir rig and buy souvenirs from another driver and sort of dress up as a race fan for someone else like Bobby Labonte, and I’ve done that before.  I carry a seat cushion and put on my Bobby Labonte gear and head on out of the
racetrack with all of the fans, and I’m cheering for Bobby.

Moderator (on behalf of Kim):  Alright great.  Dale, we’ve got one more questions for you.  Our final question for the day comes from Kim, from 2 Kids and A Coupon.  Kim asks, “In your recent letter to your sixteen- year old self, you talk about how your dad encouraged your career.  What do you think that today’s parents can do to help nurture their children’s
hopes and dreams?”

Dale:  Well, I think you just need to be supportive and encouraging, and remarks are really what matters the most and the delivery is everything when you’re talking to your child.  I remember when I was young it was the delivery and how your father talked to you or how your mother talked to you, and most times it really wasn’t even the words they said
but it was the tone and the way they spoke to you, that was really what influenced me the most.  I would either get disheartened or get fired up and excited depending on really that tone.  The tone of the voice and the delivery in what you’re trying to say I think, that’s the key starting point.

Moderator:  Well, that concludes the Diet Mountain Dew Crew Press Conference with Dale Earnhardt Jr.!  Thanks to all the influencers for participating and especially to Dale for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us!  Check back on the Diet Mountain Dew Facebook page for more exciting things to come in 2013!

I recently received the Mountain Dew Swag Package and I thought I would share it with all of you.  I was not paid in any form of cash for this posting. The opinions expressed are my own and were NOT influenced in any way.

Bonny Sallee

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