|Jennifer and Cale at Daytona|
Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Gale
Living in the same town, attending the same high school, Jennifer knew of Cale but they were in different cliques. She was the cheerleader; he was the "grease monkey" reminiscent of the movie "Grease" if you ask me. Meshing their two worlds seemed impossible.
Attending races as a young girl, Jennifer’s family had a friend who raced and was a big competitor of Cale’s father Bubba. Never meeting then, it took until high school for the pair to meet, and in a rather funny way.
Love at First … Dare?
Jennifer attended a race with her sister, who was dating one of Cale’s father’s rivals. The “spark” to Jennifer and Cale's love match began on a dare.
“It was Cale’s first year in a stock car and he was a big deal at home because he is Bubba’s son and he was the hot topic of the moment. We were sitting there in the stands watching the race and my sister’s boyfriend asked me if I knew that kid (Cale) and I said no, I don’t know him. After the race that night, we went down into the pits and after the races there are autograph signings. My sister’s boyfriend dared me to go in Cale’s line and get his autograph!“
After being reluctant at first, Jennifer caved to the peer pressure and jumped in Cale’s line. Much to her surprise, when it was her time to get an autograph, Cale knew who she was!
“He asked if he could sign my cushion, I was like ‘my cushion?’ it wasn’t even mine so I asked Eric and he said yes. Then as I go to walk off, he said ‘Bye, Jennifer,’ and I don’t know why but I got all these butterflies. It was so weird - I didn’t know he knew my name, I didn’t tell him … I just did the dare.”
The next weekend rolled around and Jennifer was back at the track and back in line to meet Cale. After Gale asked for Jennifer’s number, he called her early the next morning the rest is history. From what started as a friendship, Jennifer and Cale have now been “together” since 2001 and just married on New Year’s Eve 2011.
Life as a NASCAR wife
|Cale and Jennifer at Rockingham.|
Courtesy of Jennifer Gale
“It’s different when you have someone in the sport like a family member or a friend – you get into it, a lot of people I have met just do not understand it,” Gale said of her passion for NASCAR and following her husband’s career. “At this level Cale races in now, you honestly have respect for these guys doing what they do every day. This isn’t an easy job - if it was, everyone would be doing it.”
Seeing the Gales on SPEED’s "Newlywed Game," Jennifer and Cale are just one of the many new couples in the NCWTS series, joining the Craftons and the Bueschers. Asked if it helps having other young couples in the garage as “mentors,” Gale said they are all on the same journey and it is nice to have friends to turn to.
After being together for so long, Gale said her support system is either her mom or Cale’s mom for advice. “I try not to compare ourselves to other couples because we are different, very different,” Gale said, referring to their relationship and lifestyle. “For our ages we are both pretty mature and like I said, we have been together so long and know each other so well, it is just easy to be with Cale I guess.”
Dishing on Cale
Pet peeves are perhaps my favorite question to ask in the Love Story series, and there have been some good ones. In the case of Cale and Jennifer – I am siding with Cale! (Sorry Jennifer!)
“He really does like to be on time and it kind of messes him up when I am never on time, really they have to lie to me and say things are like an hour before they really are, it’s a pretty sad situation. I don’t mean it, I don’t wanna be late and I actually stress because I know I am going to be. That would be one of Cale’s pet peeves!”
|Jennifer and Cale at Charlotte Motor Speedway.|
Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Gale
“One thing we always do, we have this really long talk the night before wherever we are at. We talk about the truck, how he feels about it, things that are on his mind and just basically clears his mind. We talk it out ‘how are you feeling, are you comfortable with the truck?’ It helps him a lot because this sport is so competitive and it gets crazy at times, it is important for Cale to stay sane though the process,” Jennifer said. “I am not a crew chief or anything but I understand the sport, I have grown up around it and we have done this together and I want to go through things together. It is important for me to understand and know what is going on, I feel like, if the truck is loose or tight I want to know and understand. The same goes for after the race, we talk and if it was a really bad race we will cry and hug it out and he feels better, that is really important to me. I am just glad that I am here to be with him,” Gale said with emotion.
The love and connection between Jennifer and Cale was obvious in our conversation, from young love that started with those butterflies to now an 11-year-long relationship. The Gales are living the NASCAR dream and making young love work.