Dear Dale Junior

credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs
By Lacy Page

Dear Dale Junior,

For 17 years you raced, and for 17 years we saw the No. 8 or No. 88 on the track. I remember the first time I came across you; you had that bleached-blonde hair I didn’t like and for a while, I didn’t think much about you. I was just a kid myself and it was your dad who was my hero and favorite driver.

When your dad died, I quit NASCAR. I didn’t feel like I could ever enjoy the sport or like it ever again. It wasn’t until 2007 that I came back, thanks to you. 

In 2007, when I was 14, my dad died. I was lost and just empty. I felt alone and sad. You may never know just how much finding this sport again and being your fan saved me. You knew what losing a father felt like, and I could relate to you. For that, Junior, I thank you. I thank you for making Sundays great again. I thank you for bringing a 14-year-old girl happiness and joy again in a time where she was lost and confused. You saved my life all those years ago.

When you announced you were retiring I was sad again, and angry at you. Angry, because now what? Where do I go from here? Who do I root for? Do I even want a new driver?

Sad, because you were retiring and leaving the sport. No more Earnhardt, no more No. 88 for me. Sad because you brought so much life and so much happiness to a lot of people. Who could ever replace you?

I’m not over it, to be truthful; I’ve still got a lot of mixed emotions with you retiring. I was excited to share this sport with my new husband  - I couldn’t stop telling him all about you, why you were my favorite. Now I don’t know how to explain this amazing sport to him.

Watching your last race Sunday, all the specials that NBC showed pulled at me in so many different ways. The one great adventure about being a Junior fan was always the smile on your face, it didn’t matter if you had good or bad days you always had that smile. You were always there for your fans and always looking forward to the next race. You always made me, as a fan, feel that if I put my mind to something I could do it no matter if I failed, keep at it.

In my opinion, you made this sport what it is for a generation of fans. "Junior Nation proud" has always been our motto. There will never be another driver like you.

Thank you for all the memories, for all the lessons we learned from you. Thank you for being the driver I needed. Thank you for this amazing ride, for the heartbreaks, and for all the victories.


A Junior Fan For Life


Dear Dale Junior Dear Dale Junior Reviewed by Lacy Page on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 Rating: 5