HENDRICK MO TORSPOR TS
NATION WIDE, AX ALTA,
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s spotter, T.J. Majors, is also a
close friend. How close are the two? Let’s begin
with a history lesson. Majors has been Earnhardt’s
spotter since Junior’s final 10 races at Dale
Earnhardt, Inc. – which came in 2007.
But even before the two hooked up on
the in-car radio on Sunday afternoons,
they were amigos. In fact, they’ve known
each other since Majors and Earnhardt
competed together in an online computer
game during the late 1990s. Majors has
lived adjacent to Earnhardt’s property
in Cleveland, North Carolina, and unlike
most drivers and spotters, the two typically converse multiple times a week.
Being so close only enhances their
chemistry on race day, when good communication can be the difference between
winning and wrecking.
“I don’t like to give T.J. too many compliments,” Earnhardt said with a laugh.
“He’s so good. … Michigan, these other
race tracks we go to, I don’t even have
to look in the mirror. I might go 60 laps
without glancing at the mirror because the
information is so good. I can almost see
the image in my mind of what’s happening
behind me because of how good T.J. is at
Majors has been especially helpful
to Earnhardt at Daytona International
Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway,
the two restrictor-plate tracks where split-
second decisions in the draft are crucial
to success and survival.
“He’s learned over the years how to
understand when a run’s happening half
a lap before it forms,” Earnhardt said.
“He can see things sort of forming and
understand this lane’s going to be coming,
give me that information. So I’m ready
before it’s happening. I’m not making a
nasty block late in the game. I’m actually
preemptive and moving in front of the line
that’s going to be coming.”
Ultimately, strengthening the kinship
between Earnhardt and Majors is the
mutual trust they have in one another.
“I’ve worked with other spotters in the
past that are good spotters, but I also
know some of the guys up there that he’s
working with,” Earnhardt said.
“I know he’s miles better than half of them
up there. I wouldn’t want to be working
with anybody else.”