HENDRICK MO TORSPOR TS
NATION WIDE, AX ALTA,
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Long before Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove a NASCAR Sprint
Cup Series car for a living, his bread and butter came
from changing the oil on street vehicles. And, to hear
him tell it, he was very efficient at his old job.
Earnhardt, who refers to himself on
his Twitter profile as “a retired dealership
service mechanic,” spent his days just out
of high school working at the Chevrolet
dealership in Newton, North Carolina,
owned by his legendary father, the late
seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
champion Dale Earnhardt.
“I changed a lot of oil. I know that. And I
had a lot of fun doing that,” said Earnhardt
Jr., now a two-time Daytona 500 winner
and 13-time Most Popular Driver of
NASCAR’s top series. “I think I was there
for two-and-a-half years. It was a fun time.
I haven’t really run across anybody that
has said, ‘You used to change oil in my
car,’ back then.”
The Hendrick Motorsports driver offers
a rather vivid description of his duties
at Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet, where he
toiled many long days and nights before
following in his father’s footsteps to
become one of NASCAR’s biggest and
most beloved stars.
“I didn’t run the alignment machine,”
Earnhardt Jr. said. “I was a Quick Lube
guy. I got moved to a couple different
positions for a couple months at a time,
but always kind of ended up back at the
Quick Lube machine. And that was strictly
my job, and they had that 29 minutes or
less deal [for an oil change], and it was
fun. I got put on commission for a week
and I made too much money and they took
me back off commission because I was
doing them in eight minutes.”
Does Earnhardt Jr. remember his record
time for changing the oil on a vehicle?
“I was doing them pretty fast,” he said.
“When I learned I could make money doing
it, I was going through them pretty quick.”
Perhaps some would contend the
third-generation racer occasionally moved
a little too quickly.
“One time I drove out of the lot without
the filter on the car and ran all the oil
out of it right through the parking lot,”
Earnhardt Jr. said. “It was hilarious.”