Dale Earnhardt Jr talks first contract with Rick Hendrick – He just wanted his side skirts painted
He didn’t ask for much. In fact, he didn’t want to see the contract at all.
Dale Jr tells the story of his first contract with Hendrick Motorsports, “When I went to Rick, for the very first discussion about driving for him… He had this contract and he had a number dollar amount and all that on it.”
“We sat down and talked for about an hour about how cool it would be to work together and race together. And how our families are intertwined. My grandaddy Robert worked at Rick’s as a bodyman for many many years.”
“I’ve known Rick a really long time.”
This weekend Dale Earnhardt Jr heads to Michigan International Speedway. He’s won there twice, both times with Rick Hendrick.
2008 was his debut year driving for Hendrick Motorsports. The first win with the team came that year at MIS.
NASCAR contracts are detailed. “Rick had this big old piece of paper, with all this money written out. He slides across the table and says, ‘Look at that and tell me what you think about that proposal.’ ”
Dale Jr says he didn’t even want to see it, “I slid it back across the table. I said, ‘I don’t want to look at a proposal. I don’t want to deal with the money. You talk to Kelly about the money. Y’all figure that out. I don’t care what I get paid.’ ”
His signing was simple, “All I wanna do is be able to ride in the helicopter to Charlotte and to Martinsville. And I want my side skirts painted!”
The video below shows Dale Earnhardt Jr getting a helicopter ride to Charlotte Motor Speedway. A ride he still takes to this day, per contract.
Dale Earnhardt Jr laughs, “That was the only two things I cared about.”
“He (Rick) jokes that ‘he’s glad I didn’t see the number. Cause then he can go adjust it.’ That’s pretty funny”
“I didn’t really care about how much I was going to get paid. I figured I was going to get paid whatever I was worth. I didn’t have to worry about it. Rick wasn’t going to do me wrong.”
He concludes, “We talk about that still.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr has collect 8 wins with Hendrick Motorsports. This is final full-time season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He announced his planned retirement, earlier in the season.
Author: Shane Walters