Before being fired from his dad’s dealership and sent to work on race cars, Dale Jr up to his nose in mischievous things. If there was trouble, the young Dale Earnhardt Jr would find it.
“I stole $80 out of my dad’s change jar and bought a gameboy,” Dale Earnhardt Jr recalls the time when he lived with his dad.
“Teresa put locks on every door in the house after that. That was pretty damn embarrassing and shameful. I was literally locked out of every door, but my own.”
He continues to roll through the memory bank…
“I brought home a long sheet of classwork that I had not done, for the week. That brought the belt.”
“God, the belt from daddy was terrible. It was awful.”
Later on, Dale Earnhardt Jr was about to be expelled from Christian School and sent to military school. There was a limit on the write-ups at this particular school.
“I had been written up so many times for just talking in class, being a jokester, not paying attention and not listening.”
Dale Jr crossed that limit. No questions asked and it didn’t matter what the writeup’s were for. As school went off on Christmas break, the young Dale Jr had an expulsion letter sitting on the principals desk when he returned.
His father decided not to let Dale Jr receive that letter. Instead, he pulled him out of the school himself then sent his son off to military school.
“It was sorta a last ditch effort for me to figure it out. And it did, it worked. I’m sure it’s not for everybody. But, it taught me a lot.”
Years later, Dale Earnhardt Jr considered returning to Oak Ridge Military Academy for his senior year. He nearly moved away from Mooresville, NC to finish his senior year at the military school.
“We did a lot of fun things. We would fight with the other dorms and roll their dorms in the middle of the night. We were kids, you’re gunna goof off and try to go against authority.”
But, the $80 in quarters was really a crown jewel achievement.
“Although I got in trouble for pulling that $80 out of my dad’s change jar. I was real proud of myself for the ingenuity.”
“You know the big glass water bottles? The old ones, this is in like the mid-80’s. He had this jar in his room, ever since I’d been there. He’d throw all his pocket change, when he’d get home from work or wherever, in this jar.”
“I got the antenna off the car, put duct tape on the end and fished $80 in quarters out of that thing.”
“The housekeeper told on me.”