In his rookie season, Kurt Busch wrecked Dale Earnhardt Jr; He was then handed a treatment from Dale Earnhardt Sr
20 years ago, Kurt Busch joined the NASCAR Cup Series ranks. Now, he’s the only active driver in the field who had the pleasure of competing against Dale Earnhardt.
Dale Earnhardt was nicknamed ‘The Intimidator’ with good reason. He became known for giving drivers a hard time on the race track.
Many drivers have told stories of issues they had with Dale Sr during practice sessions. We was highly into the mind game aspect when it came to racing.
But that didn’t stop at practice. Kurt Busch recalled two stories from his Rookie year in the NASCAR Cup Series…
Kurt Busch’s First Race
Dover International Speedway
“It was amazing, my first few moments with Dale Sr,” Kurt Busch opened the memory bank pn Beyond Racing via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Kurt Busch made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in September 2000 at Dover International Speedway.
“I drove it down in there and I qualified 10th, all jacked up. I was walking back down the pits and here comes the man in black.”
“He kinda lowered his glasses. He looked at me and he goes, ‘Son, I didn’t think you were ever going to lift.’ “
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Dale Sr just talked to me. What does that mean though? Wait a minute. Was he giving me a compliment or telling me that was stupid.’ I couldn’t figure it out.”
Wrecking Dale Earnhardt Jr at Rockingham Speedway; Followed by Homestead-Miami Speedway
“Then, I had to apologize. I wrecked Dale Jr at Rockingham. I was so nervous but I had fresh tires and everybody else was on old tires, rifling through everybody.”
“The next race, at Homestead, I qualified like 18th or something. Dale Earnhardt Sr qualified like 22nd.”
Kurt Busch qualified 10th and Dale Earnhardt qualified 37th on November 12th, 2000 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This was two races after Rockingham.
“I kid you not, his car was so fast that he could have gone up and led every single lap. He rode behind me for the next 100 laps, rearranging my rear bumper. Making sure that I knew that I messed up when I wrecked Dale Jr the week before.”
“I just pulled over and stopped. I was like, ‘Spotter? What do I do?’ He said, ‘Just stop and let him go.’ “
“Next thing I know, he stops and gets back behind me. He definitely knew everything that was going on, on the track.”
Kurt Busch finished 19th that day. Dale Earnhardt Sr finished 20th
“I was getting the Senior treatment on, ‘Kid, we don’t like you.’ “