Dale Earnhardt, Jr. appears on Letterman

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Headline Surfer® is taking NASCAR Nation back to Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s Daytona 500 championship & aftermath in our multimedia recap: 'Daytona Rising: Dale, Danica, Denny, Dillon.'

Dale earnhardt, Jr. promoted on Lte Show with David Letterman / Headline Surfer®DAYTONA BEACH -- What better way to spend your Monday after winning the Daytona 500 if you're Dale Earnhardt, Jr. than topping it off with an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman?

That's two nights in a row of Junior basking in the glory of his second Daytona 500 championship that ended a decade-long drought in Victory Circle.

The first video clip Headline Surfer® uploaded from Youtube of Earnhardt's appearance on Letterman is a funny exchange between the driver and host on a driving tip he used during cautions to save on gas mileage to which the host joked about doing as a sophomore in high school. Then later in the clip, Junior explains how he was able to count on teammate Jeff Gordon to give him a push from behind in the last lap to keep him out front. 

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s famous tweet for his dad after winning the 2014 Daytona 500 / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® /
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s famous selfie and tweet for his father in front of Daytona International Speedway the morning after winning his second Daytona 500, which came up during Junior's appearance on 'Late Night with David Letterman.'
 

When Letterman pushes him as to how he can trust any driver when the race is on the line, Junior answers, that in that situation with him in the lead he can count on Gordon, in third place with a couple laps to go describing him as a "company man."

Letterman asked rhetorically with a twinge of sarcasm, "He bought that?" Junior shot back rhythmically, "He bought that."

In the second video clip, Letterman asks Junior about his famous tweet, with a large screen shot for the studio audience and people watching at home. It was a "selfie" of Junior standing in front of the bronze statue of his father, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., in front of Daytona International Speedway.

The statue was erected in memory of the elder Earnhardt, the 1998 Daytona 500 winner and seven-time cup champion, killed in a crash off turn 4 on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500."

Letterman describes the photo and tweet as "so - so touching" and asks Junior to read the caption, to which he replies in his native North Carolina accent: Look who I ran into at Daytona -- Daddy's happy."

"Daddy's happy -- everybody's happy," Letterman chimes in, to the studio applause for both of them.

In the third video clip, Earnhardt, Jr. ignores annoying paparazzi outside the Letterman Studio, between 53rd and 54th Streets on Broadway in Manhattan, as he signs autographs and even poses for a picture with a fan, a beefy New York City cop in uniform at his side.

While many professional athletes come off as smug, arrogant and aloof, in the spotlight that a Letterman appearance provides, Earnhardt, Jr. showed a sense of humor, humility and a genuine good-guy image, clearly the opposite of the intensity of turning rpms in a restrictor-plate race like Daytona where the stakes are high and danger lurks.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.