375 - Ricky Craven: My True North
It is rare to hear two racecar drivers, stripped of the machismo attitude that comes from being a fierce competitor, talk about their most vulnerable moments. Former NASCAR driver and television analyst Ricky Craven sits down with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mike Davis for one of the most honest conversations between racers you will ever hear. From broken relationships, near tragic crashes, concussions to depression, it's a conversation that sheds light on parts of racing that are not often discussed.Craven cut his teeth on the Short Tracks of New England, following in his father's footsteps as a racer. The introduction to auto racing, as we learn, is one of the only lessons his father offered the young Maine racer. From Chargers. ACT Tour Late Models to the highly competitive Busch North Series, Craven's stock was rising. When opportunity came knocking, Craven jumped on it. His move south, into NASCAR's upper ranks, didn't come without challenges and valuable lessons. Some of those lessons, came from an unexpected source, the legendary Dale Earnhardt Sr.Craven's ascension into the elite NASCAR Cup Series came with some early success. In 1996, he was sixth in the standings when the green flag dropped at the massive Talladega Superspeedway. But it was a red flag at lap 129, caused by a savage crash that saw Craven airborne into the catchfence and flying over five cars, that started his struggles mentally and physically. Craven broke his back in the wreck, but came back to the seat right away.A year later, Craven landed his dream job piloting the Budweiser No. 25 Cup car for one of the best teams in the sport, Hendrick Motorsports. That dream, quickly became a nightmare, as a series of bad accidents led to a serious head injury when Craven crashed during practice at Texas Motor Speedway. Helicoptered to a hospital, the severity of his injuries kept him from the cherished seat he had earned. Eventually, Ricky returned. He fought through the symptoms that lingered after the crash. About a year later, Craven had to take himself out of the racecar, after being diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome. He opens up about how he was feeling and what he was going through at the time.As if a challenging upbringing, a wildly competitive sport, and concussion issues weren't enough, Craven was also dealing with depression. It wasn't until later in life, that the charismatic New Englander figured out, with the help of friend Dale Jr. and his doctor Mickey Collins, what his "true north" was. Craven shares the experiences battling depression and how he finds the inner-peace to make it through.Dale Jr. and Ricky share the commonality of going through serious head trauma. They share their viewpoints on a sport where it was once taboo to admit you are hurt and how it affected their careers and lives.It's a polarizing discussion that you don't want to miss.OPEN SEGMENT During our Open Segment Dale Jr. and Mike talk about the controversial finish at the Circuit of the America's (COTA) and what people should expect out of the young and aggressive Ross Chastain in the future. Dale Jr. also expresses his distain for "Track Limits" in NASCAR. They discuss Denny Hamlin's tweet an the public response to on-track incidents. Dale Jr. explains Reaction vs Reputation. ASKJR Presented by XfinityHannah Newhouse hits Dale Jr. with some interesting questions from our fans and we learn a lot from the answers. Dale Jr. gives us his plan for prepping for his line NASCAR Xfinity Series race of 2022. What does Dale Jr. and Mike Davis think of Will Smith's slap heard around the world? Was it for real? Dale wants a fireball. The candy! Le Mans or No Lemans? Dale also weighs in on Hendrick Motorsports’ participation How the upper ranks of the sport can help Short Track Racing Thoughts on the Foo Fighters after the tragic passing of Taylor Hawkins
374 - Geoff Bodine: Rivals and Revelations
376 - Robert Wickens: Unbreak-able
About The Show
NASCAR’s 15-time Most Popular Driver and winner of two Daytona 500s, Dale Earnhardt Jr., hosts his very own podcast, The Dale Jr Download on Dirty Mo Media. Earnhardt and co-host Mike Davis raise the bar with unparalleled perspective, candid commentary, and fascinating, first-person insight into the life of a broadcaster, celebrated racer.