The Dale Jr. Download

369 - Ernie Francis, Jr.: Future Force

369 - Ernie Francis, Jr.: Future Force

The Dale Jr. Download - February 23, 2022 - 1:54:14

He's a racing champion, but until 2021, few knew of 24-year-old racing phenom Ernie Francis, Jr. This piqued the curiosity of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and co-host Mike Davis who welcome him to the table to learn about a racer that industry insiders can't talk enough about.Francis broke through with a big win in Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham's SRX Series (Superstar Racing Experience) at Indianapolis Raceway Park last summer. The win came against some of the best racers in motorsports and sent shockwaves across much of the sport. Who was this kid? Well, first off he's a seven-time Champion on the Trans-Am circuit. His recent success brought a call from motorsports legend Roger Penske, who tabbed him to be one of his up-and-coming stars. Francis details the call that changed his life and unexpectedly shifted his career path from stock cars to open-wheel racecars where he'll compete full-time for Force Indy in the 2022 Indy Lights Series. The goal? Building experience and a team capable of stepping up in a few years to compete in the Indianapolis 500.Francis' first opportunities in racing came with a lot less fanfare. As a child, he hung around and worked at his father's speed shop on the coast of Southern Florida. The family connection to speed took him from go-karts to his first racecar at the age of 13. From there, he honed his skills racing Mazda Miatas until the big decision to enter the Trans-Am Series. There, young Ernie blossomed, racing a beast of a racecar against some of the best road racers in America. He dipped his toes into the Stock Car oval-track world racing Late Models and K&N East races in NASCAR's diversity program too. But, it was the shot in SRX that put kid-Francis on the map.Where else would he race in 2022? Francis spilled the beans about his future with SRX.Before the show started, Dale and Mike chat about their recent trip to Daytona to watch racecars and promote vodka. From the High Rock party at the historic Streamline Hotel, to the ups and downs of the NASCAR Xfinity race, it was a trip full of surprises. None more surprising than the fun times had by family inside the racetrack. Dale reveals Amy and Isla's newfound love of the infield track experience. They also dive into the Great American race, its massive crowd, and the big-bad tangles that "Bad" Brad Keselowski was a part of.Sadly, it's Leah Vaughn's last show, which has all in DJD-land sad, but she brings it one last time for a wildly entertaining AskJr segment. From racecars losing wheels, to drive-shafts going through Dale Earnhardt's windshield, it's full of great moments. We also learn about the level of interest from Dale about space travel and, of all things, Chinchillas. Or was it a rabbit?

Previous Episode

368 - Boris Said: A Fork in the Road

February 15, 2022 - 2:22:20
When Boris Said sat down at the "Table of Truth" with Dale Earnhardt Jr and co-host Mike Davis, he thought it would be a discussion of...

Next Episode

370 - Al Unser, Jr.: For All My Sins

March 2, 2022 - 2:59:37
A pair of Champions, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. and two-time Daytona 500 champ Dale Earnhardt Jr. come to the table...

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.