Why did Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s neighbor cuss at him last Sunday?

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Why would Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s neighbor get so mad at him that he cussed him out last weekend?

Earnhardt, after all, said he rents a house to him, has him over for a beer or two and lets him ride the trails on his Mooresville property.

“We get along great,” Earnhardt said on his Dale Jr. Download podcast, expressing a bit of bewilderment over the tiff. “He’s one of the good guys.”

Earnhardt’s neighbor is fellow NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney, who called Earnhardt a nasty cuss word over a radio at Phoenix International Raceway last Sunday.

“I didn’t anticipate that from Ryan,” said NASCAR’s most popular driver as voted by fans.

Earnhardt said he knew better than to cuss back. The only thing he could figure is the extreme heat in drivers’ cars on the track had gotten to Blaney.

“He said he was hot, and when he’s hot, he can’t control himself,” Earnhardt said.

Blaney apologized on Twitter: “I called the 88 a bad word. I’m sorry. Was hot, needed to pull tape.”

Earnhardt brushed it off, saying 60 degrees is forecast at this weekend’s race at Fontana, Calif., “so he should have an easy go of it.”

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

Charlotte Observer file video - NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will return to Cup racing in Sunday's Daytona 500 after missing 18 races last season with a concussion, said his doctor told him that no two concussions are alike.