Scott Fowler

Would Dale Earnhardt Sr. have embraced Twitter and the social media age?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., talk in Charlotte in 1998.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., talk in Charlotte in 1998. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

With more than two million followers, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been quite a draw on Twitter ever since he finally joined the social media platform following his own Daytona 500 victory in 2014.

Would his father have done the same thing?

“No, no,” Dale Jr. said. “He hated computers. I remember when I was 15 years old and the biggest NASCAR racing game ever had just come out. There had never been anything like it. All my buddies were playing, but you had to have a computer to play.

“I didn’t have a computer, and how was I going to get a computer? They were about 500 bucks. So I begged him. He said, ‘I don’t like computers, and you don’t need that in your life.’ So I went to Kelley (Earnhardt’s older sister, with whom he has always been close) and she and I went to Best Buy, and she put it on her credit. I paid her back – 100 dollars a month.

“But Dad – he wasn’t too into technology. … He was a racer and he worked with racers, and trying to fit technology into your everyday life, accepting all that, maybe he wasn’t quite as open to that.

“He wouldn’t like Twitter. He wouldn’t like social media. … And I bet he still probably wouldn’t have his own laptop.”

More from Scott Fowler’s one-on-one with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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