Off week from NASCAR provides perfect opportunity for Dale Earnhardt to research his roots.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was as anxious as anyone for the rain-delayed Quicken Loans 400 to end on Sunday — and not just because the driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy Chevy was running second at the time.
For the last five years, Earnhardt has researched his family roots which led him to Germany on the paternal-side of his family tree.
After he turned 40 last October, Earnhardt knew it was time to make the journey.
“Well, I got some specific towns that we're going to go visit that we understand that my ancestors are from,” Earnhardt told motorsport.com. “I've been searching my genealogy for about five years now, and I made a promise to myself then that I would go to Germany and understand more about my ancestors when I turn 40, so here I am.”
With an off-week after Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway, the Hendrick Motorsports driver was gathering up his girlfriend Amy, sister Kelley and brother-in-law L.W. Miller and heading across the pond.
A new experience
However, Earnhardt, who has his own jet, has not travelled with the masses since 2001.
I haven't flown commercial since 9/11, so it's been a long time.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“I'm real nervous about flying over there,” Earnhardt said. “I haven't flown commercial since 9/11, so it's been a long time. My friends tell me I'm in for a treat, and just hopefully it's just a good trip.
“I'm taking my sister and LW, her husband, Larry Wayne, and Amy is going with me, of course, and the lead IT guy at JR Motorsports, Martin Frederick, he's from Germany, so he's going to go with us, as well, and really kind of help us understand how not to insult anybody.
“Should be a lot of fun, and I'm really looking forward to it. We should come back with some great stories. Hopefully I'll get pictures, and we'll certainly share.”