Earnhardt Jr. gains new fan By Shawn A. Akers HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Jan. 8, 1999) Dale Earnhardt Jr. could hardly contain his excitement before meeting actor Anthony Edwards. It was Edwards, however, that was thrilled to meet the newest NASCAR...
Earnhardt Jr. gains new fan By Shawn A. Akers
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (Jan. 8, 1999) Dale Earnhardt Jr. could hardly contain his excitement before meeting actor Anthony Edwards. It was Edwards, however, that was thrilled to meet the newest NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division champion Friday. Earnhardt Jr. and a group of NASCAR-related people, in Beverly Hills for tonight's NASCAR Busch Series awards banquet at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, made a trip to Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood to take a tour of the facility and view a rehearsal of the NBC television show "ER," in which Edwards stars. While there, Earnhardt Jr. met Edwards, a huge racing fan, and a mutual respect was exchanged between the two. Although Edwards has never seen a NASCAR event live, he has followed Earnhardt Jr.'s meteoric rise to stardom on television and was happy to shake the hand of the son of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt. "Anybody that comes into our world, we're happy to have them, and I'm excited to be able to watch him race," Edwards said of Earnhardt Jr., who was crowned the series champion Friday. "It's going to be fun to watch him next year since he won the series this year and his career is just getting ready to take off. This is great to talk to be able to meet him and talk to him about racing." Edwards said he admits that he's paid more attention to the CART Indy-Car Series in the past, and even waved the green flag at the start of a CART series race at Fontana, Calif. He has, however, followed the NASCAR races on television, and plans to attend a race or two on the West Coast in 1999, including NASCAR Winston Cup Series events at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and Sears Point, and perhaps the NASCAR Busch Series race at in Fontana. "I'm sure we're going to show up at a few this year," Edwards said. "I've not seen a NASCAR race, but I really want to go to some this next year. I'm a pretty big fan. Fontana will be an easy one for us to get to, so that will be fun. "On television, the coverage is great, so that's where it's fun. It's kind of a rivalry, because I've been following the CART series for a while. Richard Thorp is our EP (Executive Producer) on the show and he's a huge NASCAR fan. He's thrilled Dale's here today. He's always saying NASCAR is where the real driving is. I hope to find that out myself." Edwards hasn't always been a race fan. It took participating in a celebrity race in Long Beach, Calif., a couple of years ago, for his interest in the sport to grow. "The truth is I did that race at Long Beach at the Long Beach Grand Prix, and that really got me hooked," Edwards said. "I always thought racing was about just people driving, and that you had to be the bravest guy to be the fastest driver. I didn't realize what concentration was involved or what stamina was involved. "So, once you learn a little bit about it, you realize what these guys have to do and how they have to maintain that concentration for that amount of time. As an actor, it's exciting, because that's what we kinda do. It's all about concentration. But the combination of that and the athleticism, the quick-second reactions, it's really why racing has such a big fan base. It seems to me that people really understand it and they respect it."
Source: NASCAR Online