At 39-years-old, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is no longer NASCAR's fresh-faced cover boy. He's a seasoned professional who readily admits that the strategy that won him the 2014 Daytona 500 (skipping a refuel and emptying the tank) was a gamble. That's the thing about experience, it teaches you when to go for broke. It also makes you a connoisseur and – though he'd use a different word – Earnhardt is precisely that when it comes to cars. Unsurprisingly, he's got a lot of them, but not the spit-shined sports cars and tricked-out Escalades one might expect. The man likes classic American muscle and models that remind him of his late, great father.
He may not be old yet, but Earnhardt is sentimental, prone to looking in the rear view. Cars are personal to him and it's clear he feels strongly about the ones he keeps.
24 Hours of Daytona Corvette
Back in 2001, Earnhardt and his father drove in the 24 hours of Daytona for Corvette. When they finished (fourth) some executives from Corvette offered to take one of their cars and remodel it, making it street legal. They got the drive train redone and the bodies spread by eight inches but kept the paint job. "What's unique about the car,"Earnhardt explains, "is that Corvette went and won Le Mans that year and the wings from those two winning cars are on the street versions." He is also happy to have the car as a memento of the race he shared with his father, who died several weeks later at the 500.