I grew up a Dale Earnhardt fan, so when he was killed on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, I naturally began to follow Dale Earnhardt Jr. I've never had any problems cheering for Dale Jr. and I'm not alone, as his nine straight most popular driver awards in NASCAR are living proof of that. However, I found out that Dale Jr. also has his own foundation, The Dale Earnhardt Jr. Foundation, which he helps run in an effort to benefit others who are less fortunate. This revelation of Dale Jr.'s softer side has only intensified my fanaticism for the driver.
Not Uncommon, but Not Necessary
To be fair, there are many other drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage who also have their own foundations, like Jimmie Johnson. However, there are still those who do not, so the fact that Dale Jr. actually has a foundation is impressive to me. I'm sure he's a very busy person, so when visiting the website of his foundation it's remarkable to see just how much of an active role he takes in it.
Focus on Children
What's most impressive to me is the fact that the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Foundation is an organization that focuses on raising money for charities that deal specifically with children. Some of the charities the foundation is deeply involved with include the Make a Wish Foundation, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Blessings in a Backpack, Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte and Speedway Children's Charities. The foundation also works with many other national and local charities, all of which are geared toward helping children.
Maybe Not Such a "Bad Boy" After All
One of the things that I always believed about Dale Earnhardt Jr. is that he was somewhat of a "bad boy." While he never got into any trouble that I know of off the track he does own his own nightclub, The Whiskey River, which is home to many bikini contests and things of a more risqué nature. Add to that the cool mannerisms that I have come to know Dale Earnhardt Jr. by and it all equaled a driver who likely cared more about himself than he did about others.
However, after watching a video about The Dale Earnhardt Jr. Foundation, which features Dale Jr., I am convinced now that he may not be such a bad boy after all. Through his foundation he has not only been able to help children, who are many times in desperate need of assistance, but he has also managed to gain even more admiration from fans like me. While he might be a bad boy at heart, there is a softer side of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and it's one that I think people can rally around. I know I can.
Jimmy Collins has been a loyal fan of NASCAR since he was a child attending races watching Dale Earnhardt run the famous number 3. He still attends numerous races each season and enjoys writing about NASCAR, particularly in regards to Dale Earnhardt as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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