Like many race fans, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a fan of NASCAR history. Unlike most race fans, Earnhardt has the means and connections to get his hands on actual pieces of that history. And there's no more historic piece of NASCARiana in recent years than Juan Pablo Montoya's fireball-sparking 42 from this year's Daytona 500.
Guess what's now sitting in Junior's backyard?
"I got about 50 or 60 cars out there and I didn't buy any of them," Earnhardt said. "We get a forklift or a tractor with a forklift or front-end loader and just carry it into the woods and just set it out there somewhere." (Why is it no surprise that Earnhardt's backyard is like some backwoods version of the warehouse at the end of "Raiders of the Lost Ark"?)
So where does the Montoya car rank among Junior's collection?
"That one's good," he said. "That one ranks right up there. I've got the car (Dennis) Setzer flipped when he was driving for Keselowski at Talladega so that was pretty cool, but it ranks right up there. It's one of the top two or three."
Of course, the Montoya car is only half the Daytona Explosion equation. To complete the set, Junior needs to get his hands on the jet dryer, right?
"I'd like to have it, but I don't know where it is," Earnhardt said. "It's probably somewhere in Daytona or NASCAR might be studying it somewhere. I think we'll just stick to race cars out there."
Two words, Junior: tour groups. You'll never have to drive a lap again.