Washington superfan Dale Earnhardt Jr. recalls meeting Joe Gibbs in a garage

Mike DePrisco
·2 min read

Dale Earnhardt Jr. recalls meeting Joe Gibbs in a garage originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a Washington football superfan, and you have to think a big reason why was the team's incredible success in the 1980s and early 1990s. 

Washington won three Super Bowls in 10 years, which means 8-year-old, 14-year-old and 18-year-old Earnhardt was loving life growing up. So when he met the leader of those championship teams, former head coach and owner of "Joe Gibbs Racing," Joe Gibbs, it was unsurprisingly a positive experience. 

"I remember the day I first saw him walking through the garage," Earnhardt said on the Washington Football Talk podcast. "To me, he was a celebrity. I couldn't believe he was in our garage, I couldn't believe our sports sort of collided in this moment."

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Gibbs joined Washington in 1981 and won 124 games before leaving the team in 1992 and starting his own racing organization. He ultimately returned in 2004 for four seasons and won 10 games in 2005. Washington has only had one such season since. 

A Hall of Famer in both football and racing, Gibbs went to the NFL playoffs 11 times in his time with the franchise and at one point, rattled off six-straight winning seasons. When it comes to football coaches in D.C., Gibbs sets a high standard. 

"Everybody that knows [Gibbs], he's a pretty easy guy to like," he said. "Very nice to anybody that he's had contact with and [Gibbs Racing] has become one of the better organizations in our sport over time and won several championships."

This weekend on NBC, Saturday Night in Primetime, college football's best collide as #1 Clemson takes on #4 Notre Dame followed by an all-new Saturday Night Live.On Sunday, NASCAR crowns a champion in Phoenix at 3 p.m. Then it's Drew Brees & the Saints versus Tom Brady and the Bucs on Sunday Night Football, coverage begins with Football Night In America at 7 p.m.