Dale Earnhardt Jr. Discusses NBC NASCAR Role, First Race Call
When Dale Earnhardt Jr. "walked into the NBC compound" at Daytona Int'l Speedway to prepare for Saturday night's broadcast, he was "greeted by about 200 NBC personnel wearing T-shirts with 'SLIDE JOB, SLIDE JOB!' on the front," according to Mike Hembree of USA TODAY.
|Dale Jr. left|
The shirts were "based on an idea" from NBC Sports Production Managers Michelle Baker and Kregg VanMeter after Earnhardt's "emphatic last-lap broadcast call" of last week's race at Chicagoland Speedway. Earnhardt said, "They made me feel like part of the team, part of the family, more than ever when I saw those shirts.
We're not going to get slide jobs all the time. A catchphrase tends to be something you hear often, and I don't know if we're going to see that that often this year, but you never know." USATODAY.com.
Earnhardt said of his first broadcast last weekend, “I was really nervous, but we got to rehearse a little bit. The best part about it was we saw an amazing race, so that made it so fun to call. I think you could see that in my voice and my reaction, my emotions. ... I went home and couldn’t sleep and couldn’t wait to get here to Daytona to try it again.” He added, "Everybody’s like, ‘What’s your catch phrase?’ And I’m like, ‘I ain’t making no catchphrase.’ I’ll let the fans come up with that" "NASCAR America Saturday," NBCSN, July 7
NBC’s Mike Tirico said of Earnhardt's transition to NBC, “He’s been great. He was with us at the Olympics in South Korea in February, and then at the Stanley Cup Final in May in Washington. So, I promised I'd come to his turf at least once. It was either that, or he was sick of being the guy who was the least experienced on the NASCAR broadcast.”
Tirico said of the NASCAR drivers in the booth, "Drivers retire and go into the media, maybe more than any other sport. That connection stays for years, for generations. The Petty name, the Jarrett name, the second-generation guys. It matters to every level of fan, and the great thing is, those young kids know about Dale, they know about Dale Jr., and that’s what keeps the continuity going amongst the fan base" "NASCAR America Saturday," NBCSN, July 7