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DATE News (chronologically)
01/26/08
nascar
Quotes from ESPN-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Conference Call
Quotes from ESPN-Dale Earnhardt Jr. Conference Call: New TV Series Dale Jr. – Shifting Gears on ESPN

Q – Will this documentary shed some insight on what went on behind the scenes between you and Teresa Earnhardt?

DALE EARNHARDT JR. – “I think everybody has a different idea of how things might have been. Whatever you’ll see, that’s what happened. I don’t think it’s really going to answer a lot of questions about my relationship with Teresa. Of course it may. We don’t touch on that point because it’s not necessarily up for discussion. That’s between me and her and that’s really where it’s going to stay.”

Q - Is this type of show a trend in sports?

JOHN SKIPPER, ESPN Executive Vice President, Content – “Increasingly fans want behind the scenes access. NASCAR is as good as it gets. These guys understand that and what the sport has to do for the fans and provide them. I think you’ll see more of it. You see a lot of it during our coverage with the access we have to the radios and the pit crews and the drivers. They are just terrific to work with in this regard.”

Q - What were the emotions you felt behind the scenes just prior to your departure from the team your father founded?

DALE EARNHARDT JR. -- “Every time I watch that it brings back a lot of hard emotion. That’s what the show is about. I was fortunate enough to have the foresight to want to document this, knowing how big a change it was and how huge of an impact it was going to have on my life. All that footage and everything we’ve captured throughout that whole deal is pretty impressive and pretty powerful when you watch it.

“It’s going to let you into the office just minutes before we make the announcement to leave DEI, and then it’s going to bring you behind the curtain after we’ve made the announcement to join Rick’s and see the family and see everybody’s emotion and expression, and a lot of behind the scenes stuff like that that. We wouldn’t want that material to surface anywhere else.   

“In the bubble that NASCAR is, it’s chronicling a big moment in the history of that sport. That’s really what it is. It’s not necessarily reality TV as much as it is embarking on trying to tell the story of that moment where this driver did this and chose to do this, and it just happened to be one of the biggest stories of the year in sports overall, not only just NASCAR.

“I’m just looking forward to public response on this show and seeing what everybody thinks about it.”

Q – John, your closing thoughts on Dale Jr. – Shifting Gears? 

JOHN SKIPPER -- “We’re just looking forward to getting things kicked off for our second season. We’ve recently announced some changes to our production. You heard Mr. (Brian) France talk about making sure we appeal to the NASCAR fans and remember the roots, and I think there’s no better way to start off than with a look at one of the more compelling sports stories of the year, one of the more compelling figures in all of sports with Dale Jr.” 

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