Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Waltrip family look back on decades of Bible verses on raceday

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For years Stevie Waltrip gave Dale Earnhardt a Bible verse to keep in his car on race day. After his death, she continued that tradition with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

DARRELL WALTRIP: It's really her heart. She writes those scriptures from her heart. I've seen her spend hours looking through the Bible to find the right scripture.

- I just wanted him to have inspiration in the car with him. I started writing scriptures out for him and he'd put them on the back of his car.

DARRELL WALTRIP: I'd be in the race sometimes, things wouldn't be going well, I'd get ticked off. And I'd look over and I'd see the scripture. And it'd just remind me of her gentleness, kindness. And maybe, if she was in the car with me, instead of acting like a big fool, I might act a little bit differently, but it was that connection.

DALE EARNHARDT JR: The catalyst to respect and friendship between my dad and Darryl came from Stevie. What good he saw in Darrell, he credited to Stevie.

DARRELL WALTRIP: If Dale and I were having on-track issues, and I'm mad at him, he's mad at me, Stevie would grab us, pull us in, tell him you love him. I love you. Just kind of mumble under, you know-- under your-- under your breath. We may not have had as great a relationship with each other if it hadn't been for Stevie.

Dale and Neil were really good buddies. And Neil had gotten killed in practice at Daytona. Stevie, and Max Hilton, and some of us were on pit road praying before the race, which we always did. Dale walked by and Stevie grabbed him and said, you need to get in here and pray with us.

And when we got finished praying, she handed him my scripture on the note card. And Dale being Dale, grabbed it out of her hand and said, what's this? And Stevie said, well, it's the scripture I put in DW's car.

- And he said, well, where's mine? I got gray tape and wrote it on a roll of gray tape and then tore it off and gave it to Dale to put in his car.

DALE EARNHARDT JR: Dad was religious. When we weren't racing on Sunday, we didn't miss going to church. If she had the Midas touch, you know, to keep somebody safe, he wanted some of that. I think that dad really truly believed that that scripture had some power, you know. He didn't want to race without getting the scripture from her.

STEVIE WALTRIP: There was one race I was a little late and he had been in his car getting ready to start the race. And he got out of his car came looking for me.

- From 1994 until the day he died, he had a scripture on his dash.

STEVIE WALTRIP: The scripture was Proverbs 1810, the name of the Lord is a strong tower.

- The righteous will run to it and be safe. It was-- it as poetic. I mean, that scripture in that-- in his car that day--

REPORTER: After the accident and in turn four at the end of the Daytona 500, we've lost Dale Earnhardt.

- I know he would have told me, watch after my boy. Always have this place in my hear-- in my heart for him. And-- and Stevie does too.

DALE EARNHARDT JR: I was needing some looking after. And I think that it also, maybe, was healing for Stevie, losing-- losing my dad as a friend. Stevie's like, I would like to continue to give it to you if that's OK. And I'm like, absolutely.

I don't have anything that I do on race day that I'm superstitious about, that has to happen, except for the scripture. It gives you some strength, you know, some emotional, mental strength. I don't feel safe without it. Stevie's never missed a race. In all my career, I've never raced without it. And that's hard to believe, but it's true.

STEVIE WALTRIP: Amy tweets those scriptures. It's a good thing she knows how to do that because I don't, but--

AMY EARNHARDT: I'm not trying to push a belief on anyone, but the majority of what I get is thank you so much I needed that.

- I've always felt for the longest time that it was this little simple thing that was just between us and nobody would care, but--

- People will tweet at me, where is the verse? Where is the verse? So they're looking forward to it every week.

DALE EARNHARDT JR: That relationship that I created with Stevie, as somebody looking over me, I think that dad had the same feeling.


STEVIE WALTRIP: I've been doing this for Dale Jr. longer than I did as dad. If Dale Sr. were looking down from heaven, he'd be so happy. He would be smiling.


DARRELL WALTRIP: I think, like, for me it was a connection to Stevie. I think for Dale Jr. It's almost like a connection to his dad. Stevie did that for Dale Sr. And now he's doing that for me. I think those scriptures are a gateway, if you will, to his dad.