Exclusive: Junior reflects on dad's birthday, first win with Greg Ives
It was no surprise Sunday to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. back in victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway, a track he at one time had conquered with the same ease as his father. The late Dale Earnhardt won 10 times at the Alabama restrictor-plate track; his son once reeled off five wins in seven races.
What was a surprise was the pure emotion that poured out of Junior when he climbed from his car following his sixth Talladega victory, his first at the track since 2004, and one that came just four days after what would have been his father's 64th birthday.
"When we crossed the finish line I was just thinking about him and all our success at that track," Earnhardt told NASCAR on FOX's Kaitlyn Vincie this week at Hendricks Motorsports.
Earnhardt also said new crew chief Greg Ives has "a lot of demands; he expects a lot of me," and "gives me a lot of confidence that we're gonna have fast cars — and they have been fast this year. So I'm real pleased with what I've seen and how he's doing."
Watch the whole interview in the video above.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.