She goes, ‘You’re crazy.'” Dale Earnhardt, Jr. recalls the time he “scared the heck out” of his wife Amy Earnhardt

During the latest episode of the Dale Jr Download podcast, former Hendrick Motorsports driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. , a story that deviated from the usual expectations one might have when riding with one of NASCAR’s former top drivers.

The incident involved a passenger who unexpectedly panicked during his flight, and interestingly enough, that passenger was none other than his wife, Amy Earnhardt. The event occurred while they were making laps at Bristol Motor Speedway, where Junior made a rare on-track error, resulting in an experience that absolutely freaked his wife out.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. shares a story of when he scared his wife

When a fan asked him what was the most memorable reaction he’d ever seen while riding, the answer struck unexpectedly close to home. It was his wife who gave the most striking response when she joined him for a few laps in a Hendrick Motorsports race car.

junior said, “My wife maybe… last year we were at Bristol, in a very good two-seater. Hendrick has a very good set-up and you can get up to good speeds. I think we were running within a second of the race speeds. I mean, it was a really good time.” We were running in it. At Bristol, you can run up against the wall and all that stuff in the corner. It has a PJ1 bit on the bottom.”

“I was running on the racetrack and I put the left sides out of Turn 4 and PJ1 and the car turns sideways. So I had a big, big moment coming out of Turn 4. And she started waving her hands frantically. That, that you want to do this, you’ve done this all these years, you’re crazy.”

What is the “PJ1” that Earnhardt, Jr. keeps mentioning during the incident with his wife?

PJ1, also known as PJ1 Trackbite, is a proprietary compound used in NASCAR to enhance grip on racetracks. This material provides much greater traction compared to traditional asphalt or concrete surfaces. Its primary application is actually for NHRA drag race tracks. Helps ensure better tire adhesion, thus improving overall traction for drag racing.

Despite its origins, this compound has found a unique role in NASCAR racing as well. The idea is to apply the PJ1 TrackBite to less used sections of the track or trails that tend to deteriorate. One good example is the down groove at Bristol Motor Speedway. In doing so, it enhances the grip of the tires, facilitating smoother and easier overtaking in areas where it would normally be difficult.

So the surface that Junior touched while riding was this very compound and the bottom pits of the racetrack. A sudden change in the level of the grip on one side of the car was the main cause of his car turning sideways.

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