Several years ago, Dale Earnhardt Jr. made a promise to himself. When he turned 40—which happened last October 10—he would go to Germany to find out as much as he could about his ancestors.
That’s how Earnhardt will spend the “off” week before heading to Sonoma Raceway for the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on June 28.
“I’ve got some specific towns that we're going to go visit that we understand that my ancestors are from,” Earnhardt said after Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. “I've been searching my genealogy for about five years now, and I made a promise to myself then that I would go to Germany and understand more about my ancestors when I turn 40, so here I am.
“I'm real nervous about flying over there. I haven't flown commercial since 9/11, so it's been a long time. My friends tell me I'm in for a treat, and just hopefully it's just a good trip. I'm taking my sister (Kelley) and LW (Miller), her husband-Larry Wayne-and (girlfriend) Amy (Reimann) is going with me, of course. And the lead IT guy at JR Motorsports, Martin Frederick, he's from Germany, so he's going to go with us, as well, and really kind of help us understand how not to insult anybody.
“Should be a lot of fun, and I'm really looking forward to it. We should come back with some great stories. Hopefully I'll get pictures, and we'll certainly share.”