The new series, “Becoming Earnhardt: 1979,” will air every Wednesday in place of the originally scheduled “Dale Jr. Download” episode. July 12 marked the release of the first episode as Earnhardt provided insight into creating this podcast series, as well as the events leading up to Dale Sr.’s rookie debut with Osterlund Racing. This includes driver changes and contract disputes.
“My dad’s path to Osterlund Racing included a series of events, some of which didn’t even involve him, beginning in the early 70s,” Earnhardt said in the episode. “He would first appear on the Osterlund Racing radar thanks to his rapid ascent from local, semi-Modified track champion to one of the top Late Model prospects in the Charlotte area.
“In fact, when dad inked his deal with Rod [Osterlund] in 1978, it was only four years and four months after his very first win on pavement. Just to give you an idea of how quickly he was rising through the ranks.”
This Series Took Extensive Research & Preparation
A podcast series about Dale Sr.’s rise to Cup Series champion is something that Earnhardt has teased in past episodes of “The Dale Jr. Download.” He explained how the family discovered old newspaper clippings that his grandmother Martha had kept, which provided new insight into his father’s racing career.
One key item was a scrapbook focusing on the 1979 season, which Dale Sr.’s older sister had kept over the years. This collection of updates about the Hall of Famer’s career is what sparked the idea of the podcast.
“Thumbing through this collection of news articles was like discovering a treasure chest of hidden secrets. I was hooked,” Earnhardt explained during the first episode of the new podcast series.
Prior to the release of “Becoming Earnhardt: 1979,” the 15-time Most Popular Driver provided more details about the preparation. He said in an Instagram video that he had been working with Dirty Mo Media for multiple months and that he had written the majority of the script while also providing narration.
The First Season Features Several Episodes
Another key detail provided by Earnhardt is that this is the first season of the podcast series. This indicates that there will be more seasons that focus on other parts of his father’s career. This is not a surprise considering the fan reception after the first episode landed on podcast platforms.
Earnhardt also revealed that the first season had “ballooned up” to eight episodes. He said that they would be about an hour or an hour-and-a-half in length. As the first episode shows, there will be narration from Earnhardt as well as comments from figures involved in that pivotal season.
“I listened to the first episode a little bit [Friday], about a couple minutes worth, and I cannot express how excited I am to get that out so that y’all can hear it,” Earnhardt said on Instagram.
“I hope you’re gonna enjoy it. Something I’ve been working on in the background that I’m very proud of.”