NASCAR WCUP: Jimmy Spencer response to Earnhardt deathJIMMY SPENCER
"I really don't know what to say. I can't believe Dale Earnhardt isn't with us anymore and that he's not going to be out there every week in that black number three. There isn't anyone I loved racing more than him because he was the best and you always want to challenge yourself against the best.
"The thing about Dale Earnhardt is that there were two Dale Earnhardts -- the Dale Earnhardt that raced you for every inch on the race track and the Dale Earnhardt who cared about making people happy. He loved my dad and he loved my mom. Every time he saw me he'd ask how my mom and dad were doing. Every time he saw my mom he grabbed her hand and would stop and talk for a minute. He did it just last week at Daytona.
"I've got so many Dale Earnhardt stories I could write a book. I remember he came to my mom and dad's house in Berwick (Pa.) and I'll never forget it. We crashed three or four cars one night in my dad's junkyard and just had a great time afterwards just laughing and eating dinner. Then there was the time in 1988 when we raced up Route 136 from his old shop in Kannapolis to his new facility. It was late at night. He had a pickup and I had a pickup and he beat me. He never let me forget that and rubbed it in every chance he got.
"I'll miss him. There isn't one person in NASCAR that won't say they'll miss him. I was talking to my dad today and I said to him, 'What are we gonna do as drivers?' We all congregated around him. He was always one of the first drivers to go out for pre-race introductions and I don't care if you were Rusty Wallace or Dale Jarrett or who it was, we all talked to him because he was the guy.
"That 3 car scared every driver because they knew what was coming. Dale Earnhardt never gave up. He didn't care if he was five laps down, you were going to have to work to get past him. He would race you just as hard for 20th as he would for the win and us as competitors all realized that and expected that from him.
"I said some things a few weeks ago that looking back in hindsight I wish I could take back. I'm sorry for what I said, but at the time I felt I needed to speak up because T. Wayne (Robertson) was like a father to me, and I just felt that Dale Earnhardt the race car driver should have been there. I don't mean to slight any of the other top drivers in our sport, but if there was an autograph session and it was Dale Earnhardt against anybody else in the garage area, he would outdraw them two or three to one. Why? Because they want to meet John Wayne. He could probably outdraw any professional athlete in the world and maybe even the President of the United States. He had that kind of power.
"It's really hard to express just how sad I am. All I can think about is Teresa and the whole Earnhardt family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them."
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