Dale Jr. shares story of watching house burn down



Michelle R. Martinelli
Published 1:58 p.m. ET Nov. 30, 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s life if pretty much an open book, especially considering he grew up in the spotlight with his father, the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.

But while speaking on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday – the interview was taped Wednesday – Earnhardt opened up about his experience in therapy, particularly as a child.

He spoke about some of his childhood struggles, calling himself “a troubled kid” without much direction who rebelled for any kind of attention from his father. He considered himself a disappointment until he started racing cars.

He said:

“I’ve been in therapy in and out of my whole life. I was in therapy as a child, and definitely think that therapy is useful – a very useful tool if you meet the right therapist. I met a lady named Jane that I worked with on and off over the last several years, and she has changed my life. And if you meet the right person that you can trust and you listen and absorb what they’re telling you, it can be incredibly helpful.”

Elaborating on the challenges he faced as a child, Earnhardt also shared the heartbreaking story of watching his house burn down when he was about five or six years old. His parents were divorced, and he was living with his mom in North Carolina.

“So I’m standing outside in the yard in the morning watching our house burn down. My mom is broke, and she has nowhere to turn. So she had to move back to Norfolk, Virginia to live with her mother because that’s the only place she could go, and she made the very difficult choice to give up custody of me and my sister, at that moment, to my dad because she knew that he could provide for us and give us a better life.

“So I was at my mom’s watching our house burn down in the morning, and then that evening, I was at my dad’s house rummaging through my toy box in the garage, seeing if all my toys had made the trip. And that’s difficult.”

You can listen to the full interview here:

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