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RACING PERSPECTIVES

EARNHARDT'S DIY REALITY, RENOVATION REALITIES

By: Lori Tyler - ATL Racing Network

Dale Earnhardt Jr. may be retired from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing. But he certainly isn't sitting on a porch in a rocking chair.

Being the owner of JR Motorsports, a very successful NASCAR Infinity Series race team, could be considered a full-time job all by itself...

However, he also owns a bar as well as a restaurant. Additionally, on Saturday night, he and Amy Earnhardt debuted their new show on the DIY Network, Renovation Realities.
Now, some might say Home Improvement and Design runs in the Earnhardt family. Amy Earnhardt, Dale's wife, is an interior designer and met Dale as a result of her work. And brother Kerry Earnhardt also owns a business with his wife as home designers.
Given my love for NASCAR, and the fact that I am a self-proclaimed Home Improvement buff, naturally the idea of the show instantly appealed to me. I purposely did not watch any advertising previous to the show. I wanted to be surprised at its content. And I certainly wasn't disappointed.
This four-part series opens explaining that Dale jr. And Amy purchased a 150 year old historic home in Key West with the intention to renovate it. Being a historic home, renovations come with their own set of challenges. This home was to be no different. During the course of the renovation, they encountered cats, along with their feces and urine, a hurricane, a foundation problem, a bee problem and its resulting honey, and much more. And in case anyone was wondering, yes killer bees are bad!
Watching Dale jr. operate power tools and Excavating equipment, it occurred to me that this type of work could have easily been performed by someone else. Let's face it, the man isn't poor. However, it is a testament to the type of man Dale jr. Is. It's also proof that for him, there is life after NASCAR.
They could have easily allowed Amy to do the design, but hired other people to do the work. Instead, even with Amy pregnant much of the work they completed themselves. For them it was clear, this was a labor of love. They wanted to be closely involved in the project, as it was to be their home.
Also throughout the show, it was clear that Dale jr. And Amy share a very close relationship. The show provided a glance into the couple in a way different than what we've seen in NASCAR coverage. They have a chemistry that was very apparent throughout the show, and kept the viewer interested.
It's Crystal Clear, Junior has many talents, some we are only now being made aware of. However, in her own right, Amy is quite talented as well. Her designs transformed their home from a dilapidated dwelling to a beautiful space that kept true to its historic roots while providing the modern elements we have grown accustomed to.
In NASCAR, Many drivers, once retired, continue to devote much of their time to the sport. Dale jr. has done that, but he's managed to make time for other projects as well. I look forward to seeing what else we have not yet learned about Dale Earnhardt Junior and his new wife and child.
While the sport dearly misses him, it's great to see that he is not only enjoying life after NASCAR, but thriving. Renovation realities will introduce the Earnhardt's to a public that may not have been aware of him previous, yet will allow them to understand why he was the sports most popular driver. He's a genuine and down-to-earth guy with a great personality and sense of humor. Amy has those very qualities herself. And I'm anxious to see where this show takes them in this new chapter in both of their lives.

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