There has always been a bit of an edge to Dale Earnhardt Jr., an edge that went and helped him become one of NASCAR’s fiercest competitors throughout the years until his retirement in 2017. Yet, when you bring up the subject of country music, that edge seems to wear off just a tad, and you get to hear a little bit more of his heart.

“When I was a kid, the races weren’t all on TV, so you would listen to the races on these country music stations,” recalls Earnhardt during an exclusive interview with One Country. “When the race would be done, there would be country music playing, and I loved it.”

In fact, growing up in North Carolina, Earnhardt would spend much of his time listening to country music from greats such as The Bellamy Brothers and John Conlee. “’Rose Colored Glasses’ just might be one of my favorite songs ever,” says Earnhardt.

“And I had The Bellamy Brothers play (Earnhardt’s nightclub) Whisky River not too long ago, and they sound just as good as they always have. My music tastes are all over the board, but I will always love country music.”

So which country artists can he not get enough of these days?

“I love guys like Kenny Chesney and Eric Church,” he says. “They speak to me.”

Earnhardt’s new book, “Racing to the Finish: My Story” will be released on October 16, but you can preorder your copy here.

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