Also Friday, Greg Biffle, who is points leader in the NASCAR Sprint championship, paid a visit to O’Reilly Auto Parts in Talladega to meet and greet fans.
Earnhardt was presented a key to the city by Pell City Mayor Bill Hereford.
“It’s a thrill and an honor to have you here with us today,” Hereford said.
“The Earnhardts have always been treated good down here,” Earnhardt said. “We’ve always enjoyed coming here, so this means a lot to me.”
Earnhardt answered questions submitted by fans and talked about a variety of topics. One fan asked if he ever thought about anything besides racing while behind the wheel of his No. 88 Chevrolet.
“Not really,” he said.
However, he said he is a big fan of the Washington Redskins and tries to keep up with them during cautions.
“For the most part you don’t think about anything else,” Earnhardt said. “It’s a job you’ve got to focus on all the time. You’re always thinking about trying to improve your car, what’s wrong with your car or adjusting something on your car.”
Earnhardt was also asked what he would be doing if he wasn’t a NASCAR driver.
“There’s two different jobs,” he said. “One is being a mechanic. Working on cars is something I’ve always enjoyed doing.”
Earnhardt said the other career he would consider would be that of a talent scout for a record company.
“I love music,” he said.
After the question and answer session, about 30 fans were selected to attend a “meet and greet” with Earnhardt.
“It was awesome,” said Andrew Jennert of Pell City. “I’ve been a Dale Jr. fan ever since I started watching NASCAR, and to be able to meet him in person … that’s the most amazing feeling in the world.”
“I got a hug from him,” said Joy Smith of Pell City. “He put his arm around me!”
Earnhardt, who has won five Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega during his career, will be seeking his first win in 138 races. Many people believe this will be the week he returns to Victory Lane.
“It should be a lot of fun for the fans,” said Earnhardt.
When Biffle arrived at O’Reilly’s in Talladega at around 5:30 p.m., there was a long line of fans waiting to shake hands with him and have their items autographed.
O’Reilly is one of Biffle’s three primary sponsors and he wore their paint scheme on the track Saturday at the speedway.
Radio station 106.9 FM The Eagle was also at O’Reilly’s to play rock tunes for fans and visitors.