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Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 2:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 2:52 PM
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ralph Earnhardt died in 1973, almost a full year before his grandson was born. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had seen photos of his grandfather and listened to stories about the first racer in the family, but he never felt as if he knew the man.
Then Dale Earnhardt Sr. discovered footage the Earnhardts believe is the only known video of Ralph Earnhardt speaking on film. He was being interviewed after a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Earnhardt Sr. popped the tape in for his son to watch.
"We were sitting in Dad's office in DEI and he said 'You are going to see Ralph Earnhardt talk, and you are going to hear him talk and this is the only footage that exists.' So me and Dad sat there and watched it. I had seen pictures of Ralph, I had no idea what he sounded like and I had no idea what his mannerisms were like and in that moment, I was meeting him."
Earnhardt recalled that moment with his father, watching the grandfather he never met, in an interview with The Associated Press about a new Goodyear commercial that will air during the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
The spot is called "Make a Name" and honors the Earnhardts' long relationship with the tire maker. A.J. Croce covered his late father's song, 'I Got A Name,' for the commercial, which depicts a young Earnhardt idolizing his father, growing into his own role as a racer, and now shifting in retirement to a job in television.
The Goodyear blimp will feature #MakeAName instead of its usual brand name at the Daytona 500, where Earnhardt is the grand marshal.
Earnhardt has always been careful about incorporating his father, a seven-time champion and Hall of Famer, into his own marketing. Earnhardt Sr. was killed in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
His son went on to win two Daytona 500s but retired at the end of last season because of a history of concussions. He's now married, expecting his first child this spring, and transitioning into jobs outside the race car.
This Goodyear script was a winner for him, though, because he's long felt a connection to the Croce song and because his family had such a strong relationship with the tire company. When Goodyear battled Hoosier in the brief tire war to hit NASCAR, Earnhardt Jr. said his father was one of only two drivers to remain loyal to Goodyear.
"I really try to stick with things that are told in a way that I am celebrating him, and Goodyear and his relationship with Goodyear was really strong when he was racing," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I've always been mindful of people saying that I rode on his coattails. I've been aware of that my whole career and I don't want people to think I've ever taken advantage of my last name, or done anything that my Daddy wouldn't appreciate.
"I just go off of my gut feeling. If it feels weird or uncomfortable, or is not something I'm proud of, then I just don't have to do it. I'm in a good financial position. I don't need to be out there selling my father. He's not mine to sell."
Earnhardt was proud of the finished Goodyear spot, and he understands the importance of imagery and video in capturing the essence of his family. His sister's children never had a relationship with Earnhardt Sr. Neither did his wife, and his unborn daughter will never know her grandfather.
"We have to try our best to paint this picture for them and one of the greatest examples of this is when Daddy showed me the Ralph Earnhardt footage," Earnhardt said.
Seeing the material doesn't bother Earnhardt. But he admitted that talking about his childhood, or recalling his father, can be difficult.
"I get emotional when I talk about it. I don't get emotional when I watch it. When I sit down with Kelley and talk about our childhood or Dad, it always gets emotional. It always does," he said. "It's sad sometimes. When I have my daughter, it will be super sad thinking about Dad, wishing he could see what I was able to accomplish, the man I have become, having a child. I just would love if he could meet her and see what's going on."
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 1:03 PM
OMAHA, Neb. — A Nebraska man has been arrested for the 18th time for indecent exposure, authorities said.
The latest incident took place Thursday at an Omaha food court, KETV reported.
Witnesses told KETV that Shawn Noble, 39, was yelling obscenities when he emerged from the food court restroom completely naked. When the property manager ordered him back into the bathroom to put on his clothes, he lunged at her, witnesses said.
Food court employees were able to barricade Noble inside the restroom until police arrived, KETV reported. Noble was charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct and taken to the Douglas County Jail.
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 3:47 PM
WELLINGTON, Fla. — A Florida woman was arrested on Thursday after deputies said she drove intoxicated with a child sitting above an open case of beer tucked in the back seat.
A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy pulled over Miami resident Stephanie Roque, 30, about 11 a.m. after she made a complete stop in her SUV in the center of a lane, the Palm Beach Post reported. The deputy said that Roque’s drivers license was suspended, and noticed she had a “strong smell of alcohol,” the arrest report states.
Roque told the deputy that she “just got out of rehab today for a drinking problem,” according to the report. The deputy found a child in the backseat of the car with an open 12-pack of beer sitting underneath the child’s feet, the Palm Beach Post reported. Only nine of the 12 beers were in the case, the report states.
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 11:57 AM
FREDERICK, Md. — A Maryland woman says there was a live surprise in a package of fish she purchased at Costco last week.
Emily Rhoades Randolph said she purchased a package of fresh cod on Feb. 9 at Costco. On Monday, she recorded video of what appears to be a worm wriggling around a corner of the sealed package and posted it on her Facebook page on Wednesday. The sell-by date on the package is the same day she recorded the video, according to Randolph.
Randolph said in the Facebook post that when she returned the contaminated fish to Costco, the clerk at the seafood counter commented that another customer had returned salmon with worms in it. Randolph said she did not receive an apology for the incident.
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 3:23 AM
FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. — The last thing Robert Crain remembered was visiting the emergency room to have his nagging cough checked out.
That was on Oct. 3, 2017. Sixty-one days later, the 47-year-old woke from a medically induced coma. And on Feb. 14, 2018, he was discharged from Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York.
"For me, it just seemed like I woke up from a nap,'' Crain told Syracuse.com. "Then I realized I missed Thanksgiving and Christmas and all that time with my family."
Crain’s lungs and kidneys had shut down in October. He lost 50 pounds during his time in the hospital and now must use a cane to walk, Syracuse.com reported.
“It was awful,” said Crain’s wife of 10 years, Marcela Crain. “My brain heard them say he wasn't doing well and wasn't improving, but my heart wouldn't accept it. I went to the chapel every day at the hospital and prayed, and my daughter and I prayed every night.”
Robert Crain was kept alive by a heart/lung bypass machine, spending more time on it than any other patient in the hospital’s history, Syracuse.com reported.
Crain said he remembered nothing from Oct. 3 until Jan. 8. His doctors pulled him out of his coma gradually. When he came to, Crain said he was “stunned” when a nurse told him what day it was, Syracuse.com reported.
Robert Crain’s recovery and discharge from the hospital was a banner day for his wife and their 8-year-old daughter, Isabella.
"This is the most amazing, special day,'' Marcela Crain said. “Never give up hope. I always believed he would come back to me."
Marcela Crain said the family put Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas on hold, refusing to celebrate it without Robert. She told Syracuse.com the family would celebrate all three holidays into a single day when he is stronger.