330 - Todd Parrott: Being Honest


Manage episode 286978813 series 2511373
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. is joined by two-time Daytona 500 and 1999 NASCAR Cup Series championship crew chief Todd Parrott for an emotional and heart-felt conversation about Parrott’s triumphs and struggles.

Ahead of this interview, Dale Jr. fills us in on the latest developments for Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. He details what he learned traveling to Nashville last week with Marcus Smith and meeting with both Tennessee's Governor and the Mayor of Nashville. Hear how the project took a major step closer to bringing NASCAR back to the short track.

Todd Parrott’s career fascinates Earnhardt Jr. and co-host Mike Davis. They dive deep into his 50 years in the sport, covering both the good times and challenging circumstances Parrott faced.

Idolizing his father Buddy Parrott, Todd knew he was destined for a career in racing. Hear how he landed a job on Richard Petty’s team early in his career and helped The King win his final two races.

Starting with Petty, Parrott worked for some of racing’s greatest talents including Tim Richmond, Rusty Wallace, and Dale Jarrett. He details his career path that ascended him from a mechanic and tire guy to championship-winning crew chief.

Dale Jr. loves hearing the ‘speed secrets’ from back in the day that crew chiefs used to get an advantage over the field. Parrott shares some of the best innovation stories from the garage we’ve heard yet including how he altered a NASCAR inspection template.

Parrott formed a special relationship with Rusty Wallace while working on his team. Learn what it was like working for that group and where the saying “Rusty is God” came from.

Before departing Wallace’s team for Robert Yates Racing, Parrott recalls the emotional decision to tell Rusty about the new opportunity. You won’t believe what Wallace handed Parrott as the two pondered Todd’s future.

Parrott’s greatest successes as a crew chief came during his days at Robert Yates Racing. He explains what happened on his first day on the job, working with Ernie Irvan and then Dale Jarrett starting the next season.

Parrott tells us what his relationship with Jarrett was like, growing close with each other and winning their first race together. That was followed up with a Daytona 500 victory, where Jarrett held off Dale Earnhardt. He explains the hard work and long hours it required to achieve the amount of success the No. 88 team did in the late 1990s.

On the night before the 1998 Daytona 500, Parrott shares a special story about a conversation he had with the Intimidator. Plus, find out why Parrott was singled out in Dale Sr.’s victory lane interview. He shares what their relationship was like and what they did for fun on the lake.

Learn how one comment led to the breakup with Jarrett and the fallout afterward. Following a couple of seasons with Elliott Sadler, Jarrett and Parrott reunited and delivered on a promise they made Robert Yates.

Parrott’s career then experienced a lot of change in the following years, working with a variety of teams and drivers. It came to a head in 2013 when personal struggles led to a failed drug test.

The North Carolina native gets personal about the low point in his life and how he was determined to turn it around. He shares about his road to recovery and his next opportunities with Tommy Baldwin and Richard Childress Racing.

Before leaving, Parrott says he’s ready for another shot to crew chief again and explains why. Plus, he fills us in on why he gave Dale Jr. the nickname “powder.”

In Ask Jr., fans inquire about Dale’s Nova hitting the streets, his thoughts on Kyle Larson’s victory and Hendrick Motorsports’ rise, and why he sometimes goes by the name Anna.

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