DJD: Shawna Robinson - Bye Bye Boys

Dirty Mo Media | 10/26/2021

Dale Jr. Download Media News

She may not have been the first, and won't be the last, but she is undoubtedly a pioneer in Motorsports. Former NASCAR racer Shawna Robinson sits down with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and co-host Mike Davis for a fascinating conversation.

She may not have been the first, and won't be the last, but she is undoubtedly a pioneer in Motorsports. Former NASCAR racer Shawna Robinson sits down with Dale Earnhardt Jr and co-host Mike Davis for a fascinating conversation.

Robinson's start in Motorsports didn't come as most people would predict. It wasn't behind the wheel of a car. It was behind the wheel of a truck. And we're not talking your everyday truck, we're talking about a Big-Rig going up to 160mph. Fresh out of high school, the small-statured Iowa girl got her first chance in competitive racing in one of the largest race vehicles possible. Her father, a man they called Lefty, and her brothers, were a part of a traveling circus of Big Rig Racing and entertainment. It was a series her dad founded and the family promoted. Sliding an 8-thousand pound truck around fairgrounds tracks sprinkled throughout America, people took notice of the young female phenom excelling in a sport full of rough and rowdy men. When the Great American Truck Racing series hit the big tracks, people took notice of Robinson. She became the first female to ever win on a superspeedway, winning at the Milwaukee Mile.

Success and an unwavering work ethic created a path to NASCAR. There, Robinson went from the biggest vehicle to racing the compact stock cars of the NASCAR Dash Series. Just three races in, she made history becoming the first woman to win a NASCAR Touring Series race. Her climb to the NASCAR Xfinity Series came with some success, but some heartache as well. She was the fast qualifier at the Xfinity race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1994. In that race, she didn't make it around to complete the first lap. She was wrecked. Was it intentional? Other drivers and a commentator told her it was. Shawna shares the story.

The ups and downs of racing intersected life and the start of her own family during one phone call. It was her best opportunity yet, but one she had to turn down. She shares the emotion of turning down a ride due to pregnancy. A few years later, Shawna found herself trying to qualify for the 2002 Daytona 500. The Cup Series rookie became the first driver since Janet Guthrie, in 1977, to race her way into the Great American race.

Shawna's racing career didn't pan out the way she wanted, but she's someone who will always be remembered. For Dale Earnhardt Jr., she will also be remembered as a woman who stood her ground. The table conversation gets interesting when the two drivers talk about an incident that stemmed from a practice get-together, continued into the race, included a middle-finger and an angry Robinson going to confront Earnhardt in his hauler.

Shawna opens up to Dale Jr. and Mike Davis about some of the challenges she faced throughout her career being a female in a male-dominated sport. She also shares her thoughts on the females who have gripped the wheel after her career and what advantages they have in creating opportunities. But her biggest challenge came outside of the racecar. A cancer diagnosis and rigorous chemotherapy and radiation was just another hurdle for her to jump. Shawna discusses the day she found out the news and how she got through it.

Before Shawna's arrival, the DJD gang talks about the big moment for Formula One driver Daniel Riccardo getting to drive his father's famed no. 3 car around Austin, Texas' Circuit of the Americas. Dale Jr. reveals just how much the gesture means to him and his family. Dale Jr. breaks some news on this week's podcast, announcing which NASCAR Xfinity Series race he will drive during the 2022 season.

AskJr presented by Xfinity was "the funnest" segment of the day. Dale talks about his upcoming NASCAR Next-Gen test at the legendary 1/4-mile Bowman Gray Stadium. He also gives fans a peek behind closed doors of what it is really like inside the NASCAR hauler when you are called to the principal’s office. Dale shares some hellacious times during Halloween that were both risky and mischievous.