Dale Earnhardt Jr. can’t sit still. If there’s a project he can find, he’s going to do it.
Lost Speedways, his Peacock TV series, is something he’s been passionate about for years. With Matthew Dillner at his side, the two visit abandoned racetracks throughout America and retell the stories unlike ever before.
BY JOSEPH WOLKIN, @JoeWolkin
“It is! July 1 is the first day of Lost Speedways’ second season on Peacock TV. We had a great experience for season one, which turned out to be incredible. We got a lot of feedback about what fans enjoyed from season one. We cranked it up a notch with new storylines and new racetracks that we look at, some I’ve always been wanting to see my entire life. We go to Texas World Speedway, and I’ve only flown over it on airplanes from 40,000-feet. It’s a tremendous experience to put your eyes on it. It’s a huge place. We had a great time and I’m ready to see everybody else have a great time watching it. I feel like season two is bigger and better. It has a lot of personal experiences that I didn’t anticipate. Season one, I knew what to expect as we went to certain racetracks. We picked predictable places in season one. In season two, we’re moving around and had a little more fun with the places we went. It’s a much more complex experience with each episode. I can’t wait to get feedback on this particular season and get started with season three.”
“I had a little anxiety about it and bringing it in front of a bunch of people because it’s a niche. It feels like there’s a small group of people interested in this thing and actively documenting these tracks. We’re the nerds of the sport that are running around in the woods and trying to find these places. I felt really confident that the optics of looking at a lost speedway is really compelling. To see something abandoned, it gives you a lot of emotions -- good and bad -- and it takes you on a ride. It could be a racetrack, an old amusement park, an old high school or a theater. People all over the world are into that type of nostalgia and discovery. Seeing something that was once so amazing and now left behind, there’s a weird thing about that and it’s entertaining. The show reaches outside of the race fan demographic. It can be successful beyond that.”
“I would’ve thought they’re at $5 million a piece. Regardless of what they’re paying for a charter, it proves what everybody suspected and answers questions of what they’re worth and the demand. The charter system was created because they wanted to have a value for each team. As an Xfinity team right now, if I wanted to sell you my team, I’m just selling you a building and parts for pennies on the dollar. Otherwise, I have no tangible value other than equity in the name of the company, and that’s if you kept it and didn’t change the name. With a franchise or charter, you’re buying the opportunity to race and my position in the sport. It’s working as designed, but it’ll be interesting going forward. Other teams need charters like Trackhouse. It’ll be interesting to see the market. JR Motorsports, my own company, has talked about going to Cup and the opportunities that might be out there. It’ll be fun to see who can make it happen and who can’t.”