(AP File Photo/Mike McCarn)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has always had some skeleton-themed designs on the back of his racing helmet.
Guns N’ Roses had an influence on that.
When Earnhardt first started racing in the Xfinity Series as a rookie he had Nick Pastura come up with the design. Pastura used to paint backdrops for rock and roll tours like Guns N’ Roses.
“So I figured he could paint a mean skull,” Earnhardt said. “I just told him to put something on the back that would make everybody think I’m a little crazy _ and make all those drivers wonder about me.”
Earnhardt never changed the theme through the years.
“I don’t know what else I’d put on there anyway,” Earnhardt said. “I think it was more about, ‘Hey Nick, you just have fun with this and do whatever you want to do.’ I like skulls and pirates and all that good stuff. So, just have fun with it. And he just does something new every time. ... It’s always fun to see what he comes up with.”
Earnhardt said Pastura is designing a cool helmet for his final race at Homestead.
Earnhardt said he normally wears the same helmet for an entire season and then keeps it.
“So, when people come asking for helmets, it is kind of hard to give them away because that is the only helmet I have from that season,” Earnhardt said. “And I like to keep it myself and store it away. So, I don’t have a whole lot of helmets floating around.”
Earnhardt said he also plans to keep the car that he drives in his final race.
“If the car makes it through the race, I’m going to take the car and Rick can have the helmet,” Earnhardt said. “That is our deal. That is the same deal he had with Jeff (Gordon) _ that Jeff gave him the helmet and Jeff got the car. And so, I think that is the same deal I’m going to get with Rick.”