Just days after the passing of his close friend, 35-year-old MotoGP racer and motorsports icon Nicky Hayden, Dale Earnhardt Jr. opened up for the first time about the loss on his podcast, The Dale Jr. Download.
Hayden, who was a world-renowned racer and well known figure in the motorsports industry was training on his bicycle abroad in Italy with a large group of cyclists when a speeding car struck him. The racer was thrown onto the front of the vehicle before coming to a stop on the asphalt. He was transported to the hospital with severe injuries and brain damage, tragically doctors were unable to save his life and he passed away several days later on May 22nd.
In the days that have passed, Dale Jr. has spoken out on Twitter about the loss and many other NASCAR drivers have expressed their deep sadness and condolences for Hayden’s family.
During his latest installment of his podcast, NASCAR’s most-popular driver opened up about the loss and shared his grief and a moment of silence with listeners.
“Before we start the show, I just want to take a moment to remember a friend of the motorsports community, Nicky Hayden,” Dale began somberly, fighting back his emotions as he continued. “He died, uh, this week at the age of 35. He was born on July 30th, 1981 and was a very successful motorcycle racer and just an all-around incredible guy.
“He will be missed and our thoughts go out to the Hayden family and all of Nicky’s friends that he made all across the globe.”
The podcast then takes a break for a moment of silence before beginning into the normal shop talk and racing subjects that Dale Jr. and Tyler Overstreet cover regularly.
Our hearts break over this tragic loss and it clearly has had an impact on so many of the folks in the racing community. We continue to pray for the Hayden family during this very difficult time.
Listen to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast below.