Hey, Dale Jr., how about a BBQ tweet-up — or maybe a meat-and-greet?

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You’ve heard of Twitter tweet-ups, right?

Given how he’s fallen in love with Twitter this year, maybe the next big thing will be a Dale Earnhardt Jr. barbecue tweet-up or maybe a BBQ meat-and-greet (pun intended).

According to ESPN.com’s John Oreovicz, Junior’s success this season – including winning the Daytona 500 for the second time in his career, as well as his bid to win this year’s Chase for the first time in his career – has somewhat stymied Earnhardt from one of his passions other than NASCAR racing:

Namely, BBQ cooking and eating.

That’s right, can you imagine Jr. with an apron on, slaving over a hot grill or smoker?

“We have been working like crazy this year, so damn much I ain’t got a chance to barbecue much,” Earnhardt told Oreovicz. “I thought the older I get the more leverage I would get and the less I would have to do, so it’s actually not working for me too much.

“But we are working really hard and I’m enjoying what we have going on. This is the part of the year where not only are we trying to get through the Chase, but all of our sponsors are coming to us for 2015 stuff trying to get all their commercials shot and all their photos taken and all the new uniforms and cars and all that stuff. If I get a Monday off, I’m lucky, looking at my calendar all the way to Homestead.”

And don’t forget running JR Motorsports.

But when he has some rare free time, not to mention a hearty appetite, don’t be surprised to see Junior go from race car driver to chef extraordinaire.

“It’s real similar to preparing an old late model [stock car] for a race,” he said. “It’s a lot of maintenance, and you are always kind of tinkering and playing and tweaking on the setup.

“You take it to the track and tweak on it a little bit here, tweak on it a little bit there, but you don’t get too far out of your comfort zone.”

While he’s a longtime barbecue eating aficionado, Earnhardt doesn’t consider himself a BBQ veteran yet when it comes to cooking.

“I’m going to get me a dehydrator,” he said. “But I’m not going to jump in like I did with the barbecue.

“I’ve got to read up and make sure I get the right stuff first. I’ve got like three smokers now because I went in too quick and bought and just kind of got in over my head not getting the right stuff.”

After Sunday’s race at Dover, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves on to arguably the capital of BBQ cooking and eating, namely, Kansas City, for next weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway.

Will Junior be on the hunt for some new sauce or cooking techniques? Most likely, especially since, ironically enough, the World Series of Barbecue will be in K.C. the same weekend.

And if Junior winds up in victory lane there? It’ll likely be Mountain Dew and BBQ for everybody.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.