There have been lots of unusual retirement gifts for athletes over the years, including an oversized personal crab mallet, a Netflix account, a smashed bullpen phone, and a walker, but the Phoenix International Raceway came up with a very unique one for retiring NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.: a barrel full of pickles, with extra bags of pickles on top.
Apparently, this started with Earnhardt tweeting in September about how he loved one brand of pickles only available in Arizona, so the raceway decided to give him all he could handle ahead of Sunday’s race:
— Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) September 9, 2017
— Lee Spencer (@CandiceSpencer) November 10, 2017
Earnhardt even wound up signing a bag of pickles (at the 30-second mark here):
— Phoenix Raceway (@PhoenixRaceway) November 10, 2017
It seems like Earnhardt may wind up with even more Arizona pickles, too, as Michelle R. Martinelli writes at For The Win:
Those “Dill Jr.” pickles aren’t the only ones he’ll be coming back East with. Junior said his bus driver, Kenny, usually gets some of the pickles for him whenever they’re in the area. So this time, he said Kenny got him 64 jars of pickles.
Clearly, Earnhardt is cleaning out all of the pickles in the entire state of Arizona.
That’s a whole lot of pickles, and it should keep Earnhardt happy on that front for a while. Of course, it also helps that the raceway donated $100,000 to Childhelp – a nonprofit that helps victims of child abuse. Earnhardt has asked for tracks to consider donating to charities rather than just giving him stuff, and many have, but it’s cool to see him get both a unique gift and a donation in his name here. And now Earnhardt won’t have to worry about going back to Arizona for more pickles any time soon.