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Dale Jr. on Dan Patrick Show: Bend rules, don’t break them

Earnhardt AP 2012

With the Daytona 500 less than two weeks away, defending winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. called in to the Dan Patrick Show Wednesday morning.

Junior talked about a number of topics, including not being engaged, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and the creativity of bending but not breaking the rules in NASCAR.

MORE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. dodges Dan Patrick’s efforts to get him to pop the question to girlfriend Amy Reimann

Earnhardt understands that competitors need to utilize every inch the rules allow.

“We have a rule book and it’s our job or the crew’s job to bend that rule book as far as it’ll go without breaking it,” Earnhardt told Patrick. “To be competitive, you have to use every thousandths of a second and every measurement that NASCAR allows.”

Before he spoke about the rules, Earnhardt had an exchange with Patrick about tattoos:

“No tattoos, never,” Earnhardt said when asked if he has any or is thinking about getting one. “I’ve thought about it but I’d probably never do it. If I had to get something to do with my dad, probably, something – some number or something crazy -- on my arm.”

But Junior has been the impetus for many fans getting tattoos of him on their arms, legs and Lord knows wherever else.

“I’ve done that maybe a couple dozen times,” he said. “People will give you a Sharpie and say, ‘Sign my arm so I can get it tattooed.’

“When you sign somebody’s arm with a Sharpie, it never really looks that great. What I try to do is give them a piece of paper with my name on it and say give this to the artist and have him put that on your arm because it’ll look better. They never think of that first.”

When asked if he’s ever signed a tattoo of his face on a fan’s body, Junior deadpanned, “No. If I did, I’ve quickly erased it from my mind.”

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