In one of the crazier stories of the NASCAR offseason, Dale Earnhardt is supposedly to blame for a 51-year-old man intentionally driving the wrong way on Las Vegas, Nevada’s 215 beltway.
But Earnhardt passed away at the age of 49 in February 2001 after a last-lap crash in the Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
The accused party, Daniel Glen Asseff, told a judge that it was the ghost of the late seven-time Cup Series champion who instructed him to pull this disturbing act and drive the wrong way on the freeway, according to KVVU.
In a court hearing earlier this week, Asseff told Judge Ann Zimmerman that the ghost of “The Intimidator” told him to drive the wrong way on the freeway so that it would get the attention of Mayor Carolyn Goodman and bring NASCAR to Las Vegas.
Here’s what he had to say.
“That was for Dale Earnhardt Sr., the Intimidator. Told me to open that for racetrack for NASCAR and IndyCar racing if approved by Mayor Goodman for twice a year. They want that use that as a Grand Prix racetrack to open it wrong way backward.”
It is worth noting that NASCAR already races in Las Vegas, albeit at an oval in Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In fact, the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) oval has hosted Cup Series races for 24 years. After hosting one race per year from 1998 to 2017, it has hosted two races per year from 2018 to 2021, including one regular season race and a playoff race.
Two more races are on the schedule for 2022. The Pennzoil 400, the third race on the 36-race schedule, is scheduled to take place on Sunday, March 6, and it is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.
The South Point 400, the first of three races in the round of 8 of the playoffs, is scheduled to take place on Sunday, October 16, and it is set to be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.
As a result of his actions, Asseff faces charges of attempted murder, battery with a deadly weapon, and DUI. He reportedly had heroin and methamphetamine in his system at the time.
Prosecutors, who allege that Asseff was intentionally trying to run over pedestrians and hit other cars, asked for a $200,000 bail, including alcohol monitoring and a driving ban. The judge set bail at $500,000 and called him a “danger to the community”, ordering him not to drive. Additionally, he must be evaluated for competence.
This is Asseff’s third DUI conviction; his other two came in 2016 and 2020.