For those who ain't from these parts, Whisky River is a private Old West town that Dale Earnhardt Jr. built in the early 2000s. After buying some new property, he needed a place for his Dirty Mo Posse to hang out. What started as a sketch on a napkin turned into a real-life town straight out of the 19th century.
OneMain Racing recently teamed with JR Motorsports to run the “The Whisky River Sweepstakes.” Four first prize winners and one grand prize winner, plus a guest, were taken to Dale Jr.’s property and given an exclusive tour of Whisky River. Oh yeah, they also met Dale Jr. and his sister, Kelley Earnhardt-Miller.
After taking individual photos with Dale Jr. and Kelley, the group moseyed on down to the Silverado Saloon. This place is legit, and according to reliable sources, it was the most popular part of town in Whisky River’s heyday. After some ice-cold beverages and a 20-minute Q&A with Dale Jr., it’s safe to say it was our favorite building, too.
Have a look-see
Enough talk about Whisky River. Let’s check out some photos:
Takin’ a stroll down Main Street
The best way to appreciate Whisky River is a slow stroll down Main Street. The craftmanship of each building is so detailed, it’s like walking down a Hollywood movie set. You might even start to believe you’re in the Old West.
Kick your boots off at the hotel
The hotel is connected to the saloon, which helps serve its purpose: allow patrons to catch some shut-eye after having too much fun. Just don’t count on room service or fresh towels.
Tip your hat to the sheriff
Each building has its own custom décor, but the sheriff’s office might take the top prize. In addition to several “Wanted” posters and various law man accessories, there are two jail cells with real cast iron bars.
Q&A at the Silverado Saloon
The high point of the visit was the Q&A with Dale Jr. in the Silverado Saloon. It was refreshing to see a global superstar be so humble and polite. After all, he did invite us onto his private property and into his personal space during his retirement season. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Don’t just take it from me
We caught up with one of the first prize winners, Chris Solomon, and asked him what he thought of the experience.
Here’s what he had to say:
For starters, can you tell us a few things about yourself?
“My name is Chris Solomon and I'm 50 yrs. old from Headland, Alabama. I have a 21-year-old son, Rustin, and two beautiful grandchildren, Scarlett Makenna and Oliver Pierce. I say I have 3 sons though because my son has two little brothers, Samuel and Brody, who I love like my own. I'm a huge Auburn fan and love singing karaoke. I work at Center Stage Alabama as a gaming floor supervisor.”
What inspired you to enter the Whisky River Sweepstakes?
“Well, I've loved racing since my first live race at Talladega back in 1993. My favorite driver from that moment until he retired was Rusty Wallace. After [he] retired, I started pulling for Dale Jr. on the super speedways. He just grew on me and became my favorite driver today. Now he’s retiring, so the chance to meet Dale Jr., Elliott Sadler and Brett Griffin (Elliott Sadler and Clint Bowyer’s spotter) was a once in a lifetime deal.”
What was your favorite part of visiting Whisky River?
“I truly enjoyed the whole experience at Whisky River. That is one cool place. Standing next to Dale Jr. and Kelley when we took pictures will always stand out, but my absolute favorite part was the Q&A. It was very interesting, and I really enjoyed the laid back, up close and personal setting. Another thing I’ll always remember is when I accidentally dropped my drink on the floor while Dale. Jr was talking. The whole room went silent before everyone laughed it off. It was kind of embarrassing then, but it’s a funny story to tell now!”
There’s plenty more where this came from
We have more to share from the Whisky River Sweepstakes.
Keep an eye out for the next blog!