Heard the one about Dale Earnhardt Jr., the Harley and the
swimsuit model? One day at Daytona Speedway, Earnhardt's top
mechanic was monkeying with a carburetor when Junior pulled up on
a shiny new hog.
"Where'd you get that great bike?" said the mechanic.
"Well, I was walking near the track yesterday, minding my own
business, when a beautiful woman in a bikini rode up on this
Harley. She was a model--I'd seen pictures of her in some sports
magazine. Anyway, she threw the bike to the ground, ripped off
her bikini and said, 'Take what you want.'"
"And you took the hog?" said the mechanic, shaking his head.
"You betcha," said Junior. "I figured the bikini wouldn't fit."
As it turns out, Marisa Miller has never driven a Harley. Before
the Santa Cruz, Calif.--born swimsuit model arrived at Daytona
Speedway last July, she had never been in a stock car either.
"I'm into muscle cars--'69 Camaros and '69 Mustang fastbacks,"
Miller said as she prepared for a private lap dance in
Earnhardt's number 8 car. "My sport is surfing--it's mellow and,
like, a whole different world."
Miller didn't know NASCAR Nation from the Plains of Nasca or Dale
Earnhardt from Amelia Earhart. "I know three things about
Junior," she said. "He's single, he does ads for that cologne,
and he's, like, an MTV rock star."
Like so many high-profile rockers, Earnhardt springs from model
to actress to Playboy centerfold like a chamois of the Alps
leaping from crag to crag.
"Hi, Marisa," he bleats upon meeting Miller. "Up for a little
She slips into something a little less comfortable: a
fire-resistant racing suit. "These look like the jammies I used
to wear," she says, yanking on a trouser leg. "Junior, would you
mind helping me with the zipper?" Mr. Chivalry is only too happy
to lend a hand. He whispers something in her ear.
What did he say?
"He asked if he can scare the crap out of me on the track,"
And what'd you say?
They ease into Earnhardt's number 8 car--he through the driver's
window, she through the passenger's--and idle in the 95° heat.
Miller says, "I don't think I've ever been this hot in my life."
Earnhardt doesn't argue--he's never seen her in a string bikini.
When he gets the O.K. to start, Earnhardt gazes at Miller and
says, "Are you ready?" She returns the gaze and says, "I'm
ready." He guns the engine and peels off, jamming number 8
through its gears, the engine whining. The NASCAR driver and the
swimsuit model scream around the track at 150 mph, nearly kissing
After two laps it's all over. Earnhardt rolls in, Miller rolls
out. Her face is frozen in a beatific smile.
"Was it good for you?" says Earnhardt.
"Good?" she gasps. "Good wasn't the word for it. Awesome! Insane!
Like a roller coaster, only a billion times more exciting. My
mouth is, like, in my throat. From now on, everything I do is
gonna suck. You were incredible--so totally in control."
"It was nothing," he says.
"Yeah, right. You were fantastic!"
Earnhardt coughs one soft, low, gentle cough, like a sheep with a
blade of grass stuck in its throat.
Miller: "Do you always go so fast?"
Earnhardt: "I slowed it down for you, but I tried to make it as
real as possible."
"Believe me, it was real."
"You felt the vibrations?"
"Oh, yeah," she purrs. "I felt everything."
Miller shimmies out of her "jammies," grabs a felt-tipped pen and
scrawls across the chest of her fire-resistant suit: "You can
drive me anytime."
Take what you want, Junior. --Franz Lidz
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEVE ERLE HAIR AND MAKEUP BY TINA ECHEVERRI FOR ARTHOUSEMANAGEMENT.COM FAST PITCH Earnhardt agreed to give Miller a driving lesson, but she was on her own with parallel parking.
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEVE ERLE HAIR AND MAKEUP BY TINA ECHEVERRI FOR ARTHOUSEMANAGEMENT.COM FLAMMABLE MATERIAL Miller is famous for filling out a suit, but this was the first time she had to put on a fire-retardant one.
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEVE ERLE HAIR AND MAKEUP BY TINA ECHEVERRI FOR ARTHOUSEMANAGEMENT.COM SHORTS BY LEVI'S CUSTOMIZATION (BY SPECIAL ORDER)
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEVE ERLE HAIR AND MAKEUP BY TINA ECHEVERRI FOR ARTHOUSEMANAGEMENT.COM DRIVE, SHE SAID Miller was giddy after her first spin, but as is typical in boy-girl whirls, she complained it was over too quickly.
FOUR COLOR PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEVE ERLE HAIR AND MAKEUP BY TINA ECHEVERRI FOR ARTHOUSEMANAGEMENT.COM