Remembering the brilliance of 'Suitcase Jake'

Updated: February 26, 2010, 3:14 PM ET
By Ed Hinton

There were just three of us in the late Ralph Earnhardt's old garage, out behind the house in Kannapolis, N.C. Dale Earnhardt and I were standing, having just breezed in from one of our around-town pickup truck cruises of the time.

Jake Elder was squatting on the concrete floor.

I don't think I ever saw Jake sit in a chair, except at a poker table. Otherwise, he always squatted or stood -- usually within 3 feet of a race car.

Dale had his own Busch (now ...

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