*Have updated with video at bottom of the post.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is living through a nightmarish season of unrelenting misery, inexplicable failure and tabloid speculation. But for one night, that all went away. On Wednesday at the Country Music Association Awards, he was Dale Earnhardt Jr., beloved race car driver and (handsome) man of the people.
The show was hosted by Carrie Underwood and some dude who got to hang out with Carrie Underwood. Earnhardt Jr. could have tripped over himself and spilled drinks on everyone and he still would have had a good night right there.

Mr. Wrangler himself got to present an award with Julianne Hough. She was recently the main reason to watch “Dancing with the Stars” until she left the show to become a country singer. She also just broke up with her boyfriend, so let your mind run free.

For most of us, presenting at a big awards show and doing so with a beautiful woman might be good enough to qualify as our best day ever. But AMPman also got to be part of a Ricky Gervais level of hilarity. Earnhardt and Hough presented the Vocal Duo of the Year. I don’t know squadoosh about country music. But the band/duo/whatever that won, Sugarland for those who care, invited a band/duo/whatever nominated in the same category up to the stage during the acceptance speech. Imagine Brad Keselowski inviting Carl Edwards to the stage after winning at Talladega. You get how weird it was now?
Unfortunately, our man Glenn Jones’s Earnhardt-inspired song New 88 did not receive a nomination.

UPDATE: Have added video of Earnhardt on the red carpet and presenting award. Whoever compiled this grabbed every possible moment Junior appeared on television during the event. Like, even when he was just walking by in the background.

Related links:

Earnhardt losing streak reaches 55; Enquirer says Junior in ‘death spiral’
Alabama is Junior Nation
McGrew Earnhardt’s crew chief in 2010
Dale Earnhardt Jr. petition

Earnhardt Jr. beyond frustration
Earnhardt Jr. ‘New 88’ music video