Who is this guy? I am serious. I want to know. The shaved-back NASCAR guy, otherwise known as the Dale Earnhardt shaved-3 back fan, is the most famous NASCAR fan in the world. I am not kidding. Type “NASCAR fan” into Google Image Search and this photo is the first result. That means, to Google users everywhere, Dale Shaveback Sr. here is the first visual impression a user receives when researching NASCAR fans. He is the face – or I should say, hairy back – of NASCAR Nation. Yet we know nothing about him.

What is his name? What is up with his Chewbacca-level of body hair? What chain of events led him to arrive at the notion that shaving a number three in his back was a good idea? Was alcohol a factor? And most importantly, is this photo real? It looks Photoshopped. I don’t want it to be Photoshopped. I want it to be real more than I want Jimmie Johnson to be interesting. But this is a quest for truth, a quest for facts and – if this photo is a fake – a quest for justice.

This much we know. The photo was taken at a short track, apparently Bristol, although I saw another blog claim it was Martinsville, which I think is wrong. Also, there is a woman with him. I have nothing to base this on, but I think they are a couple, and that she gets him. This isn’t the first time he has removed his shirt in public. She doesn’t mind. In fact, she is used to it. It is weird when he does not take his shirt off at the races. That is the vibe I get.

Other than that, I have nothing. I spent time searching online for possible explanations of who this man might be. The photo has been posted on so many blogs – usually in a derogatory manner – that I was unable to trace the image back to its source.

And so my fellow NASCAR fans, we must find out if it is real. If it is a forgery, then the entire blogosphere owes you – and the guy in the photo – a big apology, because the image is a lie. If the image is real, then, well, awesome. A small part of me wants this guy – and that back hair – to exist, negative stereotype or not.

Help me, NASCAR fans. Help me help you. Who is the Shaved Back NASCAR Guy? Someone out there knows him. Who is Dale Shaveback Sr.? Let us solve this mystery together.

Feel free to comment below or e-mail me at jdonatelli@break.com with clues or tips. I will give an STP prize pack to the person who provides me with the most useful information between now and the 2010 Daytona 500.