Dale Earnhardt Jr. Will Retire Following 2017 NASCAR Season

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. Will Retire Following 2017 NASCAR Season

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Will Retire Following 2017 NASCAR Season

And even though it might have been easier to ease into retirement then instead of easing back into a race vehicle, Earnhardt wanted to come back, not so much because he wanted to win, but because it's so hard to let go of what matters most to him about racing - the relationship with his team.

FOX NASCAR reporter Vince Welsh also dropped some knowledge after the race.

Earnhardt has been the sport's most popular driver the last 14 consecutive seasons. I am the old-school race fan who likes that he is a link back to his dad, who was a link back to his dad, who was a link back to guys like Cale Yarborough and David Pearson and Richard Petty. Launches a comeback year in which Earnhardt also records season sweep at Pocono Raceway (also launches Twitter account that now has over 2 million followers). Earnhardt Jr. noted that his own family immigrated from Germany in the 1700s to escape religious persecution.

Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. a.k.a. "Dale" was born on October 10, 1974 in Kannapolis, North Carolina to Brenda (nee Gee) and Dale Earnhardt Sr., a stock vehicle racer and Hall of Famer. “Ive got a whole other life beyond driving, and I really believe that. That makes me happy as his father. And having gone through it at one point - during the worst, sickest part about it - I really didn't want to have anything to do with racing. Among his accomplishments are two Daytona 500 crowns (2004, 2014) and two championships (1998, 1999) in what has become the NASCAR XFINITY Series. "I think it's offensive to an entire race", he said. But I'm thrilled. We definitely have tons of talent (in the sport). "Glad he's able to do this on his terms as he has wanted to do".

"I realized how delicate things were and how quickly things can be taken from you". "I know we've got a lot of fans that are very sad - for lack of a better way to describe it - so I'm feeling that emotion as well, that what I have announced today has had that effect on a lot of people".

"Without question, Dale Earnhardt Jr.is one of the most beloved drivers in the history of NASCAR", NHMS general manager David McGrath said in a statement.

Maybe, most importantly, he is the son of Dale Earnhardt, who besides Petty, was the most popular driver in the sport's history.

Earnhardt Jr. has done the right thing this week by putting his health and safety above all, whether it's good for the sport or not.

Junior is now in 24th place in the Cup Series standings as he looks to make the rest of his final season a memorable one.

Earnhardt called the decision, revealed to team owner Rick Hendrick on March 29, "very bittersweet" and admitted there were tears as he prepared for Tuesday's announcement.

"They are going to bring a lot of new color and excitement and energy to this sport", he said. Earnhardt said that "without a shadow of a doubt", the toughest part of his decision was informing Hendrick.

Earnhardt suffered concussions after crashes numerous times over his career and missed the second half of the 2016 season with concussion-like symptoms.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a dood run. The two had a very healthy talk where they opened-up more than ever before. Only it wasn't. I was there for Junior's two Daytona 500 wins.

"I knew your daddy pretty well", Hendrick said. But with his down-home southern drawl, Earnhardt Jr. never lost his everyman vibe.

"I never would assume that he was proud of me when he was alive", Earnhardt said.