Dale Earnhardt Jr. all set to retire after the 2017
With the news that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will retire after the 2017 season, he will have the opportunity to give a farewell tour after a disappointing but fun career
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who soldiered on in the sport after the death of his father, a NASCAR icon, has decided to retire after the 2017 season, Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday.
Earnhardt, 42, has 26 wins in 603 starts as part of a likely Hall of Fame career, including Daytona 500 victories in 2004 and 2014. He also has earned 14 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Most Popular Driver awards and remains consistently as the top driver when it comes to merchandise sales.
He has one top-10 finish this year in eight starts and sits 24th in the season standings.
Earnhardt missed the final 18 races of 2016 because of a concussion. He missed two races in 2012 because of two concussions in a six-week stretch.
The writing has been on the wall for this I think for a while now. Dale Earnhard Jr was in a huge shadow because of his dad. Long have we seen examples of son’s of all time greats not live up to the same expectations. Jordan’s boys will always be the first one’s to come to mind. The sheer weight of that has to just drag on you every time you sit in that car. It’s just a constant reminder of your dad.
I don’t think that the concussions really had anything to do with it either. There are a lot of athletes now that have figured out you can retire very early in your career and just take up other jobs in the sport or just live off of what you have made. NFL players are dropping like flies right now with Jake Long retiring after 10 years of service. This is just fitting into that same mold of getting a name for yourself, which he is by far the most popular driver there is in Nascar winning fan favorite 14 times in a row, and then retire.
The Earnhardt name will always be up there with the Pettys and maybe the Elliots now with Chase blowing the doors off at such a young age, as kings of the sport. Now with his impending retirement and his contract expiring at the same time makes me think they were just sidestepping the obvious. He hasn’t been a winner and might have been let go after the season was over. He has 26 wins in 603 races and the ESPN is calling that a HOF career. His dad had 76 wins and 428 top ten finishes in 676 races for comparison. His big ticket wins came at Daytona in 2004 and 2014.
Now that he is going to retire Dale Earnhardt Jr. can spend most of his time in the old western town that he built on his property and that club in his basement.