Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
American NASCAR driver/owner
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
NOTE: References to "Earnhardt", "he", and "him" refer to the subject of this article, unless otherwise specified. References to his father will include "Sr. " Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Jr. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series statistics 437 races run over 14 yearsCar no. , team No.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s personal information overview.
News abour Dale Earnhardt, Jr. from around the web
Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott win Daytona 500 qualifiers
LATimes - 3 days
Denny Hamlin didn't need a Toyota teammate to grab another win at Daytona International Speedway.  Hamlin charged past Dale Earnhardt Jr. with one lap remaining Thursday night to deny Earnhardt a victory a 150-mile qualifying race that Earnhardt dominated. Earnhardt led 53 of the 60 laps in the...
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LATimes article
Dale Earnhardt Jr. might be racing in his last Daytona 500
LATimes - 4 days
Enjoy him while you can, NASCAR Nation. Savor this Sunday’s Daytona 500. Relish it. It might be the last one Dale Earnhardt Jr. ever runs. NASCAR’s most popular driver has made it clear, he will not beat his brains out — literally — in order to continue racing.  “Of course I’m human and I’m going...
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LATimes article
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Begins Again After Concussion, With Altered Priorities
NYTimes - 5 days
Medically cleared since Dec. 8 and newly married, he says Nascar fans will see a different Dale Earnhardt Jr. this season, which starts on Sunday.
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NYTimes article
Elliott nips Earnhardt to win second straight Daytona 500 pole
LATimes - 7 days
It's impossible to tell the history of NASCAR without mentioning Elliott and Earnhardt.  As the series shifts into a new era, those distinguished names are out front again and will give the start of the Daytona 500 a throwback feel.  Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. — teammates and sons of...
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LATimes article
NASCAR beefs up concussion testing before season begins
Fox News - 9 days
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was confident NASCAR took the right step Friday when it beefed up its concussion protocol by adding a consistent screening rule at all venues.
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Fox News article
Dale Earnhardt Jr. to auction off two cars for charity in Scottsdale Saturday night
Fox News - about 1 month
Earnhardt will auction off these two slick rides at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale.
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Fox News article
Dale Earnhardt Jr. weds fiancee Amy Reimann - WBTV
Google News - about 2 months
WBTV Dale Earnhardt Jr. weds fiancee Amy Reimann WBTV NASCAR's most popular driver told his Twitter followers that he married fiancee Amy Reimann on Saturday. Happily married!!! What an amazing experience. Looking forward to the rest of our lives @Amy_Reimann. #honeymooners pic.twitter.com/ ... Dale Earnhardt Jr. ties the knot on New Year's EveWSOC Charlotte 56 days until Daytona: Dale Jr. leads 56 laps en route to first 500 win in 2004FOXSports.com Dale Jr. gets married on New Year's EveESPN WIS -Bleacher Report -Tampabay.com -Sporting News all 27 news articles »
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. cleared for a return in 2017
LATimes - 3 months
NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr., who missed the final 18 races of last season because of a concussion, has been medically cleared to return next year.  Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday that Earnhardt will take part in the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.  Dr. Micky Collins, medical...
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LATimes article
Dale Earnhardt Jr. reflects on long concussion recovery
Yahoo News - 3 months
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The longer Dale Earnhardt Jr. couldn't drive because of the debilitating effects of a concussion, the more uptight he became.
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Yahoo News article
Dale Earnhardt expects medical clearance in December to race
Yahoo News - 3 months
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. should be medically cleared from his concussion in December and ready to race in the 2017 Daytona 500.
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Yahoo News article
Earnhardt pulled over for speeding to NASCAR race at Texas
Yahoo News - 4 months
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still driving fast, even though he has been sidelined from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series because of a concussion.
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Yahoo News article
Inside Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Unique Relationship With Nature, The Past, And Invaluable Junk
Yahoo News - 4 months
Getty Image
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Yahoo News article
Alex Bowman savoring his shot as Earnhardt's replacement
Yahoo News - 5 months
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Alex Bowman believes Dale Earnhardt Jr. helped his racing career once already when he gave him a handful of starts with JR Motorsports. Now sidelined for the year with a concussion, Earnhardt also helped Bowman by recommending him as a replacement driver at Hendrick Motorsports.
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Yahoo News article
Chase Elliott is salvaging Hendrick's NASCAR season
LATimes - 5 months
It has been a bouncy ride for the Hendrick Motorsports gang this NASCAR season. Concussion-related issues have sidelined Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the rest of the year. Inconsistency again squeezed Kasey Kahne out of the Chase. Uncharacteristic miscues have marked an erratic run for six-time Cup champion...
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LATimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  • 2015
    On June 17, 2015, Earnhardt announced his engagement to his longtime girlfriend Amy Reimann.
    More Details Hide Details key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.) 1 Ineligible for series points key) (Bold – Pole position. * – Most laps led.) key)
    Until its rebranding in 2015, the band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. was named after Earnhardt.
    More Details Hide Details He has made appearances in several music videos, including: Earnhardt hosted a show on Sirius XM Radio's Sirius XM Sports Nation called Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s Unrestricted. Beginning the 2013 season, Earnhardt's Hammerhead Entertainment began producing Dirty Mo Radio, a weekly podcast recapping his race weekend. It is hosted by Taylor Zarzour and Mike Davis. Earnhardt has been featured on the cover of NASCAR-themed video games twice; he appeared on the cover of EA Sports' NASCAR Thunder 2003, and also was voted to be on the cover of NASCAR The Game: Inside Line in 2012. Earnhardt is a passionate Washington Redskins fan and has been known to have Redskins scores relayed to him during races. "During the race season, if I'm under caution, I'm getting stats and numbers told to me over the radio during the race," Earnhardt said. "I've got to know. I can't concentrate on what I'm doing if I don't know what the Redskins are doing. My fans tell me if I lose, it ruins their week. But if the Redskins lose, it ruins my week." Earnhardt once dreamed of playing football for the Redskins, but states that he "wasn't built" for it. "I was 5–3 when I got my driver's license at the age of 16," he said, "so I wasn't going to make much of a football player." He currently owns a Learjet 60 private jet with the tail number N8JR.
    Earnhardt, Jr. kicked off 2015 with a ninth-place finish in the Sprint Unlimited.
    More Details Hide Details On February 19, he won Budweiser Duel #1 in what was his fourth triumph in the Budweiser Duels. In the Daytona 500, he led for over 30 laps but on one of the last restarts, he made a move that mired him in the middle without help, and fell back to 16th with 15 laps to go, but managed to make his way back to third place by the last lap. This was his fifth Top 3 finish in the Daytona 500 in six years, after his runner-up finishes in 2010, 2012 and 2013, and his win in 2014. At Atlanta, Earnhardt, Jr. came home with another third-place finish and at Las Vegas, he finished fourth, scoring his third Top 5 finish after taking two tires during green flag pit-stops with 30 laps to go. At Phoenix, he had his worst finish with a last place finish after a tire-blowout. At Auto Club, he finished 6th. At Martinsville, he also ran inside the Top 20 until a tire-blowout made him get involved in a massive pileup that destroyed the front end of his car. Because of this crash, he would go on to finish 36th. At Texas, he narrowly was beaten by Kevin Harvick for second place. At Bristol, he ran as high as third until a loose wheel put him down two laps down. Although he never got them back, he was able to bring home a 16th-place finish only two laps down.
    For 2015, Earnhardt, Jr. also got a new sponsor in the form of Nationwide Insurance, replacing National Guard.
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  • 2014
    Earnhardt is also the current co owner of JR Motorsports, a NASCAR Xfinity and Truck Series team. In 2014, the team won their first NASCAR national championship, as Chase Elliott drove the #9 NAPA Auto Parts car to the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship.
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    At the end of the 2014, Earnhardt, Jr.'s crew chief Steve Letarte departed Hendrick Motorsports to join NASCAR on NBC's broadcasting team.
    More Details Hide Details Letarte was replaced by Chase Elliott's 2014 Xfinity crew chief Greg Ives.
  • 2013
    On December 5, 2013, it was announced that Earnhardt had won the Most Popular Driver Award for the 11th consecutive time, thus breaking Bill Elliott's record.
    More Details Hide Details The #88 team made headlines even before the start of the season. During the regular Daytona Winter test in January, it was announced that crew chief Steve Letarte would step down from the pit box after the season to become a full-time member of the upcoming NASCAR on NBC broadcast team, alongside Jeff Burton and Rick Allen. Earnhardt and Letarte reassured that this move would not interfere from them winning races and competing for the championship at season's end. In the Sprint Unlimited, Earnhardt led for 7 laps, but in the last segment, contact with Marcos Ambrose caused him to hit the wall in turn 1, finishing 9th. In the first Budweiser Duel, Earnhardt started 4th, and led 14 laps, before fading back to finish where he started. In the Daytona 500, Earnhardt started 9th. His car hung around mid-pack for most of the first quarter of the race. After a six-hour and 22-minute red flag, Earnhardt's car came alive, taking the lead with 70 laps remaining. He led 54 of the last 70 laps and he held off Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski to win his second Daytona 500, just 10 years after his first one. The following week at Phoenix, Earnhardt continued his momentum, finishing 2nd to Kevin Harvick. At Las Vegas, Earnhardt gambled on fuel in the remaining 40 laps, but he ran out of gas while leading on the last lap, finishing 2nd to eventual race winner Brad Keselowski.
    Earnhardt started the 2013 season with an 8th-place finish in the rechristened Sprint Unlimited.
    More Details Hide Details He qualified 11th for the Budweiser Duel, but he blew an engine in practice, he was forced to drop to the rear of the field. After narrowly missing a 3-car wreck between Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, and Regan Smith, he finished 9th. He finished fourth at the DRIVE4COPD 300 after submarining under Alex Bowman's car in a violent last lap wreck. In the Sprint Cup Series, Earnhardt hit a slight resurgence, and in the first five races of the season recorded three Top 5's and five Top 10 finishes. It began with a second-place finish to teammate Jimmie Johnson at the Daytona 500, Earnhardt's third runner up finish in the 500 since 2010. The following week at Phoenix, he led for 47 laps, but was shuffled back in traffic during a cycle caution flag pit stops, which allowed Carl Edwards to assume the lead while Junior finished in fifth place. This was followed by two more Top 10 finishes: 7th at Las Vegas and 6th at Bristol. At Fontana, Earnhardt started mid-pack and after a couple of mistakes including a lengthy pit stop caused by missed lug nuts on a right rear tire, he came home in 2nd-place finish, assuming the points lead as a result of Brad Keselowski going off pace and falling back. Two weeks later in Martinsville, Earnhardt struggled throughout the race, and spun out after Danica Patrick was hit by Brian Vickers and sent into Earnhardt and ended up finishing 24th, 2 laps down, losing the points lead to Jimmie Johnson.
  • 2012
    JR Motorsports also has a very successful regional late model program, with Josh Berry capturing the 2012 Motor Mile Championship in the Whelen All-American series.
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    On November 29, 2012, it was announced that Earnhardt won the NMPA Most Popular Driver Award for the 10th consecutive year.
    More Details Hide Details This ties Bill Elliott's streak of 10 consecutive wins in the award.
    The 2012 Bank of America 500 marked the first race since the 1979 Southern 500 that an Earnhardt had not competed in the Sprint Cup Series as Dale Earnhardt had competed in every race from that one up until his death in the 2001 Daytona 500.
    More Details Hide Details On October 23, Earnhardt was cleared for the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville after missing two races. He started strong in the race, but a late race spin with Carl Edwards placed for a 21st-place finish. His first top ten finish after returning to the track was a seventh-place finish at Texas. At Phoenix, Earnhardt fought an ill-handling car, and finished 21st. At the season finale, at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Earnhardt would finish 10th. This is his first top 10 finish at the 1.5-mile track, and his 20th this season. He closed the season 12th in the final standings.
    At the 2012 Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan, Earnhardt dominated the race, leading 95 laps, and won, snapping a 143-race winless streak, almost four years to the day after his last win on June 15, 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt would suffer a 23rd-place finish at Sonoma after being wrecked in a green-white-checkered finish, but was still able to cross the finish line intact and on the lead lap, continuing his streak of being the only driver to finish all races on the lead lap. He would back this up with a fourth-place finish in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. The following week at Daytona, a last lap crash resulted in a 15th-place finish for Earnhardt but still kept his streak of being the only driver to finish every single lap in every race. Earnhardt backed up with a couple of Top 5 finishes, finishing 4th at both Loudon and Indianapolis, where he gained the points lead for the first time since 2004, after points leader Matt Kenseth was taken out in a late race crash. Back at Pocono, Earnhardt was running in the 2nd position, but a break in the transmission sent the 88 to the garage, but he came back out 18 laps down and finished 32nd, due to rain that came and ended the race and a late race wreck involving Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, and Denny Hamlin. His streak of completing on the lead lap came to an end, but he still maintained the points lead with 5 races until the chase cutoff. At Watkins Glen, Earnhardt had a steady Top 10 going in the final laps but a late race spin resulted in a 28th-place finish, this would drop the 88 team from 1st to 4th in the points.
  • 2011
    On December 1, 2011, it was announced that Earnhardt won the Most Popular Driver award for the 9th consecutive time.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt started 8th in the Budweiser Shootout, led for several laps, and finished 20th after being caught up in a six-car crash on lap 55 that also involved Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick. In the Gatorade Duel, Earnhardt performed strong, starting on the outside pole in the first duel race. He led a few laps in the early part of the race before finishing second to Tony Stewart after his Nationwide Series teammate Danica Patrick smashed hard into the inside wall in a last lap crash on the back straightaway. In the postponed Daytona 500, he finished in 2nd place behind Matt Kenseth, after passing Greg Biffle on the last lap. At Phoenix, Earnhardt's car struggled most of the race and came out with a 14th-place finish. At Las Vegas, Earnhardt led 70 laps early but finished 10th based on bad pit strategy. At Bristol, Earnhardt finished 15th following a late race contact with teammate Jeff Gordon, and a speeding penalty. Earnhardt would back this up with a pair of back to back 3rd-place finishes at Auto Club and Martinsville Speedway, leaving him second in the standings.
    On September 19, 2011, Earnhardt made his first Chase for the Sprint Cup appearance since 2008 at Chicagoland.
    More Details Hide Details At the season finale at Homestead, he finished 11th and finished 7th in the final points standings.
    On September 1, 2011 Earnhardt announced he had signed a 5-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports to drive the #88 until 2017.
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    He began the season by drawing the pole position at the 2011 Budweiser Shootout, where he finished 19th in the race.
    More Details Hide Details On February 13, he earned his first pole position at Daytona International Speedway, as well as his first at a track that uses restrictor plates. Due to a practice crash, he had to start at the back of the field for both the duel race and the 500. He finished 24th in the Daytona 500 after being wrecked with 4 laps to go. Over the next seven races, Earnhardt would achieve five Top 10 finishes, including a 2nd-place finish at Martinsville after losing the lead to Kevin Harvick with 4 laps to go, and a 4th-place finish at Talladega in a photo finish with Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Clint Bowyer, and Kevin Harvick. Earnhardt came within half a lap of snapping his then-104 race winless streak at the Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, when he ran out of fuel during a green-white-checkered finish, finishing 7th. The following week at Kansas, Earnhardt finished 2nd to Brad Keselowski. He followed this up with a solid 6th-place finish at Pocono. Over the course of the next three races, Earnhardt would slide to 7th in the Championship points, finishing 21st at Michigan, 41st at Infineon, and 19th at Daytona.
  • 2010
    On December 2, 2010, it was announced that Earnhardt won the NMPA Most Popular Driver award for the 8th consecutive time.
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    He finished the 2010 Season on November 21, 2010, ranking 21st.
    More Details Hide Details Hendrick Motorsports then did a major crew chief shuffle, pairing Earnhardt's crew chief McGrew with Mark Martin, while Gordon's crew chief Steve Letarte moved to the 88 team, and Gordon got Martin's crew chief, Alan Gustafson.
    On July 2, 2010, Earnhardt raced the No. 3 blue and yellow Wrangler Chevrolet (painted to pay tribute to his father and fans) and drove it to victory lane in the Nationwide Series Subway Jalepeño 250 at Daytona.
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    On February 13, 2010, while running in the front of the pack at the Daytona Nationwide Series race, Earnhardt was caught up in a multi-car wreck, causing his car to flip upside down on the backstretch.
    More Details Hide Details He walked away from the wreck uninjured. His driver Danica Patrick was caught up in another wreck before Earnhardt flipped.
    He finished 11th in the 2010 Budweiser Shootout after struggling with an ill-handling car for most of the race.
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    On Saturday, February 6, 2010, Earnhardt qualified second overall for the 52nd Daytona 500 after losing the pole position to teammate Mark Martin.
    More Details Hide Details He started 1st in the Gatorade Duel No. 2 on February 11 of that year.
  • 2009
    Earnhardt ended 2009 winless, and finished a career low 25th in the standings.
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  • 2008
    His crew chief Chad Walter was fined $35,000, suspended for 6 races and was placed on probation until December 31, 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Team owner Rick Hendrick was also docked 50 owner points along with Earnhardt. At Michigan, Earnhardt broke his 76-race winless streak, managing to stretch his fuel mileage enough to allow him to win under a caution on the last lap of a green-white-checkered (overtime) finish. He did not find much success after the Michigan win. He then went back to Talladega Superspeedway for the AMP Energy 500 where he was en route to a possible win before being caught up in "The Big One" late in the race. He headed to Martinsville Speedway where he finished 2nd to teammate Jimmie Johnson. He ended the season in the garage area at Homestead Miami Speedway in The Ford 400 after losing his brakes with just a few laps to go in the race. Earnhardt finished the season 12th in points, 557 points behind champion Jimmie Johnson.
    Earnhardt started the season by winning the 2008 Budweiser Shootout a non-points paying exhibition.
    More Details Hide Details It was his first race for Hendrick. He led for a total of 47 out of 70 laps, a Budweiser Shootout record. He followed that up five days later with a win in the Gatorade Duel. This was his third career win in the duels, however he was unable to follow it up with victory in the Daytona 500, finishing 9th. Ryan Newman was the winner of the event. Earnhardt was docked 50 points because his rear spoiler did not meet the specified height in the Nationwide Series.
    Starting in the 2008 season, Hendrick Motorsports merged its Nationwide Series team to Earnhardt's JR Motorsports, with the cars coming from Earnhardt's shop, which employs his mother and uncles.
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    On September 19, the official announcement was made that Earnhardt would be driving the No. 88 Mountain Dew AMP/National Guard Chevrolet Impala for the 2008 season.
    More Details Hide Details The No. 88, according to NASCAR archives, was driven by Ralph Earnhardt, his paternal grandfather, in 1957. His maternal grandfather, Robert Gee, was one of the first employees of All Star Racing, initially a Late Model Sportsman (now Nationwide Series) team with Gee as Hendrick's partner, which is now Hendrick Motorsports. Hendrick said about Earnhardt and his uncles, "I can look at Robert Gee Jr., or Jimmy Gee, or Dale Jr., and all I see is Robert Gee. They're the spitting image of him. I go back and look and pictures from when we did things together, and I have to say, I owe Robert a lot."
  • 2007
    On August 15, 2007, it was announced that Earnhardt would not be taking his familiar No. 8 with him to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008.
    More Details Hide Details His late grandfather, Ralph Earnhardt, used that number, while Earnhardt picked it when he entered the Cup Series in 1999. His father also used No. 8 early in his career. Earnhardt, Jr. blamed his stepmother for not allowing the No. 8 to move with him to Hendrick Motorsports. Earnhardt said negotiations broke down when Teresa Earnhardt asked for part of the licensing revenue, along with wanting the number back after he retired. (The No. 8 team, after a successful season in 2008 with co-drivers Mark Martin and Aric Almirola, would end up being shut down in 2009 after DEI's merger with Ganassi Racing.) Earnhardt moved to the No. 88 car with Tony Eury, Jr. coming to Hendrick to remain as his crew chief.
    On June 13, 2007, he announced at a press conference that he had signed a five-year contract with Hendrick Motorsports, replacing Kyle Busch.
    More Details Hide Details At the time, Hendrick consisted of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Casey Mears. One month later, on July 13, it was announced that his long-time primary sponsor Budweiser would not be with Earnhardt when he made the move to Hendrick. Other contractual agreements in place at Hendrick Motorsports are said to have prevented a relationship with Bud.
    After much speculation, Earnhardt announced on May 10, 2007, that he would leave Dale Earnhardt Inc., the company founded by his father, to drive for another team in 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt expressed that his decision was based entirely on his desires to achieve his career goal of a Sprint Cup Championship, and his apparent belief that he would not be able to attain that objective while driving for DEI. He said that unless he could gain majority ownership, and therefore control, of DEI, that he was not confident in the organization’s ability to field the elite level equipment that would yield the elusive title.
    On August 5, 2007, Earnhardt earned his first pole position in a race since 2002 at Pocono Raceway.
    More Details Hide Details Although Kurt Busch won the race, Earnhardt had a dramatic comeback to finish 2nd after spinning out and experiencing shock troubles. Earnhardt led for eight laps before Busch took over. On August 12 at Watkins Glen International, Earnhardt was making the push into the Top 12 of the Nextel Cup standings from his No. 13 position. After being at the No. 2 position during the race, Earnhardt had engine problems on lap 64 and had to end his race day. After the Glen, he tried furiously to reach the 12th spot in standings. However, a resurgence by Kurt Busch and a blown engine during the final race at Richmond ended his Chase hopes. That was his last chance to participate for the Championship at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. DEI). After the 2007 season, Dale Jr. won the NMPA Chex Most Popular Driver award for the 5th consecutive time.
    On May 27, 2007, Earnhardt rode a camouflage No. 8 car in the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day to raise money for the families of military troops.
    More Details Hide Details Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Ward Burton, Denny Hamlin, Casey Mears, Shane Huffman and Jon Wood also changed their paint schemes for the occasion. He finished eighth, after leading with seven laps to go, but Casey Mears finished with the win.
    The show debuted on the Speed Channel on February 6, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details He has also appeared in an episode of the TV show Yes, Dear. He has also been on two episodes of MTV Cribs. The first episode originally aired in 2001. The second episode featuring the Western town Earnhardt built originally aired in 2009. His production company Hammerhead Entertainment also assisted in creating a DirecTV special called "Fast Lane For Fun", in which Earnhardt's Whisky River was shown in one episode. He appeared in an episode of Shaq Vs., where he was racing against Shaquille O'Neal.
    He collected his third Top 10 of the season and his 8th at Talladega Superspeedway with his 7th-place performance in the 2007 Aaron's 499.
    More Details Hide Details On May 14, he was docked 100 driver championship points, car owner Teresa Earnhardt was docked 100 owner points, and his crew chief, Tony Eury, Jr., was fined $100,000 and suspended for 6 races due to the use of illegal mounting brackets used to attach the wing to his car. During the April race at Texas Motor Speedway he drove the last 10 laps in the No. 5 car of Kyle Busch owned by Rick Hendrick.
    Earnhardt began the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season by finishing 32nd at the Daytona 500 as the result of a late race crash.
    More Details Hide Details His first Top 10 came at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 500, where he finished 7th. His first Top 5 came at Martinsville Speedway in the Goody's Cool Orange 500. He led 136 laps and finished 5th.
  • 2006
    He made the 2006 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup after finishing 17th in the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 9, 2006.
    More Details Hide Details He came close to winning at Talladega, and was leading on the last lap when Brian Vickers made contact with Earnhardt's future teammate Jimmie Johnson, sending Johnson into Earnhardt and spinning both of them out. His points position going into the Chase was 6th. He finished the season 5th in the point standings, 147 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.
    During the race at New Hampshire, he experienced the second engine failure of his 2006 season, ultimately leading to a 43rd-place finish.
    More Details Hide Details Following New Hampshire was the race at Pocono, where he was running in the middle of the pack when he crashed in turn 2. These two events catapulted him to 11th in the points standing, out of the Chase for the Cup. At Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Earnhardt and his crew made a critical decision to stay out on the final pit stop to get a much needed Top 10 finish to move him up to 10th in the points.
    After 17 races in the 2006 season, Earnhardt sat 3rd in the championship standings with 1 win, coming at Richmond in May 2006.
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    On Father's Day in 2006, he drove a vintage Budweiser car at Michigan International Speedway to honor both his grandfather (Ralph Earnhardt) and his father, who at one point in both their careers used the #8 car.
    More Details Hide Details After rain caused the race to be ended early, Earnhardt finished 3rd with Kasey Kahne winning the race.
    In 2006, during the spring weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Earnhardt and other DEI drivers drove with special black paint schemes on their cars, reminiscent of his late father's famous No. 3 paint scheme.
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    Long-time short track racer Shane Huffman drove Earnhardt's USAR Hooters ProCup car in 2006.
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  • 2005
    Earnhardt's proficiency as a car owner continued. His race team outside of DEI, JR Motorsports, in 2005 fielded a car in the USAR Hooters ProCup Series, winning once and qualifying for the Four Champions playoff.
    More Details Hide Details Mark McFarland moved to the Busch Series in 2006, driving the No. 88 JR Motorsports US Navy Chevrolet, with Richard Childress Racing providing assistance; however, he was fired before the fall Michigan race, the Carfax 250. He was replaced by Robby Gordon and Martin Truex, Jr. for the rest of the year.
    Rondeau served as Earnhardt's crew chief until the Coca Cola 600 weekend, when he was replaced with DEI chief engineer Steve Hmiel, who helped Earnhardt score his lone win of 2005 at Chicagoland in July, when he took the lead from Matt Kenseth on the last cycle of pit stops.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt was eliminated from any possible competition for the NEXTEL Cup championship after suffering an engine failure at the California Speedway. Earnhardt was reunited with his cousin, Tony Eury, Jr., after the fall Richmond weekend, and results improved immediately. Earnhardt finished the season 19th in points. For the 3rd straight year, he took home the NMPA Most Popular Driver Award.
    Peter Rondeau, a Chance 2 employee who also helped Earnhardt win the Busch Series race at Bristol in August, became the crew chief for Earnhardt in 2005.
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  • 2004
    Truex would later win the 2004 and 2005 Busch Series Championships. The company would later endure financial struggles and go out of business in 2006. Through 2004 to 2006, Chance 2 Motorsports drivers achieved 12 victories in the Busch Series and 2 championships.
    More Details Hide Details Chance 2 drivers also combined for 32 Top 5 and 48 Top 10 finishes in the companies short existence. Earnhardt owns Hammerhead Entertainment, a media production company that created and produces the TV show Back In the Day, which aired on SPEED. Hammerhead also produced "Shifting Gears", a show on ESPN2 that chronicled his 2008 team switch. He is partners with a group of investors who are building Alabama Motorsports Park, a Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Speedway. The track is located near Mobile, Alabama and will feature stock car racing, kart racing and a road course. This will join with his partial ownership of Paducah International Raceway. He has also opened a bar named Whisky River in downtown Charlotte in April 2008; he later opened a second Whisky River in Jacksonville, Florida. As of 2013, Earnhardt has his own signature line of eyeglass frames, partnering with NY Eye Inc. In August 2012, he entered the automobile dealer business, opening Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Buick-GMC-Cadillac in Tallahassee, Florida in association with car owner Rick Hendrick.
    He closed off the 2004 season with 6 wins, sixteen Top 5s, and twenty-one Top 10 finishes.
    More Details Hide Details He also picked up his 2nd consecutive Most Popular Driver Award. At the close of the 2004 season, it was revealed that Tony Eury, Sr. would be promoted to the team manager position for the DEI corporation, while Tony Eury, Jr. became the crew chief for Michael Waltrip for the 2005 season.
    That incident, combined with two consecutive DNF's in the Chase, eventually dropped him out of the running, and he finished fifth in the 2004 NEXTEL Cup Chase despite a career-high 6 wins at Daytona, Atlanta, Richmond, Bristol, Talladega and defending his fall win at Phoenix (though under the non-Chase points system, Earnhardt would have tied his third place points finish of the previous year).
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    In 2004, Earnhardt won the Daytona 500, six years to the day after his father won his only title in the Great American Race (and 3 years after his father was killed in the 2001 race).
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt came very close to sweeping Speedweeks, as in addition to the Daytona 500, he also won his Gatorade Duel and the Busch Series race. However, he finished 2nd in the Budweiser Shootout to Dale Jarrett. On July 18, during the summer off-weekend, Earnhardt crashed a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R during a practice for the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Sonoma at Infineon Raceway. The car slid off course and hit a concrete barrier during warm-up the day of the race, rupturing a fuel line and causing the car to burst into flames with him still inside. He suffered second and third degree burns on his neck, chin, and legs partially due to not wearing a protective balaclava with his helmet. The burns prevented him from finishing two races where he was relieved by Martin Truex, Jr. (at New Hampshire) and his DEI teammate John Andretti (at Pocono) in the middle of the races. In the fall, Earnhardt became the first driver to sweep a weekend at Bristol by winning both the Busch and Cup races in the same weekend. Earnhardt was able to qualify for the NASCAR 10-race playoff, and had his 5th NEXTEL Cup win of the season (a career high) at Talladega. However, he was penalized 25 points for use of an obscenity during the television broadcast, in violation of a new NASCAR rule prohibiting participants from using obscene language (the rule had been created the week after the Daytona 500, in the wake of the Super Bowl half-time show controversy).
  • 2003
    In 2003, he became a true title contender, scoring a record-breaking fourth consecutive win at Talladega, after being involved in a 27-car crash on lap 4.
    More Details Hide Details He struggled for most of the race, and was at points a half-lap down, only catching back up to the pack through a caution. The win was controversial because with 5 laps to go, it appeared that Earnhardt went below the yellow line to gain position, but NASCAR ruled that Matt Kenseth had forced him below the line, making it a clean pass. He later scored a victory at Phoenix in October, recording a career best 3rd-place effort in the standings, with thirteen Top 5s and twenty-one Top 10 finishes. He also took home the NMPA Most Popular Driver award for the first time in his career.
  • 2002
    In 2002, Earnhardt had a roller-coaster season.
    More Details Hide Details He struggled after enduring a concussion at the Fontana race in April — an injury he did not admit to until mid-September. In the three races following Fontana, he finished no better than 30th. However, Earnhardt rallied to sweep both Talladega races (leading a dominating 133 of 188 laps in the spring race), a pair of Bud Pole Awards and an 11th-place finish in the standings with eleven Top 5's and sixteen Top 10 finishes.
  • 2001
    He finished the 2001 season eighth in the points standings with three wins, nine Top 5's, and fifteen Top 10's, as well as two poles.
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  • 2000
    Earnhardt played a part in recreating one Winston Cup milestone in 2000 when he competed with his father and half-brother Kerry in the Pepsi 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
    More Details Hide Details That occasion was only the second time that a father had raced against two sons — Lee Petty and his two sons Richard and Maurice had previously accomplished the feat. Earnhardt ended the year with 2 wins, 3 Top 5's, 5 Top 10's, and 2 Bud Poles. In 2001, the major event of the season occurred on February 18, in the final corner of the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. As Earnhardt and his his teammate Michael Waltrip raced to the finish line, he finished second to Waltrip. His father had crashed in turn 4 after Sterling Marlin made contact with his left rear bumper. Earnhardt, Sr. shot up the track into the outside wall behind Waltrip and his son and collected Ken Schrader in the process. Earnhardt, Sr. was pronounced dead at 5:16pm due to a basilar skull fracture.
    He competed for the Raybestos NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award in 2000.
    More Details Hide Details His primary competitor for the award was Matt Kenseth. Kenseth outran Earnhardt in the season-opening Daytona 500. Earnhardt scored his first win in the DirecTV 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, breaking the record held by his father Earnhardt, Sr. for fewest starts by a driver to earn his first victory in NASCAR's "Modern Era" by winning in just his 12th start, and also at Richmond International Raceway. He became the first rookie to win the All-Star exhibition race.
    2000 was Earnhardt's breakout year in the Cup Series.
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  • 1999
    Prior to the concussion, Earnhardt had competed in 461 consecutive races, dating back to the 1999 Atlanta event.
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    Also in 1999, he drove in 5 Winston Cup races in the No. 8 Budweiser-sponsored Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and then in 2000, he went full-time in the Winston Cup series.
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  • 1998
    In 1998 he made his first start in the Winston Cup Series, at the exhibition race held in Motegi, Japan.
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    Earnhardt won consecutive NASCAR Busch Series Championships in 1998 and 1999 barely edging Matt Kenseth.
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  • 1996
    Earnhardt ran nine Busch Series races between 1996 and 1997 for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and Ed Whitaker, respectively, before driving for his father's team in the Busch Series full-time in 1998, in which he started the season with an amazing blowover after contact with Dick Trickle and Buckshot Jones at Daytona, on the same weekend that his father had his first and only Daytona 500 win.
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  • 1994
    While he did run various tracks during this time, Earnhardt primarily focused his efforts at the Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina and the East Carolina Motor Speedway in Robersonville, North Carolina, where he captured the pole for the Greenville Merchants 300 on October 28, 1994.
    More Details Hide Details There he developed an in-depth knowledge of chassis setup and car preparation, while racing against his older brother Kerry and his sister Kelley. He worked at his father's dealership as a mechanic while he went to Mitchell Community College to earn an associate degree in automotive technology.
  • 1979
    His first race car was a 1979 Monte Carlo that he co-owned with his older half-brother, Kerry Earnhardt.
    More Details Hide Details Within two seasons, Earnhardt had honed his driving abilities to the point of joining the Late Model Stock Car division. He competed on the North and South Carolina short tracks driving a No. 3 Chevrolet.
  • 1974
    Born on October 10, 1974.
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