Despite being semi-retired for a couple of years, racing still continues to dominate Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s life.
Each year he competes in a single Xfinity series race. This is his way of getting onto the racetrack and competing against other racers. For the most part, that thrill is no longer a huge part of his life anymore.
However, that thrill and passion for racing exist even when he’s not behind the wheel. Earnhardt uses his expertise in racing when he’s now in the broadcasting booth for NBC. He can then deliver an animated and personal rundown of what’s going on out on the track and what could be going on in the driver’s head.
Earnhardt Unfinished Business
During an interview with the “Today” show, Earnhardt was asked if he ever thinks about getting behind the wheel again and racing more consistently. He answered, “every day.” However, that drive to race doesn’t mean he’s getting behind the wheel again.
“I’m 46 years old and there are a lot of guys that are still racing at this age and are still competitive. I feel like I have some unfinished business and there’s that little bit in you that always wonders if you walked away too soon or if you retired from driving full-time too soon. I’ll probably always wonder about that,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said.
He also said that there was a 99% chance that he would never return to full-time racing again. The hosts of the show latched onto that one percent chance quickly, but all in good fun. Earnhardt won that Most Popular Driver Award 15 consecutive times from 2003 to 2017 for a good reason. Fans love to see him.
However, fans are getting to hear him in the booth. For Earnhardt, he finds that just as fulfilling and a way to showcase his ongoing love and passion for the sport.
“I use that excitement for driving, I use the fact that I miss it, I use that in the broadcast. I want to be out there. I think that energy is good for the broadcast,” Earnhardt said.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Passion for Racetracks
In addition to his broadcasting job, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is also the host of his Peacock series, “Lost Speedways.” Here he explores the abandoned race tracks scattered all around the country and delves into their histories.
It’s clear that Earnhardt loves all parts of racing — from being behind the wheel to announcing, to leading, to even preserving and sharing the history of race tracks.
He shared during an interview with USA Today that his favorite track from season one was the Metrolina Speedway in Charlotte. It turns out there’s a lot of Earnhardt family history there.
“Metrolina was a lot of fun because that track’s right in our backyard. My dad had a lot of history there. We uncovered a really unique story about when my father raced my grandfather for the one and only time. That was always sort of this rumor. Never knew anybody that could say, ‘I was there and saw it,’ right? So we found the person that had witnessed it and told us all about it. And so that was a cool story to actually hear as fact instead of just like this idea,” Earnhardt said.