Dale Earnhardt Jr Admits His Nephew “Didn’t Realize What Kinda Opportunity You Had” as He Acknowledges the “Evolution” Jeffery Earnhardt Had

Published 02/23/2023, 1:23 PM EST

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Being born with the Earnhardt name comes with a great deal of expectation in NASCAR. Following the footsteps of his great-grandfather Ralph Earnhardt, grandfather Dale Earnhardt, and uncle Dale Jr, Jeffery Earnhardt has kept his family’s legacy alive with his hustle mentality.

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Being behind the steering wheels of top-notch cars and fairly uncompetitive ones as well, Jeffery Earnhardt has had a tough yet inspirational journey to establishing himself as a trustworthy driver. Recently, Dale Jr praised his nephew Jeffery’s “evolution” through the highs and lows of his NASCAR journey while earning the Earnhardt name.

Alpha Prime Racing driver Jeffery Earnhardt recently made an appearance on The Dale Jr. Download podcast alongside Dale Jr and Kelley Earnhardt Miller. During the conversation, Dale Jr commended Jeffery Earnhardt for his resilience through his rollercoaster NASCAR journey while shedding light on the Xfinity Series driver’s growth.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr praises nephew’s resilience

In the recent iteration of the Dale Jr. Download podcast, Junior pointed out that Jeffery had driven for great teams like Joe Gibbs Racing and Dale Earnhardt Incorporated during the early stages of his stock car career. At the same time, Dale Jr stressed that his nephew had also driven some unreliable cars for the teams that struggled to win.

Further, the two-time Busch Series champ stated, “I don’t wanna make assumptions. But, when you had the DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) thing happen, years and years ago. You like anybody, you know, didn’t realize what kinda opportunity you had or how to handle that the right way or how to make the most of that, right?

“And as I’ve seen you kinda go through the last, probably five or six years. It’s like, you’ve evolved as a man.”

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Before his tumultuous journey of racing for many teams across the different racing series, Jeffery got an opportunity to drive for his grandfather’s team in the Camping World East Series for 24 races in 2007–2008, where he managed to secure one pole position.

However, his stay was short-lived and he had to look for opportunities elsewhere. Moreover, Dale Jr indicated that his nephew was forced to rebuild his career several times during the last 6–7 years. The 48-year-old asked Jeffery how he managed to keep going without losing his spirits.

Jeffery Earnhardt’s insight into his tough journey

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Jeffery Earnhardt agreed that it was quite difficult for him to take the high road after missing out on some great opportunities during the early stages of his career. The 33-year-old shared that he felt like he had gotten his big break on several occasions. However, things did not work out as he would have expected. 

The #44 Chevy driver said, “This is what I’ve been busting my b*tt for and then it falls apart, you know. It’s like, man, like that, yeah that sucks. But up in the day, you lay there and cry about it, you get back to work. That’s kind of where I’ve looked at it, it’s like, it’s probably one of the, I would say even going back to doing the MMA fight.”

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WATCH THIS STORY – Dale Earnhardt Jr and Denny Hamlin divide NASCAR fans with their latest podcast

Amid his tricky NASCAR career, Jeffery Earnhardt also debuted in the MMA in 2012 where he defeated Chris Faison unanimously. The Xfinity driver reckoned that his MMA experience turned out to be a great “character builder” for him and helped him deal with tough situations calmly. 

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Written by:

Rohit Kumawat

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Rohit Kumawat is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing an MBA in Media and Business Management, Rohit holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has been working as a Sports and Entertainment writer for over a year.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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