Dale Earnhardt Jr Was Shocked at Hendrick Motorsports So Much That He Believes It Would’ve Changed His NASCAR Career by “75%”

Published 08/25/2022, 2:30 PM EDT
TALLADEGA, AL – MAY 06: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, walks on the grid during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 6, 2017 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

NASCAR Hall of Famer, Dale Earnhardt Jr, sat down with a reputed newspaper for some talks. Where he was also asked if his highest career wins of six Cup races in 2004, came through just the because of his talent or the added benefit of a good car. He was also asked how did he get away with so many wins.

During the interview, Junior answered, “I could get away with it, being young, and we had great cars. But yeah, what I learned by going to Hendrick Motorsports was the Hendrick Way. How you prepare. And I thought, ‘Dang, how many more races might I have won had I really been locked in?

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He added, “Eat, sleep and drink racing. Now, it wouldn’t have been as fun. But I would have probably won somewhere, anywhere between 25 to 75% more races.”

Ever since his retirement, Junior has been highly active in the NASCAR media industry. He hosts and runs multiple highly popular podcasts under his media organization, titled DirtyMo Media. He even commentates on live races with other broadcast partners. Aside from being present in the media, he also runs a family-owned successful Xfinity Series team called JR Motorsports.

Dale Earnhardt Jr thinks he could have won 35-40 races during his career

During the same interview, he was further asked, apart from the 26 races he won throughout his career, how many more could he have won if he was locked in?

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DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – AUGUST 30: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #8 Hellmann’s Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway on August 30, 2019 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Junior stated that they had the cars and the ability to go out there and make it happen. “If I could talk to that version of myself — I would slap the s— out of me. I would. I’m so angry with that person, that decision, and that choice to split from Tony Sr.”

Watch This Story: Dale Earnhardt Jr Bets on Kyle Larson Fulfilling His Non-NASCAR Dream

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He recalled that it was a bad choice since he believed he’d be better off with some other team, where he would get faster cars. He concludes by stating that his decision to part ways with Tony Sr had an ever-lasting effect on both Tony and his own career.

Junior is one of those famed and highly talented drivers who could never win the championship even after coming so close.

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Srijan Mandal

795 articles

Srijan Mandal is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Journalism and has been writing for his own blog as well, covering NASCAR, F1, F2, W Series, MotoGP, DTM, IndyCar, WRC, and WEC. Following motorsports for more than a decade, he has become a devout supporter of McLaren Racing, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Bubba Wallace, Sir Lewis Hamilton, and Ayrton Senna.

Edited By: Pritam Priyedarshi

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