How Dale Earnhardt Jr Forced NASCAR’s Hand in Avoiding an Ugly Hall of Fame Situation

Published 01/17/2022, 9:45 AM EST
RICHMOND, VA – SEPTEMBER 21: Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Hellmann’s Camaro Chevrolet, is introduced prior to the NASCAR Xfinity Series Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway on September 21, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr, one of the inductees in the NASCAR Hall of Fame this year, had recently spoken out against one of NASCAR’s policies. It was the policy that disallowed another inductee, Mike Stefanik’s widow, to give a speech on the occasion.

In the tweet in which the JR Motorsports owner expressed his distaste for the policy, Earnhardt wrote, “I advocated for them to consider bypassing this rule for Julie. I hope they allow her some time.”

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And this is exactly what happened. NASCAR has now allowed Julie Stefanik to pay respect to her husband’s legacy at the HoF ceremony. The Hall of Fame’s executive director announced that there will be a change in format at this year’s ceremony.

What did Dale Earnhardt Jr. say about his role in changing this policy?

In a recent appearance at the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Earnhardt Jr. spoke about his role in influencing this decision. “I saw some other folks speak up about it and bring it to my attention and I was just chiming in to the conversation with any support that I could give especially being one of the inductees,” Earnhardt said.

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“It would have felt very uncomfortable and awkward for me to not be able to experience her sharing her emotions and feelings about it. I’m glad that they are going to allow her to do that.”

RICHMOND, VA – SEPTEMBER 11: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

The former Hendrick driver added, “I’m glad that they’re going to allow that to happen and I think it’s going to make the whole experience for everybody better having her as a part of it.”

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This whole incident, of Julie Stefanik not being allowed to speak, to Dale Earnhardt Jr. carrying her cause goes to show not only how influential Dale Jr. is, but how what’s right always prevails.

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Shaharyar Khan Chauhan

1188 articles

Shaharyar is an F1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for a better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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