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“I Am Not Entertained by This Sport” – Dale Earnhardt Jr Reveals the Struggle to Maintain His Connection With NASCAR as He Breaks Down Silly Seasons Highlights

Published 09/27/2023, 9:25 PM EDT

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What is that one driving force that keeps a NASCAR fan tuned in to the sport? Being an ardent devotee of the sport, Dale Earnhardt Jr has seen different facets of NASCAR. Having experienced the sport as a driver, owner, and analyst has been life-changing for him. And having gone through all of that, he now has a shocking revelation for fans.
In the latest episode of his podcast, The Dale Jr. Download, the two-time Xfinity Series winner answers that question. Let us find out what he had to say.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. reveals what a fan needs to be hooked on to NASCAR

In comparison to other motorsports, NASCAR has a closer connection to drama. Rivalries between teams and drivers give birth to deep-rooted tension, while history also plays its part in such plots. Track records, underperformances, expectations, and a horde of other factors combine to present the sport as it is, unfiltered, to the fans. According to Dale Earnhardt Jr., this is exactly what keeps the sport alive and kicking.


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Disclosing what is keeping the community hooked on the sport, Junior stated, “I’ll say this as a fan; I am not entertained by this sport unless I really invest in the storylines.” Shocking, right? Well, there is more!


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“I used to struggle with that. I used to not really want to deal with the storylines; I just wanted to see an awesome race. I just wanted to see a race and go, ‘Heck yeah, I can’t wait to come back here next year.’ It was very singular.” So what really went wrong, or rather what changed through the years?

Dale explained, “But now, there are all these stories that are compelling to me, that I used to not get into, used to not think much about.”

To give an example, Junior touched upon one of the major stories of 2023: the resurgence of RFK Racing. Having Ford as its manufacturer was enough trouble for the team in the initial stages of the season. But as the season slowly unfolded, driver-owner Brad Keselowski began to churn out stage and playoff points with a competent partner in Chris Buescher, who added three wins to the tally as well.

Giving credit where it’s due, Earnhardt claimed, “The Fords struggle this year. They just weren’t able to run with the other manufacturers, and then RFK started becoming the best Ford. They continue to be the best Ford team, and Team Penske is just struggling; they were not great at Texas. Sooner or later, you’re like, Penske is going to get it together, right? When is this going to happen? We are kind of getting to the end here. That’s just one of the storylines.”

Another interesting storyline that has emerged this year is the brewing tension between Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson, who have come in contact with each other multiple times on the track ever since the fateful day at Pocono Raceway earlier this year. Fans have given special attention to this possible rivalry between two of the strongest cars in the Cup.

Watch This Story: Dale Earnhardt Jr Reveals the Immediate Regret After Entering Bristol


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Dale Jr talks about a few more developments of the current season

Moving forward with the podcast, Junior then arrived at the case of Joe Gibbs Racing. The team has three drivers in the round of 12, making up for a quarter of the eligible drivers for the round of 8. But looking back at the first elimination round, there were some polarizing experiences for JGR drivers. Regular season champion Martin Truex Jr just scraped through as Denny Hamlin was the man to beat in all three races. Christopher Bell on the other hand, couldn’t capitalize on three poles in three weeks to land a win either.

Another fascinating case has been that of Legacy Motor Club. After the departure of JR Motorsports star Noah Gragson from the roster, they have shown some resilience in the later parts of the season. Substitute driver Carson Hocevar has also been a breath of fresh air in the team, with good performances from time to time. Junior commended Hocevar’s skills, saying, “He’s still showing the flashes that potential is going to be there one day.”


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It is great to see so many promising developments in the Cup simultaneously. These plots do not just add more depth and emotion to races but also make the sport more enjoyable for the fans.

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Written by:

Ansuman Abhisek


One take at a time

Ansuman Abhisek is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As an engineering graduate, he has a strong affinity for cars, and it didn't take long for him to translate that into his love for the sport. He is a big fan of Kyle Busch and believes that the Richard Childress Driver still has his best years ahead of him.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta