NASCAR World Left Speculating the Truth Behind Dale Jr Exit After Former Employee Blew the Whistle on NBC

Published 03/04/2024, 12:56 PM EST

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We thank Dale(Jr) and we wish him the best going forward,” said an NBC spokesperson to Forbes, confirming that the NASCAR veteran and 15-time Most Popular Driver has stepped away from his duties in the NBC booth. With a new offer already lined up to acquire his services, there has been a lot of speculation about what led to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s departure from the network where he worked for six years.

Deciding not to renew his contract with NBC, the 49-year-old has made it clear that on his Download podcast that he is weighing his options. While the veteran is all praise for the media firm, another popular analyst from the golf world has revealed details about his exit from the Comcast subsidiary, causing widespread speculation in the NASCAR world.

Golf analyst Paul Azinger reveals the harsh reality of his exit from NBC after Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s departure


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Dale Jr’s parting from the NBC booth was a massive shocker for NASCAR fans who were keen on hearing the veteran commentating the race, calling the shots, and seeing him all suited up, exuding passion and enthusiasm on the track. However, news updates suggest that the 2-time Daytona winner has already locked in another opportunity, parting ways with NBC after six years of engagement going back to 2018.

Dale Jr’s Xfinity Star Deems 2024 “A Year From Hell” as He Dissects Heartbreaking ‘200-Lap’ Narrative

Rolling into 2024, Junior is not the only prominent sports analyst leaving NBC. Reputed Golf analyst Paul Azinger has confirmed that he has decided to not renew his contract with the organization, sharing the dark truth. In an interview he revealed what what went down during his extension negotiations. Mentioning his higher-up, Sam Flood, NBC Sports executive vice president & president of production who looked over the Golf production, Azinger laid out the whole situation.

“I’ve had two full careers and it was a great run. I’m so grateful that I had the chance to do NBC. I wish it could have ended up better for me. I was ready to keep going and I thought we were negotiating in good faith,” said Azinger. Reflecting on Flood’s offer in the negotiations, he explained the whole debacle to Golfweek.

Sharing the scene, he said, “Sam Flood came in and was just, you know, just an a-hole about it. All we were doing was making a counteroffer, and they said, ‘No, that was take it or leave.’ And I said, ‘Sam, was that presented to us as take it or leave it?’ ‘It’s complicated, Zinger,’ he said. I talked to him for 23-24 minutes and every time I would ask him a question, it would be like, ‘Are you upset or something?’ We had [the parameters of a deal] done. Are we not supposed to negotiate with you? And he wouldn’t say anything. And it was like, ‘Nope, we’re moving on.’ There was never anything like ‘Zinger, this is all we can do. This is our best shot.’”

“My poor manager he’s sitting there like, ‘What happened?’ That’s how it went down. We just wish it would have ended differently, because honestly, I’m kind of happy it ended,” said Azinger.

While Azinger is enjoying his time off, going on fishing trips to the countryside, Dale Jr has bagged another opportunity with NASCAR’s new broadcast sponsor.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is now on the move as he leaves NBC and heads to racing newcomers, Amazon Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, as per The Athletic. According to new updates, Dale Jr. is expected to take this season off and then resume his broadcasting career in 2025 when WBD Sports and Amazon begin their coverage.

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Junior will be part of the mid-season schedule, calling the shots from the commentary booth for a total of 10 races, five for each broadcaster. But the details revealed by Azinger about his bitter departure have got the NASCAR fans wondering what happened between NBC and Earnhardt Jr.

“Wonder if the same thing” NASCAR fans speculate on Earnhardt Jr.’s NBC exit after Azinger’s comments


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After Azinger’s interview detailing his unceremonious NBC exit, the NASCAR community on Reddit was left wondering if something similar happened with Earnhardt Jr.

A reddit post shared the Golfweek article and speculated on what might have went  down between NBC and the former NASCAR driver.

The post read, “Interesting that according to Paul Azinger there was not much of an negotiation, and also mentioned executive Sam Flood of NBC Sports, who was just on the Dale Jr Download months ago talking about the media rights deal. Wonder if the same thing also went down with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Wonder if that’s the way NBC Sports does things these days, with more cuts and cheaper broadcasts/personnel not just in golf, but racing as well?” There were a few more comments playing the guessing game.


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One user noted that some directives by NBC while covering the race didn’t sit well with Earnhardt Jr and there may have been some disagreement there. They wrote, “Dale Jr also mentioned on the Download last week that he was told with NBC to “watch the tv monitors” and not the track, which he obviously thought was a B.S rule (and it absolutely is). After I heard that, I knew he wouldn’t be back with them, or that it was extremely unlikely.”

Another user believed Earnhardt may have rubbed NBC the wrong after comparing it to Fox’s coverage. The user mentioned, “It makes sense to me now that after Daytona Jr was pretty candid on his thoughts about Fox’s coverage. I found it kinda weird at the time because I figured NBC wouldn’t want him comparing both channels coverage quality.”

One fan pointed out the Comcast’s budget reduction could be another reason behind his exit. They wrote, “The Comcast cost-cutting probably had a lot to do with Jr. leaving, especially if he was expecting more money or some kind of investment or promotion of Dirty Money”[Earnhardt Jr’s media organization].


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Dale Earnhardt Jr’s NBC exit had left fans wondering what happened and with Azinger’s recent comments they have some fuel to add to this fire.

“I Promise That’s the Truth” – Dale Earnhardt Jr Shuts Down False Reports of His Ugly Break-Up With NBC


Written by:

Kishore R


One take at a time

Kishore is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. He actively covers live events and does detailed race analyses, helping fans understand the very nitty gritties of the sport. Using the right mix of storytelling and game expertise, Kishore can take his readers on a journey to see how a particular race was for some of their most loved drivers, like Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad