“This Would Be Catastrophic” – Fans Left Devastated as Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Return to the Booth Not in The Books as of Now

Published 02/07/2024, 7:35 PM EST

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If there’s one guy that the NASCAR community loves to hear from, it’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. Be it radio, podcast, or even his opinion as an analyst on NBC, he makes the sport come alive through him. However, as things stand, Dale Jr won’t be able to feature in the NBC booth as his contract with the broadcaster has come to an end. The NBC and USA network portions of the Cup Series and Xfinity Series do not begin until, which does leave a window for two parties to agree on a new deal.

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The end of the agreement deal and the current situation were put to light by Dale Earnhardt Jr himself on his show ‘The Dale Jr Download’. He has been open about his affection for working with the broadcaster over the years and would continue to do so. But NBC has not yet made concrete efforts to retain the NASCAR icon. It’s not that Junior would be out of the job without his presence in the booth, as he also has other priorities that need his attention.

Dale Earnhardt Jr is anxious about his future with NBC

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In the recent episode of Dale Jr Downalod, Junior gave a shocking update about his future with NBC going into 2024, saying that his contract with the broadcaster ran its final lap back in 2023. As of now, the two parties have not yet reached an agreement that would see him take up the role of analyst alongside Steve Letarte.

My contract with NBC is up. It was up at the end of last year. I’m currently working through what that looks like for me. I definitely love being in the broadcast booth and want to continue doing that. We’ve had some great conversations with all of NASCAR’s TV partners. My home and my love is at NBC and I’d love to be back with them so we’ll see where it goes. But right now, I really don’t have a job in terms of broadcasting.” Jr said.

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In the meanwhile, Dale Earnhardt Jr and his team have also made some notable changes to their podcast shows. The major one is the full-length videos of the show now made available on YouTube. “The Dale Jr Download, people have been asking for full episodes forever. It’s easy for people to find. Everyone uses YouTube so you’ll be able to watch episodes the rest of the year through YouTube. We have a lot to be excited about with that.”

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Upon hearing about the current split between Dale Jr and NBC, the fans had different views and opinions regarding this issue and made themselves heard in the comment section.

Fans react to Dale Jr’s uncertain future with NBC

NASCAR fans like to read between the lines, and this was the case when they heard about Dale Jr not yet signed by NBC for the 2024 NASCAR season. Questioning the deliberate move by NBC and how this could prove to major loss on their part, a fan wrote, “This would be a catastrophic L for @NASCARonNBC if they let him go.

Building a speculation spree about Dale Jr next move, a user added, “I wish he’d go to Fox, but maybe TNT sports pick him up. Curious who they & Prime Video land starting in 2025. Maybe Bowyer goes to one of them & Jr. lands at Fox”.

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Highlighting Jr’s priorities moving forward, a user commented, “He’s valuable in the booth, but maybe he wants to spend more time at home or with his race team. If anything, he could be more honest if he’s off tv, but still does the DJD”. One particular user hinted that money has been Dale Jr’s motive in not signing an extension, “Dale Jr wants that money 💰💰💰💰💰”.

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This would be a big loss on NBC’s part if, indeed, they are willing to let go of Dale Earnhardt Jr from the booth. For Jr, if this does not come to fruition, he can always put his sole attention on his show, DJD, which has been massively popular amongst the fans.

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Written by:

Chintan Devgania

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Chintan Mahesh Devgania is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As someone who likes to dive deep into the sport, he often takes up less explored topics to eventually see them make their way into top stories. His report on Toyota’s young recruit, Jade Avedisian, sharing her thoughts on Late Model Racing, was an example of that.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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