WATCH: The Moment an Emotional Dale Earnhardt Jr Was Inducted Into the NASCAR Hall of Fame

Published 01/03/2021, 11:32 AM EST
HAMPTON, GA – MARCH 03: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)


For all his achievements in the sport of NASCAR, 2020 proved to be a very special year for Dale Earnhardt Jr. The 45-year-old officially became one of the three names to be inducted in the sport’s Hall of Fame for the Class of 2021.

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Undoubtedly, it was a moment of pride and joy for the entire Earnhardt family. Speaking in his own podcast, the ‘Dale Jr Download’, the former Cup Series driver had expressed what it felt like to be part of such an elite group.

Earnhardt Jr said at the time, “I’m just emotional, you know I was so honored to be on the list of guys that were on that list, just to be aside some of those names. Being 45 years old I knew I had a long time to be able to wait if my name was ever to be called.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr believes the induction into the Hall of Fame is an ‘emotional deal’

“We have raced for so many years and worked really hard and tried to do it the right way. So it’s great to have somebody pat you on the back and that just comes from the whole industry.”

Following his time in the Cup Series circuit, Dale Jr became a team co-owner helping operate JR Motorsports. His stint in broadcasting as an analyst has also made him an even more popular figure than he was previously.

The former Hendrick No.88 continued, “I was hoping that my body of work, the work we’ve done in the Xfinity Series. Not only just the championships but the people we’ve groomed into the sport or helped created a path of their own into the sport.”

“It’s an emotional deal man, but now we get to go through the experience of being nominated, the process of crafting our speech, and just getting the jacket. This is such a great pat on the back and I’m so thankful and I don’t know if it will ever sink in,” concluded Earnhardt Jr on the subject.

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Earnhardt Jr’s inclusion was deserved considering his contributions

As a racing driver, he accumulated 26 race wins, even winning the Daytona 500 and Xfinity Series title on two occasions. His foray into team ownership and broadcasting saw him continue to be a NASCAR representative despite his retirement from professional racing.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 23: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, celebrates with the checkered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

For that and many more reasons, there is no question of Dale Jr’s love for NASCAR and the contributions he has made over the course of several years. Naturally so, the milestone would continue to mean so much to him, as his name now joins an ever-growing historic list.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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