Why The Need to ‘Win’ Keeps Dale Earnhardt Jr Involved in NASCAR Even Today

Published 12/15/2021, 10:12 AM EST
FORT WORTH, TX – APRIL 19: Team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., stands on the pit box of the #88 Hellmann’s Chevrolet, driven by Jamie McMurray, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 19, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)


Dale Earnhardt Jr has not been racing full-time since the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series. Although he is effectively retired from the sport, the former Hendrick Motorsports driver is still staying involved. To be precise, he has taken commentary gigs and has occasional one-off appearances in the Xfinity Series.

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Speaking about his need to be competitive, he said, “I make a competition out of everything. I walk out of the broadcast booth after every race and I grade it. I’ll say it wasn’t that good or we did a great job. It’s a competition with no one other than myself. You want to win in life, no matter what it is that you do.”

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Unsurprisingly, even though he is in his late 40s, Dale Jr is still quick. In fact, his last Xfinity win was in 2016 at the Richmond Raceway. Since then, he has competed on six other occasions, notching up three Top 5 finishes and one Top 10 finish. The lowest he ever finished was 14th place at the 2021 Xfinity race at Richmond.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr still has that hunger to compete

Even at 47 years old, the 2-time Daytona 500 winner is proving that age is just a number. Despite having to limit his appearances, Earnhardt Jr is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. Additionally, his JR Motorsports team has been performing exceptionally well. In fact, that outfit is regarded as one of the top Xfinity Series teams.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JUNE 30: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, looks on during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 59th Annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on June 30, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

When not behind the wheel, Dale Earnhardt Jr provides excellent expert opinions and has his own podcast. There, he has the opportunity to interview various drivers and NASCAR personalities. His newest project is a show on Peacock TV called Lost Speedways. Dale Jr and his crew travel across the United States to find out about former NASCAR speedways that are now defunct.

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Dhruv George

12540 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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