Dale Earnhardt Jr. wanted to be a NASCAR driver his whole life. As he raced in his likely final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series today, we can safely say … you did it, Dale.
After eighteen seasons, most of which he spent as the hands-down favorite among NASCAR fans, Dale Earnhardt Jr has stepped away from the driver’s seat for good and today was his very last race. The announcement, which many saw coming, meant 2017 will be Earnhardt’s last opportunity to win a NASCAR Monster Cup points championship.
Junior, which he became known as early in his career, competed in over 600 races and completed over 170,000 laps, during which span he tallied 26 wins and 149 top 5 finishes to this point in the season. While many are quick to point out that the younger Earnhardt never lived up to the hype and legacy laid out for him by his notoriously hard-charging father Dale Earnhardt Sr, a look at his bank account will change the minds of all but the most hardened of detractors.
Over his lengthy career, Earnhardt built a fiercely loyal fan base that helped reach a personal worth estimated to be around $300 million, double that of the next most valuable driver on the series, Jeff Gordon. If all remains the same as it is now, Earnhardt will retire as the 29th-winningest driver in the series.