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Dale Jr’s Retirement Opens the Door For a New Earnhardt

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Fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove his Chevy racecar to a second place finish in this past Saturday’s NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway

Photo: © General Motors

When Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced that he is retiring from racing at the end of this season, NASCAR fans around the country had to stop for a moment to think about what could happen next. Dale Jr. is without a doubt one of the biggest names in racing, attracting fans of his late father after his death at Daytona in 2001 and growing a fan base of his own. His unique style and his connection with the crowds is not something that can be replicated easily, and with NASCAR suffering from record low ratings, a retirement like this can only be bad news.

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On the bright side of things, Dale Jr.’s departure from NASCAR does not leave the sport without an heir to the Earnhardt throne. His nephew, Jeffrey Earnhardt, began racing in the Sprint Cup series in the past few years and has 33 starts in the series under his belt. According to USA Today, the younger Earnhardt closely resembles his grandfather, and has even gone so far as to have his car painted in tribute to his predecessor. The only issue with the younger Earnhardt, though, is that he currently drives a Ford on the track, while his uncle and grandfather tended to prefer powerful Chevrolet cars.

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It’s not quite time to say goodbye to Dale Jr, as there are still quite a few Sprint Cup races before the end of the season. That also leaves plenty of time for Jeffrey to prove that he is worthy of the NASCAR legacy started by his family.