"On what is a really remarkable race vehicle at a very important period in motorsport, Cromax EZ gave the scheme credit." Dale Jr. finished 25th in his 631st and last Cup Series race, capping a 15-year career in which he won 26 races in NASCAR's top series. He died in a crash during a sprint car race in Ohio on Saturday night.
Dale Earnhardt was one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR history. The "Intimidator" captured the hearts of fans across the country with his humble demeanor and competitive spirit. He is still regarded as one of the best short-track drivers of all time and is credited with helping to make NASCAR popular outside of North America. The champion passed away in a fatal accident on the same day that his friend and competitor Bill Elliott also lost his life. They were both 63 years old.
Darrell Waltrip was one of the first true superstar drivers in NASCAR history. Over the course of his career, he won over 400 races including seven championships. He is still considered by many to be the greatest driver never to win the championship. Darrell Waltrip has been involved in several controversial incidents throughout his career, most notably when he intentionally wrecked Michael Waltrip while he was battling for the lead in 2001.
In 2003, he came in third place. Earnhardt Jr. has won the NASCAR Xfinity Series twice, in 1998 and 1999. He is also a two-time Daytona 500 winner, one of just 11 drivers to do so. Earnhardt Jr. ranks in or near the top 20 in various categories in NASCAR's modern era (since 1972). His career average of 188.942 miles per race is 12th all time.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in 2001 after suffering multiple organ failures due to heat stroke. That same year, Earnhardt Jr. made his first series appearance at the now-defunct Skip Stone Race Weekend at Rockingham Speedway. He started 36th and finished 26th, earning $100,000.
He returned to the series in 2004 and has been very successful, with six wins, three poles, and nine top five finishes so far. In addition to his success in the series, Earnhardt Jr. has had several strong runs in the Daytona 500. He has four top fives and three top 10s in the event. His best finish is second, which he earned in 2002.
Earnhardt Jr. has always been involved in motorsports. As a young driver, he participated in stock car races across the country when not competing in his own series. When he was 16 years old, he began driving in the legendary World Series of Racing. During that time, he worked with some of the biggest names in racing to learn how to drive better.
NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt competed in the Cup Series for over 20 years, winning 26 races and finishing in the top ten 260 times. Earnhardt never won the Cup Series, and he never finished higher than third. However, he did win the 2001 World Series of Poker $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold 'em Championship, defeating Annie Duke after entering the final table as the chip leader.
Despite his lack of success in the series, Earnhardt is one of only three drivers to have their own race track named after them (the other two being Bill Elliott and Darrell Waltrip). He also has the most wins among drivers not named Johnson or Hendrick.
After retiring from racing at the end of the 2004 season, Earnhardt returned to NASCAR in 2009 to drive the #8 JGR-John Deere Chevrolet for Greg Biffle in several events. The team had success with Biffle at the helm, including back-to-back victories at the spring Talladega races, but they lost momentum late in the season when Biffle was injured in a crash at Richmond.
In 2010, Earnhardt returned to full-time competition with Joe Gibbs Racing, this time driving the #19 Chevy for Mark Martin. He immediately became involved in several incidents between cars with many calling for him to be banned from racing.
He's won two Daytona 500s. He's won 26 NASCAR Cup Series races and another 24 in the Xfinity Series. Earnhardt Jr. will even be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2021. Despite his adult racing career, he was not the most successful Earnhardt racing child. His brother Darrell won seven championships while Michael won one.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was born on January 19th, 1974 in Richmond, Virginia. He was raised by his parents Ron and Betty with his older brother Darrell and sister-in-law Lori in Mooresville, North Carolina. The family business was auto racing so it wasn't surprising that young Dale wanted to become a driver too. He started out at local short tracks before moving up to asphalt races around the region at ages 16 and 17. In 1992, at the age of 19, he made his Winston Cup debut with Dad's Racing team. He went on to win five races that season becoming the first rookie of the year.
In 1994, Dale Jr. won the NASCAR Rookie of the Year award becoming the first player to ever receive this honor. That same year he also won the prestigious Daytona 500 race. He has gone on to win many more races including two more in 2015 and 2016. Dale Jr. has also collected several other awards including being named Driver of the Decade by ESPN SportsCenter and NASCAR Magazine.