He hasn’t rested on his laurels, which would have been easy for someone like him, the richest and most successful NASCAR driver of all time.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. might have retired from full-time NASCAR racing after the end of the 2017 season, but he’s been quite busy since then. He hasn’t rested on his laurels, which would have been easy for someone like him—the richest NASCAR driver of all time, and one of the most successful, with two Daytona 500 wins and the “Most Popular Driver Award” winner for 15 consecutive years, from 2003 to 2017.
Unsurprisingly, people want to see more of him. And we’re here to show what he’s been up to since 2017. Earnhardt Jr. retired with 26 wins in the NASCAR Cup Series, which is tied for 30th in NASCAR history. That’s not a bad stat. And as such, he’s wanted to keep racing, even if he’s not doing it full time. So, he’s continued to race, much to everyone’s delight.
He’s also been a team owner, an author, and an analyst for NASCAR on NBC. He’s helped bridge partnerships between huge companies that used to endorse him. He has learned everything about flying short of becoming an actual pilot, after a harrowing crash nearly killed his family.
Perhaps the biggest thing he’s done since retiring: he started a family and relished it.
Fatherhood And Marriage
At first, Dale Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t too thrilled on the prospect of becoming a father. It meant more responsibility, and a shift away from his somewhat selfish life doing whatever he wanted, self-described that way in an interview with USA Today.
But since he and his wife Amy had their baby daughter, Isla, in 2018, Dale has learned that he actually loves the life of a father. “I do it all,” he told USA Today Sports. “I want Isla to really know me and to know she can really depend on me. So I get her up in the mornings, me and Amy, we share responsibility with getting her up or putting her down for bed.” He changes the diapers, makes her bottles, feeds her—all the things a proud father should do.
But his marriage hasn’t been exactly picturesque. Before he and Amy Reimann even married in 2015, they went to couples therapy to help each other grow, starting in 2013. Since then, their therapist Jane has become a great friend, they enjoy a happy marriage (though not perfect), and the therapist even attended their wedding. “Jane was a bad-ass,” he said. Now, they still go at least once every six months just to check-up and patch things up.
After making a name for himself in NASCAR as a driver, and doing a great job of stepping out from under his late father’s shadow, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has gone on to have a surprisingly fulfilling broadcasting career.
Just like any of us, he has his favorite broadcasters he tries to emulate, and he’s always trying to grow in that respect, too. He works as a NASCAR analyst for NBC Sports, and he’s even broadcasted for events like the 2018 Winter Olympics and the 2018 Super Bowl.
He likes Joe Buck as an announcer—his cadence and tone—as well as John Madden, and Troy Aikman, despite Earnhardt being a Redskins fan. He loves Tony Romo, too, but he admits that everyone loves Tony Romo.
As he told USA, he wanted his broadcasting career to be “just as important, maybe not to everyone, but to me, it’d be as important as my driving career… You sit up there and you talk like you’re hanging out with your buddies about what you’re watching on the track. I can’t believe that that’s a job.”
Racing And Flying
Earlier this year, Earnhardt told ESPN that he misses racing, and “it’s getting worse.” So, he went out and raced for his JR Motorsports team in an annual ride, which pleases his sponsors, fans, and his own drive. He doesn’t think he’ll get onto the track more than once or twice a year, but that’s okay. He’s even put up his Chevy Impala racer for auction, which has to hurt.
He’s also helped broker partnerships between companies like Mountain Dew—for whom Earnhardt was a spokesperson for 10 years—and Team Rubicon, a non-profit organization that supports recovery efforts in areas devastated by natural disasters.
In August 2019, a harrowing plane crash involving his entire family (and two dogs) in a fiery display on a Tennessee landing made him reevaluate what’s important to him. He’s never thought of flying the same way again, even though NASCAR drivers have historically flown to races. Everyone was miraculously physically unscathed, but he was left emotionally scarred.
So, he dived into learning everything he could about flying, short of becoming a pilot, so he better understands the dangers and realities. If he approaches flying anything as he approached racing, he’ll probably do very well in that respect!
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