Dale Earnhardt Jr. overwhelmed with support before final NASCAR race
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring after 18 seasons in NASCAR and he has just one race left in his career on Sunday.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been inundated with farewells from fans, tracks and sponsors over the previous 35 NASCAR Cup Series races, but nothing has prepared him for taking his final lap Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I am not sure that I’m ready to be going through all of the emotion that I will have in Homestead, but it’s coming," Earnhardt said in a statement Wednesday. "I hope that I can handle it well, but it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how that feels. All these videos and all these things that our partners are creating, this content has just been incredible. It makes you feel so good in your heart.
"The comments from fans … it is more than you can process and I’m sure that Homestead is just going to be like the cork coming out of the bottle. I’m lucky that Amy (Earnhardt) is going to be there, I’m lucky my family will be there, and my team. I will have so much support and I want to support them. It’s going to be emotional for them and our fans."
In addition to his 26 Cup Series wins, which include four wins at Daytona and six at Talladega, Earnhardt has 24 Xfinity Series wins and back to back titles in the second-tier series (then the Busch Series). A 14-time most popular driver award recipient, Earnhardt has won the exhibition All-Star Race twice and is a five-time winner of the Daytona 500 qualifying race.
Despite the Hall of Fame resume, Earnhardt has never won at Homestead and has just three wins at 1.5-mile tracks in his career. He'll likely finish his career on a 54-race winless streak dating back to Phoenix in 2015.
“I’m trying to run hard, trying to do well, trying to figure out our cars and get as good a finish as we can," Earnhardt said. "We’re going to have a lot of things going on this week. Going in there and trying to do as well as we can is at the top of the list, but there are a ton of other things happening. We will just take it one day at a time. It’s going to be a busy weekend.”