His father was a racing legend, a fiercely competitive #6 BEIR who was rightly nicknamed “The Intimidator” due to his aggressive driving style. Yes, by the 1990s the name Dale Earnhardt had become synonymous with NASCAR, but in February of 2001 Earnhardt died instantly of injuries sustained after he collided with another car and crashed in the final lap of the Daytona 500 an unexpected event that was widely lamented in the racing industry.

His son, Dale Jr., has also made a name for himself over the years, winning 26 races including the Daytona 500 twice. A kind, calm and collected #2 BEAR, Dale hasn’t been the best driver in racing history, but he has arguably been the most popular driver in NASCAR, receiving the most popular driver award 14 times in a row! Now, just a few days ago, Dale made an emotional announcement that was true to his personality. “In typical fashion,” writes one author, “he did not try to conceal his emotions.”

Been up since 4, Jr. wrote on Twitter, followed by an emoji with a straight mouth. Woke up like, followed by another emoji of a face with eyes wide, cheeks flushed. Yes, the younger Dale will be retiring after missing half of last season due to a concussion and its lingering effects. Earnhardt, now 42 years of age, says that the time has come to go and that he wants to make the decision himself rather than be forced out for health concerns. “His 2016 concussion was his second in four years, and led him to wonder if he would ever return to racing.”

And how’s this for a typical description of the #2 BEAR? “Earnhardt had a fan base from the moment he put on a firesuit because of the adoration directed at his father, but his popularity grew as his down-to-earth, relatable personality emerged.” And like a typical #2 who doesn’t usually dream big for themselves, Dale confessed when first entering NASCAR, I was afraid of not being able to do it.  I guess what I’m saying is I accomplished way more than I ever dreamed. Way more than I ever thought I’d accomplish. So I’m good.

A wise decision, especially considering what damage multiple concussions can do to the brain long term.

Written by: Staff
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