Dale Earnhardt, Jr. celebrates in victory lane after winning a NASCAR race at Martinsville Speedway. (Andy Marquis/Race22.com photo)

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Talks About Late Model Racing After Retirement

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is still interested in competing in Late Model Stock Cars after retiring from full-time competition in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

During a press conference at Dover International Speedway on Friday, Earnhardt, Jr. would not commit to running Late Model Stock Cars after he retired – however, he left the door wide open to doing so.  When asked if he would run in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville next fall, Earnhardt said he is more interested in running at weekly shows at various tracks.

“I don’t know about the 300,” Earnhardt, Jr. said.  “We spend a lot more money than we ever took home over there, I’ll tell you that.  It’s a big race, very prestigious but, kind of leave it to them young guns to battle for that.  If anything, I’d have interest in sneaking over to a track somewhere and just running a weekly show, trying to get in there under the radar and have some fun and not really a big show like the 300.  But, you never say never.”

Earnhardt, Jr. began his career in Late Model Stock Car racing.  He said much of what his proverbial future in Late Model racing consists of will depend on how he feels after retirement.

“I don’t know really how I feel,” Earnhardt, Jr. explained.  “I’m really interested in just what the urges will be once I’m out of the car full time.  If I’m going to really miss driving the cars more than I really think and maybe I’ll want to drive the Late Model more often.  Obviously, it’s a team back there at the house, it ain’t just me.  So, I’ve got to run it by the whole group and make sure everybody feels comfortable with that.  I definitely want to focus as well on my next job.”

The 26-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner owns a Late Model team, fielding cars for Josh Berry and Anthony Alfredo this season.  Owning the team keeps him connected to the grassroots and he says it’s something he loves.

“I love running the Late Models and I like to have those cars competing every week,” Earnhardt, Jr. elaborated.  “Keeps you sort of plugged into the grassroots and it’s a great feeling to be able to get to those tracks and support your local tracks.  I certainly have some curiosity about going to those tracks at some point and racing.”

Going back to Martinsville Speedway, however, that might be too big a commitment for the popular NASCAR veteran.

“I don’t know about that big show at Martinsville, that would be a little bit of a commitment.”

When asked what name he might use if he were to race, without wanting his presence known beforehand, Earnhardt, Jr. answered with the name William Bonney – however, he said he loves the environment of being at a track and signing autographs.


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Andy Marquis

Andy Marquis

Andy Marquis is the managing editor of Race22.com, joining the team in 2011. Marquis has vast journalism experience, having covered ARCA, INDYCAR, NASCAR, AMA and IHRA Drag Racing. He has also covered politics from the local level in Maryland to the national level in Washington. Currently, he oversees the editorial side of Race22.com on a day-to-day basis while also contributing features and covering races on location.