NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. Opens Up About How His Daughter Inspired Him to Race Again


When Dale Earnhardt Jr. came out of retirement on Sept. 21 to race a single NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Richmond Raceway, many fans felt like they knew why.

The now-broadcaster was craving that rush again.

He was missing that cockpit.

He found life a little less exciting sitting on the sidelines.

All of those reasons might be true. Yet, in a new interview, Earnhardt revealed that there was a bigger reason for the NASCAR legend to come out of retirement on that September night.

That reason was his baby daughter Isla.

“Nothing would have been cooler and more important to me than being able to stand next to that car with Isla and Amy,” says Earnhardt in the mini-documentary movie released on Monday (Oct. 8.) “I know Isla won’t remember it but one day we’ll be able to show her that we were here and what we were doing.”

Because yes, Earnhardt says he wants his 5-month-old daughter to know that her daddy was once a damn good race car driver. “When I try to tell her what kind of dad she had and what kind of race car driver I was, I can say you were at this one race,” he says in the video package filmed after the race, which he ended up in 4th place. “Hopefully she gets a kick out of that.”

The most intriguing part of the mini-documentary produced by Earnhardt’s team? It ends with a very real premonition that this might not be the last time little Isla gets to see her dad in a race car.

Tricia Despres
Tricia Despres is a Chicago-based freelance writer covering music and entertainment for nearly twenty years. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Chicago Sun-Times, Advertising Age and various regional publications. A country music fan at her core, Despres has interviewed country greats such as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood through the years and thrives on telling the story behind the story. When she is not alongside her laptop, she is alongside her family - husband Paul and daughters Taylor and Amanda.

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