From the moment Dale Earnhardt lost his life during the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. has beautifully continued the legacy of the famous name within the sport of NASCAR. Yet, that doesn’t mean that the loss of his father has gotten any easier through the years.
The memories still live right there on his heart.
“It was a dream come true to be able to race for my dad, but also to be able to compete with him on the same track,” explained Earnhardt Jr. during an interview with Megyn Kelly on Wednesday (June 27.) “Some of my fondest memories are wins where he was with me in victory lane. A lot of times he would come to victory lane after we would win.”
Of course, racing has long been in the Earnhardt blood. “Everywhere I went as a kid, there was a garage in the back of every house with a race car in it,” added Earnhardt Jr.. “I remember climbing over all those things and trying to learn what you could and going to races as a kid was so amazing.”
During the same interview, the driver-turned-NBC-broadcaster also discussed the concussions that eventually led to his retirement at the end of the 2017 season, and how those concussions led to a whole new job as a race analyst. “I did want to get out of the car and I made the decision to do that but I didn’t want to leave the sport,” he said. “I still wanted to be at the race track but I didn’t know how or where I would fit in.”