In the two decades since Dale Earnhardt Sr.‘s fatal crash at the Daytona 500, his son has worked toward keeping his NASCAR legacy strong. Dale Earnhardt Jr. continues to remain a permanent fixture around the sport through his various ventures. Along the way, he has been part of some special moments honoring his father, which included a special gift from Talladega Superspeedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s lasting connection to his father
The NASCAR world was rocked to its core following Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s tragic death at the 2001 Daytona 500.
It sent shockwaves throughout the sport that forever altered its future. The journey after Earnhardt Sr.’s death, his son, has found many ways to keep his father prominent in the sport.
It has gone far beyond his involvement behind his two-decade career as a NASCAR driver. One of which saw him receive some special gifts honoring his father that he received from Talladega Superspeedway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. received unforgettable gifts honoring his dad from Talladega Superspeedway
Over the years, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has made a concerted effort to maintain a strong connection to his father.
Much of that has come in the way of acquiring pieces of his dad’s illustrious career. During his final season as a Cup Series driver in October 2017, Talladega Superspeedway gave him some unique gifts connected to his father.
Earnhardt Jr. was presented with a No. 2 Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by his father during his dad’s first Cup championship in 1980 and his rookie campaign in 1979. Following the presentation, he got behind the wheel of the car and drove around the track for a pair of laps.
Earnhardt Jr. didn’t keep the car as it belongs to the Motorsports Hall located on the Talladega Superspeedway property. The vehicle will remain on the property, but officials have declared that he has it on “permanent loan” to use it as he desires, such as displays and special events.
The Superspeedway also gave him champagne bottles that were part of his dad’s victory lane celebration for his first win at the track and his final Tallageda win in October 2000. Earnhardt Sr. holds the all-time mark with 10 wins on the course, which his son is tied for second with six career victories on the track.
Beyond that, it’s another special memory of honoring his dad that Earnhardt Jr. will cherish forever.
Forever honoring his father’s legacy
Since Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s tragic passing, his son has spent the last two decades honoring his legacy.
Dale Jr. didn’t have the typical father-son relationship with his dad, but his death has only created a stronger emotional connection to his memory. That alone has guided him to stick around the sport in a significant capacity even in retirement.
Earnhardt Jr. continues to operate the Dale Jr. Download Podcast, a weekly show where he often brings on guests to talk about his father. Meanwhile, he has taken up a broadcast booth role with NBC Sports covering races.
He has also experienced many different events honoring his dad’s impact on the sport. His latest venture will be driving Earnhardt Sr.’s fully restored 1984 nova as the pace car for an Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway in May.
His presence around NASCAR continues to keep the Earnhardt name prominently associated with the sport. It’s a life mission for him to stay the course of keeping his father’s legacy strong.