Dale Earnhardt Jr. has maintained a strong pulse in NASCAR throughout the last couple of decades. Earnhardt Jr.‘s involvement goes well beyond his own racing career that includes his ownership of JR Motorsports. The company has notably stayed out of the Cup Series scene, which he provided a clear answer as to why that has firmly remained the case.
JR Motorsports’ NASCAR history
Amid Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s NASCAR driving career, he elected to start up JR Motorsports.
The company first came into existence in 2005 through a co-ownership with his sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Rick Hendrick. JR Motorsports has experienced some tremendous success over the years behind the various drivers its featured.
It has been to the mountaintop in the Xfinity Series behind three championships (2014,2017,2018) and 46 series victories. JR Motorsports is the only team with rookie champions, with Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Tyler Reddick.
The company also competes in eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, and CARS Tour. Throughout the process, the company has remained a fixture in the Xfinity Series, never venturing into the Cup Series. Earnhardt Jr. has laid out exactly why his business will never go that route.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s simple reason why JR Motorsports will never compete in the Cup Series
Over nearly the last two decades, JR Motorsports has operated as a prominent entity in the NASCAR realm.
However, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has notably decided against moving the business toward competing in the Cup Series. During an interview in February 2020 with Autoweek, Earnhardt Jr. laid out that the transition would take away from the fun of racing for him.
“The things I enjoy about being in the Xfinity Series would go away if I moved to Cup, so we probably won’t ever do that,” Earnhardt said. “I enjoy working with young guys and working with old veterans. I enjoy giving people their first opportunity or a second chance, and I like to see mechanics and engineers and crew chiefs graduating up to the Cup level. That’s fun for me, even more fun than winning races.”
JR Motorsports continues to thrive as a place where young talent in the sport can thrive. Dating back to February 2020, the company has had cars for 52 drivers for 1,193 races. Over the years, several notable drivers have competed for JR Motorsports, such as Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola, Greg Sacks, Jamie McMurray, Elliott Sadler, and Regan Smith.
Meanwhile, the current flock of drivers includes notable names such as Noah Gregson, Josh Berry, Justin Allgaier, and Michael Annett. Earnhardt could venture that route if he pleased, but there isn’t any desire to move off what the company has done since coming into existence.
Future remains forever tied to NASCAR
Although Dale Earnhardt Jr. may never push JR Motorsports in the Cup Series, his impact on the sport remains prominent despite stepping into retirement.
Beyond his company, Earnhardt Jr. has taken up broadcasting duties in the booth for NBC Sports covering races. Meanwhile, he has also put together a weekly podcast titled The Dale Jr. Download, where he often speaks to guests involved in NASCAR.
Earnhardt Jr. also has an increased presence on social media that has kept him in the fold to a greater extent. As things move forward, the 46-year-old will stay a strong fixture in the sport’s future.