It was two years ago when Karsyn Elledge admitted she didn’t know what Plan B was. At the time, Plan A was to follow in the footsteps of her uncle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and her grandfather, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and stay in the motorsports world as a race car driver. Now, that plan appears to be shifting and Plan B might be coming into focus. In fact, it may have turned into Plan A.
Who is Karsyn Elledge?
Karsyn Elledge is the daughter of Kelley Earnhardt Miller, the sister of Dale Earnhardt Jr. She’s 20 years old and is working on that adult thing, trying to figure out what’s next in her life. Throughout her childhood, she took after her uncle and grandfather and was racing cars. When she enrolled at college at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis more than two years ago, she became a cheerleader, but that gig was short-lived.
When a new coach took over right before the basketball season, Elledge was told she had to choose between cheering and racing. So it was a no-brainer – goodbye cheering. “I thought I was going to be more upset about it than I am,” she said in 2019, according to NASCAR.com, “but I’d much rather race than be a cheerleader.”
She’s done a lot of racing in her young life and why wouldn’t she? Elledge has the racing genes. She always wanted to be a race car driver, but what if that fell through? “I thought adults had everything figured out, and now I am an adult and I have no idea what I’m doing,” she said then. “I mean, I know I want to be a race car driver. But my Plan B, I have to have that figured out, and I have no clue.”
Elledge now taking after her mother, Kelley Earnhardt
Fast-forward to today and Karsyn Elledge isn’t racing nearly as much. Instead of following in the footsteps of her uncle and grandfather, she’s now drifting toward her mother, Kelley Earnhardt. She’s getting more involved in the business side of things.
Kelley Earnhardt Miller used to race when she was younger. In fact, many have said Kelley was a better racer than Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kelley decided to give up racing but remain in the sport. She is the vice president and co-owner of JR Motorsports.
Elledge recently announced she released her own line of clothing called Raceline. During an episode of the Loudpedal Podcast last month, Elledge said she would be donating one dollar from every sale this quarter to the United States Auto Club (USAC) Benevolent Fund. “From the very beginning we knew we wanted to donate one dollar per shirt to charity,” said Elledge. “We thought it would be fun to be racing related. I’m really excited because I raced with USAC and it’s a community that is near and dear to my heart.”
Elledge believes her racing days might be over
During the interview on the Loudpedal Podcast, Karsyn Elledge was asked if she felt like her racing career was over. “Honestly, I don’t know…I think yes,” Elledge said reluctantly. “I loved driving, I loved being at the race track, I go now and watch Jason (McDougal) and watch my friends, and I don’t wish that I was out there. And I feel like that’s how I know that stage of my life has passed. It was fun, it was a great hobby, but for my brain’s sake, I’m going to go ahead and say I am officially retired.”
Elledge is forming her own identity. Yes, she’s Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s niece and she Kelley Earnhardt Miller’s daughter. But she’s Karsyn Elledge. She’s her own person, although she’s very happy being compared to her mom.
“I look up to my mom in more ways than just being an incredible businesswoman,” Elledge said. “I admire the way she connects with employees. She’s a genuine good person and is very personable.”