|#88 AMP/National Guard Chevrolet - Dale
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a third-generation driver in a family forever connected to the sport of stock-car racing, and while his innate ability behind the wheel
comes from Earnhardt DNA, his competitive driving style and keen business sense are all his own. His flair for originality and common-sense charisma
have helped propel him to one of the most popular figures in sports. Race fans have selected him six times as the winner of NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver
award, joining Bill Elliott as the only drivers to win it six consecutive seasons since 1956. His appeal is not limited to race fans, as he has appeared
numerously on Harris Interactive’s annual polling of America’s Top 10 Favorite Athletes, frequenting lists with such names as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods,
Brett Favre, and Derek Jeter.
The 2009 season marks Earnhardt’s 10th in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. Through 2008, the native of Kannapolis, N.C., has amassed more than
$53 million in career winnings and 18 victories, including the 2004 Daytona 500. His 18 victories rank him tied for 36th on NASCAR’s all-time race winners
list. He also has six “non-points” or all-star wins, and eight pole positions.
Earnhardt is the only third-generation NASCAR champion, achieved when he won the 1998 and 1999 Nationwide Series titles. He follows his legendary
father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., a seven-time Cup champion and winner of 76 races. His grandfather, Ralph Earnhardt, was the 1956 NASCAR Sportsman
champion, and in 2007 was inducted posthumously into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame. Both his father and grandfather were selected among
NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers of all time in 1999. The three Earnhardts combine for 10 NASCAR championships.
Until 2008, Earnhardt’s career as a full-time driver was solely within the confines of the family-owned business, Dale Earnhardt Inc., in which he
accumulated 39 victories in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series from 1998-2007. But the 2008 season marked one of significant change, as Earnhardt made
the boldest decision of his young career by signing with renowned team owner Rick Hendrick to drive the No. 88 Chevrolets for Hendrick Motorsports.
High-powered sponsorship deals soon followed, as Pepsi-Cola’s AMP Energy brand and the Army National Guard agreed to a co-primary sponsorship with
Hendrick Motorsports to partner with Earnhardt and the No. 88 team.
With a successful driving career in motion, Earnhardt’s role as team owner and businessman has enjoyed its own ascent. In 2002, JR Motorsports consisted of
only six employees and a street-stock Camaro raced at the local short tracks. Today it encompasses a full stable of cars that compete in the NASCAR
Nationwide Series and local weekly late model divisions. In July 2007, Earnhardt announced a partnership deal with Hendrick Motorsports -- under the JRM
banner with Hendrick Motorsports engines, chassis and vehicle engineering support -- to field two NASCAR Nationwide Series race teams. In 2009, the No.
88 Chevrolets will run a full schedule, and the No. 5 Chevrolet is schedule to compete in 10 events, with Earnhardt behind the wheel for two races.
Earnhardt’s first turn at ownership began with Chance 2, a team started in 2002 and jointly operated with Dale Earnhardt Inc. With that team, Earnhardt
was co-owner of the 2004 and 2005 Nationwide Series championship teams with driver Martin Truex Jr. Truex’s accomplishments mirrored those of
Earnhardt, who dominated the 1998 and 1999 Nationwide Series seasons, winning two championships, 13 races and more than $3 million. As a driver, he has
an additional nine Nationwide Series victories in 34 starts since 1999, and his 22 total victories tie him for seventh on the all-time Nationwide Series win list.
Fans and media selected him as one of the top-three Nationwide Series drivers of all-time in a 2006 NASCAR poll.
Earnhardt’s business savvy extends beyond the track. In 2006, Earnhardt started Hammerhead Entertainment, a one-stop-shop production company that has
produced shows for ESPN, SPEED Channel and other notable clients. Located in downtown Charlotte, N.C., Earnhardt opened a popular nightspot called
Whisky River in April 2008.
From magazines to television, Earnhardt garners worldwide attention. He has appeared on more than 150 magazine covers and has been featured in high-
profile publications such as “Rolling Stone,” “GQ,” “Men’s Journal,” “Sports Illustrated,” “People” magazine and “TV Guide.” He has been a guest on “60
Minutes,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The Today Show,” “The Daily Show
with Jon Stewart,” “The Jimmy Kimmel Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Live with Regis and Kelly,” and “Larry King Live.”
In October 2008 issue, BusinessWeek magazine named Earnhardt to their Top 100 most influential people in sports, ranking him 38th overall. The Charlotte
(N.C.) Observer listed him among the top-10 most powerful people in NASCAR in 2007. In recent polls and surveys, he received a top-five “Q” rating among
all athletes, and rated among the top-five athletes in corporate endorsements by “Forbes” magazine.
With crossover appeal unmatched by any other athlete, his eclectic taste in music is reflected in the diverse list of artists that have featured him in their
music videos, including Jay-Z, Staind, Sheryl Crow, Three Doors Down, Trace Adkins, O.A.R., the Matthew Good Band and Nickelback. He has played cameo
roles in major motion pictures “Talladega Nights” and “Cars,” and was the subject of an episode of MTV’s “Diary” and VH-1’s “Driven.” In 2001 he added
best-selling author to his résumé with “Driver 8,” a documentation of his rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The book landed on the New York
Times best-seller list for 17 weeks, and online retailer Amazon.com named “Driver 8” the top-selling sports book of the year.
With fellow NASCAR driver Ken Schrader, Earnhardt is part-owner of a dirt track in Paducah, Ky., and a new multi-purpose motor sports complex being
developed near Mobile, Ala.
He enjoys hanging out at home and working on his ever-growing collection of street cars and race cars. His hobbies include music, computers and computer
gaming. He has a small golf course, go-kart track and a vintage Western-style town on his property near Mooresville, N.C.
|Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Date of birth: 10/10/1974
Hometown: Kannapolis, N.C.
Current residence: Mooresville, N.C.
Marital status: Single
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