Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire after 2017 season

9:54 AM ET

Dale Earnhardt Jr., a son of a NASCAR idol who soldiered on in a foe after his father’s death, has motionless to retire after a 2017 season, Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday.

Earnhardt, 42, has 26 wins in 603 starts as partial of a expected Hall of Fame career, including Daytona 500 victories in 2004 and 2014. He also has warranted 14 uninterrupted NASCAR Sprint Most Popular Driver awards.

He has one top-10 this year in 8 starts and sits 24th in a deteriorate standings.

Earnhardt, who missed dual races in 2012 since of dual concussions in a six-week stretch, also missed a final 18 races of 2016 since of a concussion.

Hendrick Motorsports did not announce a deputy for Earnhardt, whose agreement expires during a finish of this season. Before pang a concussion final year, Earnhardt had designed to pointer an prolongation of his contract. As of a month ago, he pronounced he designed to speak to group owners Rick Hendrick about fluctuating a deal.

Earlier this year, when deliberating a remarkable preference of Carl Edwards to step out of his car, Earnhardt talked about perplexing to confirm either to continue racing.

“I consider Carl figured out a approach to get into a place to make that preference easy,” Earnhardt said. “And we can do a same thing when a time comes, and we won’t have any regrets. It’s not going to be a lot of fun to retire, we can imagine.

“You’ve seen a lot of people, athletes retire in a past. It seems a unequivocally formidable matter to make, a unequivocally formidable press discussion to have. But when I’m prepared to do that, I’ll be creation that preference meaningful it’s a right thing to do.”

Last year, Earnhardt during initial suspicion that he had suffered a sinus infection though afterwards continued to have issues with change and nausea. He satisfied that he competence have suffered concussions in wrecks on Jun 12 during Michigan and Jul 2 during Daytona.

Neither of those wrecks was an impossibly tough strike — compared to his some-more aroused 2012 crashes — though since Earnhardt showed adequate continual symptoms of concussions, another strike could outcome in a critical conduct injury. After a Jul 9 foe during Kentucky, he sat out a rest of a season.

Earnhardt competence be tangible by a 2001 season, when his seven-time Cup champion father, Dale Earnhardt, died on a final path of a Daytona 500. He had dual romantic victories that season, a initial in Jul during Daytona and afterwards in a initial NASCAR foe after 9/11 during Dover.

That was only Earnhardt’s second full deteriorate pushing for a group owned by his father — and afterwards by his stepmother Teresa after his father’s death.

When Teresa wouldn’t give Earnhardt an tenure square in a team, he left after a 2007 season, relocating to expostulate for Hendrick, who shaped his classification in 1983 — with a assistance of falsifier Robert Gee, Earnhardt’s maternal grandfather.

Earnhardt struggled in his initial 3 seasons during Hendrick, winning only one race. He didn’t win in 2011, his initial with organisation arch Steve Letarte, though finished seventh in a points. He won once in 2012 and finished fifth in a standings in 2013. He won 7 races in 2014 and 2015 though didn’t make a final turn of a new elimination-style Chase. He was on gait to make a Chase again in 2016 before carrying to step out of a seat.

His best points finish is third, entrance in 2003, a final year before a Chase format was implemented.

Earnhardt’s purpose in a foe goes over driving. He also owns a group in a Xfinity Series. The group name — JR Motorsports — could not go by “Jr Motorsports” since he primarily didn’t possess a rights to his name. He eventually got those rights and stays consistently as a tip motorist when it comes to sell sales.

His sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, and Hendrick co-own his Xfinity team.

Earnhardt won dual pushing titles in a Xfinity Series, pushing for his father in 1998 and 1999. He won as a co-owner for Chance 2 Motorsports (which he co-owned with his stepmother) in 2004 and 2005 with motorist Martin Truex Jr. and afterwards as a co-owner of JR Motorsports with Chase Elliott as a motorist in 2014.

Giving behind to a foe by owning a team, it shows only how most his life revolves around racing.

And nonetheless he has been gentle vital a life not like his father, who was some-more of an outdoorsman, and in a open spotlight from a initial time he stepped in a foe car. Earnhardt. has a western city built on his property, a territory of woods with shop-worn foe cars (a race-car cemetery of sorts) and a go-kart lane finish with homemade billboards.

His Twitter form describes Earnhardt: “Retired dealership use mechanic. Former backup fullback for a Mooresville Blue Devils varsity soccer team. Aspiring foe BBQ Pitmaster.”

That is pristine Earnhardt, not unequivocally holding himself as severely as many of his zealous fans. Joining Twitter after winning a 2014 Daytona 500, he has been famous to heavily correlate with his fans.

Those fans wish they could see him foe though won’t censure him for his decision. On a outing to Germany in 2015, Earnhardt due to Amy Reimann during a church where his ancestors had loved centuries ago. They got married on New Year’s Eve.

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