TO THE COUNTRY, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a stand-out for his sport: a 19-year NASCAR career with 26 Cup Series wins and 14 years as NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver. Even though he retired from driving last month, the sport won’t lose him: Earnhardt will be in the broadcast booth later this year for NASCAR on NBC.
But to us, he’s a Charlottean of the Year not only for his professional success but also for his his personal contributions closer to home. Even as his schedule keeps him traveling, even as his fame demands much of his time, Earnhardt is still a hometown guy who remains committed to the Charlotte community.
His Dale Jr. Foundation supports non-profits in the Charlotte area and beyond, giving Earnhardt and his sister Kelley the opportunity to give back to the community where they grew up and where they still live with their families. And the Earnhardt family is about to get a little bigger: Earnhardt and his wife Amy are expecting their first child, a daughter, in May.
Here, Earnhardt shares his thoughts on what’s ahead for him, with a focus less about driving and more about what drives him.