Racing is in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s genes. A third-generation driver, Dale Jr., also known by millions as Little E, is NASCAR’s most popular driver. Born October 10, 1974, Dale Jr. is the son of legendary racer “The Intimidator” Dale Earnhardt, who won more than 70 races in his NASCAR career.
Little E followed in his father’s footsteps and has been racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for a decade. Over the last 10 years, he has amassed 18 wins and more than $46 million in career winnings.
For the majority of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career, Dale Jr. was associated with Dale Earnhardt, Inc., piloting the red No. 8 Budweiser car. The 2007 season was Little E’s toughest on circuit as he failed to pick up a win for the first time since becoming a full-time driver. He also did not finish nine races that season, a career high. Looking to change his luck, Dale Jr. aligned himself with Hendricks Motorsports to drive the No. 88 car.
In his first season with Hendricks Motorports, Dale Jr. ended his streak of 76 races without a win by driving to Victory Lane at Michigan International Speedway in June of 2008. His lone victory that year also was dramatic as his car ran out of fuel crossing the finish line. In 2008, Dale Jr. also qualified for the Chase, but ended the season 12th in series points.
The 2004 season was Dale Jr.’s most successful season in the Sprint Cup Series. In that campaign, Little E posted a career high six wins. One of those victories came at the Daytona 500 making Dale Jr. and “The Man in Black” only the third father/son connection to win the prestigious race that kicks off the NASCAR season.
In 2001, Dale Jr. had the most emotional season of his career. After his father died due to injuries at the 2001 Daytona 500, Dale Jr. scored a victory five months later at the Pepsi 500, which also was held at Daytona.
When Little E entered NASCAR’s main circuit full-time in 2000 he found Victory Lane in just his 12th career start in Texas and won again four starts later in Richmond. Demonstrating his driving potential, Dale Jr. became the first rookie to
record a victory at the All-Star Race.
Before joining the Sprint Cup Series, Dale Jr. was a full-time driver in the Busch Series. Little E dominated the division winning consecutive titles in 1998 and 1999.
At the age of 17, Dale Jr. embarked on his professional racing career contending in the Street Stock division. Prior to racing, Dale Jr. worked as a mechanic at his father’s car dealership in North Carolina.
Dale Jr. has capitalized on his popularity by appearing consistently in the mainstream media. Besides being featured in numerous commercials and music videos, the North Carolina native has been on the covers of Sports Illustrated, GQ, Rolling Stone and People Magazine. He also has appeared on numerous talk shows, including Good Morning America, Larry King Live, and Live with Regis and Kelly.
Little E also is active in various charities. Besides working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he is the originator of the Dale Jr. Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged youth.