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Dale Earnhardt Jr. reveals the only thing he ever wanted from his racing career

Dale Earnhardt Jr. reflects on a life of racing, carrying the sport's torch after his father's death and becoming a father as he joins the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Hank Lee, Ashley Stroehlein

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Published: 6:04 PM EST January 21, 2022
Updated: 11:31 PM EST January 21, 2022

After waiting more than 18 months, legendary racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finally been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Earnhardt Jr., 47, enters the hall as a two-time Daytona 500 champion, two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion and owner of 26 Cup Series wins. He was also NASCAR's most popular driver during his career, winning the award 15 consecutive years from 2003 until his retirement in 2017. 

Many people may know him as the son of NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt Sr., the rough-and-tumble seven-time champion whose hard-nosed style earned the nickname "The Intimidator." Earnhardt Sr. died in a crash on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, and his death led to safety advancements previously unseen in stock car racing. But it also pushed America's most popular form of racing into the 21st century without a face, someone who could draw casual fans to their TVs every Sunday, and who could bring tens of thousands of fans to tracks across the country.

Earnhardt Jr. became that driver, though not by his choice. Now, more than 20 years after he was forced into the limelight, Earnhardt Jr. takes his place among NASCAR immortality, including his famous father, who was inducted in the Class of 2010.