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Posted: April 25, 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire from NASCAR following 2017


By WSOCTV.com

CONCORD, N.C. —

After 18 seasons and more than 600 races behind the wheel, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will bring his NASCAR Cup Series driving career to a close at the conclusion of 2017. Today, he shared the news with members of his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team.

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The fan favorite and two-time Daytona 500 champion will discuss his decision in a press conference this afternoon. He will be joined by Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, for whom Earnhardt has driven since 2008. The two first met about the driver’s decision on March 29.

Earnhardt, who will turn 43 in October, made his first career Cup Series start on May 30, 1999, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Since then, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has captured 26 points-paying Cup race wins and been voted by fans as NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver a record 14 consecutive years. He has qualified for the NASCAR playoffs eight times.

Now in the midst of his 18th full-time season at the elite Cup level, Earnhardt made his 600th career series start on March 26 at Fontana, California. He will compete in his final NASCAR Cup Series race on Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Hendrick Motorsports will announce plans for its 2018 team alignment at a later date.


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Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 05: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, shakes hands with fans during driver intros for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. checks the field at the Ford 400 Winston Cup Race, Sunday, November 16, 2003 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 59th Annual DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR

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LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 29: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mt. Dew Chevrolet, stands on stage during NASCAR After The Lap at PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on November 29, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 23, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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