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Where’s Jr? How to Follow Dale Jr. After His Departure From NBC

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What’s Happening?

Since he departed from full-time competition, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has filled a void in NASCAR media. His weekly podcast and analyst work for NBC has made his voice and opinions sod after by race fans and even NASCAR itself. But with his departure to TNT and Amazon Prime next season, how can you hear his opinions on this season?

How did Dale Jr. get into the broadcast booth?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. retired from full-time competition at the end of the 2017 Cup season.  By midseason, Earnhardt Jr. and NBC had already made public plans for Dale to work for the company full-time in 2018 as a color analyst for NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series coverage. However, this wasn’t Dale’s first venture into the booth or racing media. Before this, Dale and Mike Davis, longtime communications director for Earnhardt, launched Dirty Mo Media. Alongside this was The Dale Jr. Download, at the time, a weekly 30-minute podcast featuring Earnhardt Jr., Davis, and guests. The show would grow beyond this, gaining a longer runtime and more featured interviews in the years to come. More importantly, Dale Jr. became more and more comfortable behind a microphone.

Earnhardt Jr. initially stepped away from full-time competition in 2016 due to lingering concussion side effects. With Earnhardt Jr. set to miss the remaining 18 races of the season, Rick Hendrick tapped Jeff Gordon and Alex Bowman to replace the veteran driver in the 88. During this time, Alex Bowman would set the poll at Phoenix Raceway and, in turn, qualify for the 2017 Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona. Earnhardt Jr. would be cleared in time to race in the Clash and also qualified for the event, having won in 2003 and 2008. Despite this, Hendrick would allow Bowman to make the start in the 88 for the non-points event. While Bowman raced the 88, Earnhardt Jr. would step into the booth with Mike Joy, Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip. Dale had already been in the booth as a guest analyst in 2016, but a spot in the booth during Daytona Speedweeks was another step up. While it wasn’t the performance he would be known for in years to come, it was an early taste of Earnhardt Jr.’s future in the booth.

What happened at NBC?

In his time at NBC, Earnhardt Jr. excited fans with his knowledge and genuine excitement for the on-track action. An assisting factor in this success was the similar broadcasting styles of former driver Jeff Burton and Earnhardt Jr.’s former crew chief Steve Letarte. With reactions like a fan in the stands and insights that over 20 seasons behind the wheel could supply, Earnhardt Jr. was a natural behind the microphone.

Along with his work in the booth, the Dale Jr. Download continued to grow with the support of NBC Sports. The show featured hard-hitting interviews that benefitted from Dale’s personal relationship with those in the garage area. With the launch of NBC’s streaming service Peacock in 2020, Earnhardt Jr. continued to grow his media reputation with the launch of Lost Speedways, a show highlighting the remains of lost racetracks across the United States. As his career at NBC continued, Earnhardt Jr. also covered the Kentucky Derby, the Indianapolis 500, and occasional play-by-play for both Xfinity and Cup races,

As is the case with life, all good things must come to an end. With NASCAR’s media rights deal coming up at the end of the 2024 season, many rumors were floating around, some of those rumors involving Earnhardt Jr. The bulk of the rumors were speculative about where he would end up if NBC didn’t return. In fact, early into the 2024 season, Earnhardt Jr. said he was no longer with NBC.

Ultimately, when the NASCAR media rights deal was made public, the addition of Amazon Prime and TNT kept the rumor mill turning, with most believing that would be where Earnhardt Jr. would find himself in the coming years. This would be confirmed on May 7th, and with this, the realization came that it may be over a year till Dale Jr. is back in the booth.

When and where can we see or hear from Dale Jr.?

Amazon Prime and TNT race coverage will begin with the 2025 Coca-Cola 600. While the rest of the broadcast team is still unknown, Dale Jr.’s presence supplies a level of quality assurance to race fans. Unfortunately, it will be some time before Earnhardt Jr. returns to the booth. Despite this, many ways exist to hear from the NASCAR legend.

First, Earnhardt Jr.’s X account, @DaleJr, is among the most prevalent in the NASCAR online community. He frequently posts about races and interacts with fans and industry professionals. Alongside his X account, Dale Jr. often appears on JR Motorsports’ X account @JRMotorsports and the Dirty Mo Media account @DirtyMoMedia.

The second and most prominent is the Dale Jr. Download. As previously said, the show has changed since its early days. It now features Dale Jr. alongside Andrew Kurland and Dalton Greco. The show consists of three weekly episodes, two featuring Dale Jr. co-hosting. The first show consists of Dale Jr. and his co-hosts discussing NASCAR news from that week, the most recent race weekend, and the occasional non-racing conversations. The second show is an interview with divers, celebrities, and other members of NASCAR media. While continuing to change and grow, the Dale Jr. Download is still one of the best outlets for hearing some of the opinions and insights for which Dale Jr. has become known.

Even better for race fans, the Dale Jr. Download and other Dirty Mo Media productions are now featured on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio, making the show more accessible to listeners.

Alongside his media work, Earnhardt Jr. will also be on the track this season, making his usual one-off Xfinity Series start. This year, he will be racing on Friday, September 20th, in the Xfinity Series playoff race at Bristol. This race will officially usher in a new era in NASCAR media as it will be the first race on The CW Network as part of NASCAR’s new media rights deal.


While fans may not have wanted a season without Dale Earnhardt Jr., there are still many ways to hear from the legendary driver, even if that means counting down the days till he is back in the booth.

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Kauy Ostlien

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