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Who Is the Modern-Day Dale Earnhardt?

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Dale Earnhardt was more than just a great race car driver, he was an entire brand. His persona as “The Intimidator” made him one of the biggest icons in NASCAR history. Today, we aim to answer the question, is there a modern-day Dale Earnhardt?

  • Dale Earnhardt’s “Intimidator” persona was a combination of his on-track aggression, off-track personality, and even his paint scheme. Everything about Earnhardt played into his persona.
  • We will include drivers on this list that have either all or some of these personality traits. We even ask the simple question, can there be another Dale Earnhardt?
  • Fans look back on Dale Earnhardt fondly, and he is rightfully a legend of the sport. When talking about anyone in the sport today, many use Earnhardt as the benchmark for the best the sport has ever seen.

Ross Chastain

Dale Earnhardt had a reputation for pushing his way to the front by any means necessary, and he combined that with a blue-collar persona that everyone could relate to. Ross Chastain is probably the closest driver to Earnhardt nowadays in terms of aggression, but, personality to an extent as well. Chastain is a humble watermelon farmer, and the average NASCAR fan can relate to Chastain.

Chastain isn’t nearly as menacing as Earhardt is, however. Earnhardt was the “Man in Black” and he played into that. Chastain doesn’t have that same aura and persona, but, there are elements of his personality and driving style that absolutely remind fans of Earnhardt.

Joey Logano

Joey Logano compares to Dale Earnhardt in one major aspect, aggression. Joey Logano does not care for his competitors out on the track, and he is only there to win races. If anyone gets in the way, then that is just too bad.

Logano doesn’t quite have the same “Blue collar” persona that Earnhardt has. However, In the car, both drivers are very similar. Logano has taken his aggressive driving style to 2 Championships, so, it works for him just like it did for Earnhardt.

Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin is the undisputed villain of NASCAR, and fans are very split on him thanks to his outspoken and arrogant nature alongside his aggressive driving style. While many fans look back on Earnhardt fondly, there was a contingent of fans that did not like him. One example was the chorus of boos that reigned down after he wrecked Terry Labonte at the 1999 Night Race at Bristol.

While Hamlin’s aggression and playing into the villain persona are similar to Earnhardt’s, Hamlin is more outspoken than Earnhardt was. That can be chalked up to Hamlin having more of a platform via the Internet than Earnhardt did in the 1990s. Earnhardt wasn’t quite as outspoken and arrogant as Hamlin was, but Earnhardt was aggressive.

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch compared to Dale Earnhardt for very similar reasons to Denny Hamlin. Busch has been a very polarizing driver throughout his career, and he’s not a driver you want to mess with. If they race him hard, he’ll do the same back right back.

Earnhardt was the same way, but, he was never quite as hated as Busch was. Busch was easily the most hated driver in NASCAR for many years, and Earnhardt never got to that point. On top of that, while Busch is aggressive, he’s also remarkably clean.

Will There Ever Be Another Dale Earnhardt?

Part of Dale Earnhardt’s legend was just how unique he was. He was more than just a great race car driver, he was a showman who had a true brand. In an era when NASCAR was becoming more mainstream, he embraced the idea of being a superstar while also maintaining an appreciation for his blue-collar roots.

That’s a tough balance to pull off, but, he did it. At the end of the day, we can compare all we want, but, no one will be exactly like Dale Earnhardt.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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