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Dale Earnhardt Jr. believes this NASCAR star can become as popular as his father

Dale Earnhardt Jr. believes this NASCAR superstar can become as popular as his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., in the mainstream world of sports.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one of NASCAR’s best personalities following his retirement from the Cup Series after the 2017 season as he works with NBC Sports in the booth and holds weekly podcast episodes on the Dale Jr. Download.

It is undeniable that Earnhardt Jr. is one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR history so it is amazing for him to stick around the sport after his retirement. In fact, the co-owner of JR Motorsports has been flourishing in these roles as they are perfect for him.

When Earnhardt Jr. speaks out about something, the smart thing to do is to listen and understand what is trying to be said. Well, this is one of those times as the former NASCAR driver did not shy away from making surprising comments about a current Cup Series driver.

Related: Dale Earnhardt Jr. ‘interested’ in running more NASCAR races under this scenario

Dale Earnhardt Jr. compares this NASCAR driver’s rise to his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
May 8, 2021; Darlington, SC, USA; Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. sits in the restored 1984 Chevy Nova driven by his father the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. on pit road prior to the Steakhouse Elite 200 at Darlington Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Earnhardt Jr. has been around NASCAR his entire life and witnessed the “Golden Era” of the sport. In fact, his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and former NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon gave the series a massive “boom” and caused it to go mainstream.

It was a rivalry unlike any other in the past or present and it firmly sits on top of NASCAR’s greatest rivalries. Earnhardt Jr. watched as his father became “The Intimidator” while Gordon turned into the “Rainbow Warrior.”

The marketing schemes and on-track run-ins with each other were simply incredible. There is not another era in NASCAR history that comes closer to matching the peak of the days with prime Earnhardt and Gordon.

However, Earnhardt Jr. believes a big “boom” that puts NASCAR back in the mainstream media could be coming. This is what the NASCAR Hall-of-Fame member had to say about the sport as it begins to creep closer to what it once had with two legends.

“This is NASCAR’s opportunity to turn Ross Chastain from a superstar in the NASCAR bubble to a national star in the mainstream. This is it…People around Dale Earnhardt around 86, 87, up into the 90s, those people around him, they capitalized on his on-track actions. They created a persona, through marketing, through souvenirs, that went nationwide, if not global…We’re there with Ross. This is the chance…

We’re at the doorway for the next big boom in NASCAR personalities and all we gotta do is walk right through it. Are we not gonna walk through it because we don’t know maybe he ain’t gonna win a championship one day? If I’m NASCAR, if I’m networks, if I’m Ross’ people, if I’m (Trackhouse Racing), I’m turning Ross into a mega-star off of the opportunity he’s being provided.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Ross Chastain’s rise to sports stardom

It is not surprising to hear people compare Chastain to Earnhardt Sr.; however, the fact that it comes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. himself is very notable. He firmly believes the Trackhouse Racing driver can change the trajectory of NASCAR. It is hard to blame him.

Chastain has the aggression, he has the version of the “Pass in the Grass” with the “Hail Melon.” The 30-year-old driver has the personality, the ability to stand up for himself, and the talent to make NASCAR re-enter the days of its past.

Despite this fact, Trackhouse Racing owner Justin Marks said Chastain’s latest actions at Darlington Raceway were concerning and that the team had tough conversations all around to handle the situation.

Will these words change Chastain’s driving style and overall success? It remains to be seen but one thing is clear moving forward. NASCAR can find itself back on the map and it lies on the shoulders of Chastain and the ones who can make it happen overnight.

In the meantime, whether you are watching it live or looking for how to watch NASCAR on TV or another streaming platform, Sportsnaut has you covered for the upcoming weekend at North Wilkesboro Speedway!

Check Out: How to watch the NASCAR All-Star Race

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