Dale Earnhardt Jr. to retire after 2017 season

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JANUARY 22: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the 56th Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on January 23, 2013 in Daytona Beach Florida. (Jeff Daly/

NASCAR racing legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. will retire after the 2017 season, Hendrick Motorsports confirmed Tuesday.

"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," according to a release.

Earnhardt has competed in 600 career races over 18 seasons. His final race is scheduled for Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Earnhardt was married during the offseason and has stated he wants a family.

He's also been plagued by concussions and missed half of last season after suffering yet another one. He's become an advocate for research of sports-related brain injuries.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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