Dale Earnhardt Jr. is living, loving and having a good time

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks to Rick Hendrick in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the first time in 18 years, the Daytona 500 won’t have a familiar name on the starting lineup.  NASCAR’s most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. retired from full time Cup racing at the end of 2017, and Sunday’s season opening Daytona 500 will be the first time since 2000 that Earnhardt won’t be racing.

That doesn’t mean Earnhardt wasn’t busy during NASCAR’s short off-season.  He and wife Amy are getting ready for their first child. He also has his restaurants, Whiskey River, a car dealership in Tallahassee Florida, and NBC sent him to be part of their Super Bowl coverage a few weeks ago.   In addition to all that, Earnhardt has been a fulltime NASCAR team owner for several years. Saturday Earnhardt watched as two of his cars finished first and second in the season opening NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona.

“I haven’t had a whole lot of time to sit around and ‑‑ Amy says when I’m home and don’t have anything to do, I just get up off the couch and pace around the house and then sit back on the couch and complain,” Earnhardt said. “So, it’s probably good that I’ve been so busy, and I’ve enjoyed it. “ MORE>>>

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.