- Full Name: Ralph Dale Earnhardt (Junior)
- Born: October 10, 1974
- Place of Birth: Kannapolis, North Carolina
- Occupation: Racer, producer, actor
- Marital Status: Single (engagement announced in June 2015)
Dale Earnhardt’s Net Worth History
Although Dale Earnhardt “Senior” died in 2001, his son is still known to many as “Dale Jr.” and uses that name in autographs. The NASCAR legend won his fame in a less lucrative sport and left only about $70 million to his family. Though not NASCAR’s most successful racer, Dale Jr. was voted its most popular racer for twelve consecutive years, and earns about $22 million a year for endorsements alone plus a few more millions in actual race prizes. Popularity won him parts in movies, TV shows, radio broadcasts, music videos, and even a video game about racing, including a voice part in Cars as the #8 car (called “Junior” in the movie). On his own, “Junior” owns a media production company, a two-bar chain, a Chevrolet dealership, and part of a speedway.
About Dale Earnhardt
Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. began racing with his famous father when he was seventeen. He co-owned his first “street stock” car, a 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, with his half-brother Kerry Earnhardt, and practiced racing with Kerry and his sister Kelley before going professional. He worked as a mechanic at his father’s dealership, and earned an A.S. in automotive technology, before racing full-time in the Busch Series between 1996 and 1999. In 2000, he graduated to the higher-stakes Winston Cup Series.
“Dale Jr.” represents the third generation of stock car racing champions in his family. His grandfather, Ralph Lee Earnhardt (1928-1973), won several races and, because “Purses were mighty small back then,” barely earned enough to launch Ralph Dale Earnhardt “Sr.” in racing. To many race fans the name “Dale Earnhardt” or just “Earnhardt” will always refer to the seven-time Winston Cup champion, also known as “The Intimidator” and now often retrospectively called “Dale Sr.” After his seventh Cup, Dale Sr. survived at least three serious racing injuries before the final, fatal crash. While his will left Earnhardt Ganassi Racing to his third wife Theresa, who was unable to keep it, and divided other assets among his two ex-wives and four children, Dale Sr. apparently bequeathed the loyalty of thousands of race fans to Dale Jr.
As fans observed during Dale Sr.’s career, The Intimidator’s “crazy,” aggressive style required extraordinary discipline and intelligence as well as endurance. Not even Dale Sr. could keep up that sort of performance forever, although his showmanship and dedication to the sport kept him trying. Dale Jr. seems to have set a different goal; a detailed analysis of his racing career shows fewer first-place finishes, but more races in which he finished every lap, neither falling behind the other drivers of champion cars nor being involved in wrecks. This “calm and steady” approach to racing pays off in terms of NASCAR’s points and payouts, as well as drivers’ life expectancy. Nevertheless, Dale Jr. has survived a few wrecks and a concussion.
In 2003, Dale Earnhardt Jr. invested in Chance 2 Racing with his stepmother Theresa. He also co-owns JR Motorsports with his sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller and car owner Rick Hendrick. Hendrick is also associated with the Dale Earnhardt Jr. car dealerships. Dale Jr.’s independent investment is Hammerhead Entertainment, the company that produced the “Back in the Day” series reminiscing about the early years of stock car racing. It also produces a podcast of Dale Jr.’s racing activities.
After years of friendship, Dale Jr. finally announced his engagement to Amy Reimann. He has not publicly identified with a charity or with a religious group. He has, however, identified his loyalty to a football team–Washington–stating that having their scores reported to him during caution laps helps him concentrate during races that overlap with football season, and, if his team loses, it “ruins my week.”