Thank you Dale: Looking back at the career of NASCAR’s most popular driver I NASCAR RACE DAY

As Dale Earnardt Jr. prepares to make his final Cup start, take a look back at the defining moments of his career.

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NARRATOR: There are a few more famous names in motor sports than the Earnhardt name, and an entirely new page in that family's tradition is about to be written.

- I'm here with Dale Earnhardt after he's won the DieHard 500.

[SINGING] [INAUDIBLE] See your futures.

REPORTER: Do you want to drive the big time some day?

- One day, one day.

REPORTER: This kid can drive.

REPORTER: The next generation of NASCAR superstar.

REPORTER: What a day in history. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will win the Coca-Cola 300.

REPORTER: There's a new sheriff in town, and it's Dale Earnhardt Jr.

- Is that your son or is that your driver?

- That's my son.

- We have signed Dale Earnhardt Jr. to race in the NASCAR Cup Circuit.

REPORTER: Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his rookie season wins the Winston--

- We didn't come here to run third. We come here to take all the money.

REPORTER: Well, the ovation that the crowd has just given this young driver is just monumental. They love this kid.

REPORTER: Checkered flag. Dale Earnhardt Jr., first time Winston Cup Winner.

[SINGING] The years are all we had.

- I tell you, he's something else.

REPORTER: The legacy continues. Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the Daytona 500.

- He was over in the pit, beside right with me. I'm sure he was having a blast.

REPORTER: Jr. works his way back to the front. Earnhardt Jr. to the checkered flag.

REPORTER: Four straight wins at Talladega.

REPORTER: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins at Bristol.

REPORTER: Jr. trying to hold everybody off.

REPORTER: And Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes the lead.

REPORTER: All will be right in the world. Jr. wins. Going to be a party in Jr. Nation.

REPORTER: Checkered flag and his start Martinsville win.

[SINGING] Memories are all we-- memories are all we have.

REPORTER: Going to be Dale Earnhardt Jr., using lessons learned from his father, to go from sixth to first and score the victory at the Pepsi--

- You know, I want to be a race car driver some day. It's a great sport. I love it to death, you know. It's all I've ever known, racing.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

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