Legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won 26 NASCAR Cup Series races and 24 Xfinity Series races.
Now retired from full-time racing, the 2021 Hall of Fame inductee and his wife, Amy, have turned their focus to business — specifically with their upcoming launch of High Rock Vodka.
Below is an excerpt from our sitdown with Dale Jr. on his love of racing and his leap into business.
What do you think set you apart from other drivers?
I never was really a hot-lapper, a guy who could go out there and just throw down a massively fast lap right out of the gate. But I was the guy that was going to prod and push all day long and could be as fast as anybody on old, worn-out tires late in the day.
Were you always interested in post-racing business opportunities?
I always used George Foreman’s grill as an example of what all of us athletes are looking for. George had a lot of success with that, and I think every driver out there is trying to find their place in the business world and find something that succeeds.
Do you see any parallels between success in racing and in business?
Racing is extremely exciting, thrilling, adrenaline-packed. Every single day, there’s danger and drama — there’s so much joy when you win, and frustration and failure when you lose. You can certainly find that same thing in the business world, and I’m driven by the competition and winning.
You won NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver Award 15 consecutive times. Why did you connect so well with the fans?
People knew that I was genuine. The things I felt and thought about, and the emotions I shared, were relatable. Fans felt like they knew me, that I would be easy to have a conversation or a beer with. There are people I’d love to have dinner with, and I feel like people felt that way about me.
Check out the rest of what Earnhardt Jr. had to share here.
– Chris Kuc