Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his legacy: ‘Hopefully, I’ve left a good impression’

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. kicked off the beginning of the final lap of his NASCAR Cup career Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.

From this point on, Earnhardt will visit the majority of tracks for the final time as a Cup driver.

Sure, he’s already made his last appearances at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Fontana, but Sonoma and the next 20 races – many for the second time this season – will put a stamp of finality on Earnhardt’s career.

Earnhardt finished sixth at Sonoma Sunday, his second-best career finish at the 1.99-mile road course north of San Francisco.

His recent runs there made it seem like he was just getting started, finishing a career-best third in 2014, seventh in 2015 (plus 11th in 2016) and sixth in his last start – the only top-10s he’s earned there.

Earnhardt grew philosophical after Sunday’s race when he spoke about the legacy he hopes he’ll leave after he makes his final Cup start in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“I think the wins and everything are great, I enjoyed celebrating those,” Earnhardt told Fox Sports 1. “But, long after your career, guys come along and win races and some of your accomplishments on the track sort of get forgotten.

“But, who you are as a person never gets forgotten. People never forget who you were.”

Earnhardt at first struggled to find the right words, but then said what could be construed as a self-epitaph of sorts.

“I hope people just thought I was good and honest and represented the sport well,” he said. “I hope people that work with me enjoyed working with me, whether it was in the Late Model ranks or whatever; and I hope the guys I raced against enjoyed racing with me.

“That’s really all that will matter and what people, I think, will remember, as long as you’re alive and beyond.

“Hopefully I left a good impression. I’ve had a lot of fun.”

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NASCAR America: Looking back at Cup winners this year (video)

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The NASCAR Cup Series is through 19 racers. There are 17 more races to be contested, including seven before the Cup playoffs.

It’s been a rough time for many and a successful time for a select few.

There’s still plenty of racing to go. Who will see their name added to the list of winners in 2017 and, more importantly, who still wins a race to make it in the playoffs?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Can Team Penske get back on track in Indianapolis? (video)

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Roger Penske is used to winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He owns a record 16 Indy 500 victories there.

But Penske still has yet to win a Brickyard 400 at IMS. While in other years, Team Penske’s chances may have been stronger, coming into the 2017 Brickyard 400 is a whole other ballgame.

Joey Logano has struggled terribly in the last 10 races. Since winning at Richmond (which was eventually encumbered due to a post-race inspection penalty), Logano has had seven finishes of 21st through 37th. He’s also dropped from fifth to 13th in the standings.

Teammate Brad Keselowski has had his own struggles, dropping from third to eighth in the standings.

The biggest problem that seems to be impacting Team Penske is a lack of speed, more so on Logano’s car, but an issue nonetheless for both cars.

Can Team Penske snap out of its funk and find the speed it’s been missing Sunday, and potentially give Captain Penske his first NASCAR Cup win at the track that means so much to him?

Check out the video above.

NASCAR America: Kyle Busch needs to be aware of Martin Truex Jr. at Brickyard (video)

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Kyle Busch is well aware of his wins drought, not having won in his last 36 Cup starts.

But he also gains confidence and optimism from having won the last two Brickyard 400s.

So how will that impact the weekend?

On Friday’s NASCAR America, Dale Jarrett said Indy “plays into Busch’s hand,” but also to look out for Martin Truex Jr.

Check out the video above.

 

 

NASCAR America: Significance of winning at Indianapolis (video)

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On Friday’s edition of NASCAR America, two-time Brickyard 400 winner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Brickyard-winning crew chief Slugger Labbe, who led Paul Menard to a Brickyard 400 win, both discussed the importance of winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — as well as how to do it.

Check out the video above.