At the end of his retirement press conference Tuesday, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was asked what he thought his late father, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., would say about the moment 18 years in the making.
“I’ve always let other people tell me what dad would think in a certain situation,” Earnhardt said. “I never would have assumed he was proud of me when he was alive. I certainly wouldn’t make that mistake after he passed. I just never felt like I was worthy of assuming that of him.”
NASCAR America analyst Dale Jarrett is confident his former friend and competitor would be proud of what his son has accomplished during his NASCAR career, especially when it comes to developing future stars of the sport.
“He could have sat back and taken himself away from all that and said, ‘Ok, I’m just going to drive, I don’t want to do any of these other things and help other drivers get opportunities to come along in the sport,'” an emotional Jarrett said, citing 2012 Cup champion Brad Keselowski. “The way he’s gone about this, it just makes me proud. If he were my son, I know I’d be extremely proud of him. I’m just proud to call him a friend. Because you appreciate when people are put in difficult situations, how they’re going to respond. He responded by winning races and doing everything he could to make this sport bigger and better.”
Watch the video for Jarrett’s full comments on Earnhardt’s retirement.