Statements from Brian France, Chevrolet on Dale Earnhardt Jr. retirement announcement

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NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France issued the following statement following Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s official announcement Tuesday afternoon that he would retire at season’s end:

“Dale Earnhardt Jr. is among the most recognizable athletes in the world, unequivocally serving as the sport’s most popular driver for more than a decade.

“His passion for the sport will leave an impact on NASCAR that will be felt over its entire history. Over his 20-plus year career, Dale has proven himself a leader with a deep commitment to so many areas of the sport – all the way to its roots.

“We’re excited about the next chapter of his NASCAR career and wish him success for the remainder of 2017.”

Earnhardt has raced only in a Chevrolet his entire racing career.

Chevrolet Executive Vice President Mark Reuss (Photo courtesy Chevrolet)

That prompted Mark Reuss, Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, to also issue a statement:

“Dale Jr. is more than just a racer and competitor. He is a true champion. He was born into a racing family, grew up around the sport, worked as a service technician in his father’s Chevrolet dealership and became a successful NASCAR driver, Chevrolet Dealer and team owner. Dale Jr. has always been part of our Chevrolet family.

“We know that Dale Jr. is going to have a positive influence on the sport and for our brand for many years to come. We look forward to continuing our partnership with JR Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet.

“Most importantly, Dale Jr. will always be our friend and we thank him for his tremendous contributions as a driver for Chevrolet.”