In a way, Sunday’s Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway was another example of the changing of the guard in NASCAR.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. took his last ride around the place, starting from the pole and finishing a respectable seventh.
As a special guest on Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America on NBCSN, Junior recalled the thrill of his final Cup race at the sport’s longest racetrack, the emotion that went with it and how he felt his day went overall. Check out the video above for his thoughts.
At the same time, Earnhardt also said Sunday’s race was a good example of how some of NASCAR’s young up-and-coming stars like Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney are really starting to make their presence felt in the sport.
When Earnhardt retires at season’s end, it’ll be up to drivers like Elliott, Blaney, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Austin and Ty Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and others to keep the sport advancing and growing.
Earnhardt also revealed on the show that he had a “passing the baton” moment at Talladega with both Elliott and Blaney.
He also noticed that in addition to the sell-out crowd cheering him on as it has for the last 18 years, a large number of fans cheered loudly and noticeably when Elliott took the lead.
Will many of Junior’s fans ultimately gravitate to start following drivers like Elliott and others as he closes in on retirement at season’s end?
Check out his thoughts in the following video, as well.