NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. interested in purchasing Carolina Panthers

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 19: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AXALTA Chevrolet (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 19: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AXALTA Chevrolet (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Former NASCAR Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is interested but not involved in the purchase of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

According to ESPN, former NASCAR Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., 43, is interested in purchasing the Carolina Panthers of the NFL. However, the Kannapolis, North Carolina native is not currently involved in the process.

Earnhardt Jr., who retired from his role as a full-time driver in the Cup Series following the conclusion of the 2017 season after 18 full seasons in the sport dating back to 2000, won 26 career Cup Series races in 631 starts and finished as high as 3rd place in the championship standings. He retired as the 15-time reigning winner of the Most Popular Driver Award.

There has been recent talk about Felix Sabates, who co-owns Chip Ganassi Racing, purchasing the Panthers after the team’s owner and founder Jerry Richardson put them up for sale following allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

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There has also been talk of other potential figures in the NASCAR world who could potentially go in on the deal with the multi-millionaire, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was one of the names that came up in that talk.

While Earnhardt Jr. is not one of the people who Sabates called to be involved in the process, he is still very interested in potentially becoming a minority owner of the team despite the fact that he is a fan of the Washington Redskins. In fact, he called Marcus Smith, the president and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., about potentially going in on the deal.

Here is what Earnhardt Jr. had to say on the subject of purchasing the Carolina Panthers, according to ESPN.

"“[Felix] did not ask me to be involved. I did call Marcus [Smith] and I said, ‘Hey, Marcus, if you guys are in the middle of it and you think it’s a good business deal, I definitely have some interest.’ But I am not one of the guys that Felix is talking about.”“I wouldn’t have the kind of money where I would move the needle too much, but it would be something to have a lot of pride in, and a good Charlotte NFL team is good for the city of Charlotte. I wish them success because of what it does for our community, not only from a pride standpoint but [from] an economical standpoint. I wouldn’t be a big player, and it wouldn’t be an investment that would really create a big change in my life.“But I certainly would love to be supportive to the team and the success of the team to the community. That means a lot to me.”"

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Who will end up purchasing the Carolina Panthers? Will it be someone from the NASCAR world, and if so, will fan-favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. be a part of the deal in any way? With the NFL offseason already underway for the team following their playoff elimination, look for more news on this subject in the very near future.