NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. not done yet, confirms 2021 return

Dale Earnhardt Jr., JR Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., JR Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Dale Earnhardt Jr. floated the idea of completely being done competing in NASCAR following his Xfinity Series start at Homestead-Miami Speedway in June, but that isn’t set to happen quite yet.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. retired from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition following the 2017 season, but he has stuck around and competed in the Xfinity Series one race per year ever since.

Earnhardt, who co-owns the JR Motorsports Xfinity Series team, finished in fourth place at Richmond Raceway in 2018, fifth at Darlington Raceway in 2019 and fifth at Homestead-Miami Speedway this past June driving for the team.

After competing in what was his 142nd career Xfinity Series race and his 775th career NASCAR race, the 46-year-old Kannapolis, North Carolina native floated the idea of potentially being done driving completely.

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But that doesn’t appear to be the case quiet yet.

JR Motorsports announced that they are set to embark on the 13th year of their partnership with Unilever.

Unilever, one of the world’s top suppliers of food, refreshments, home and personal care products, has been on board with JR Motorsports since 2009, and the company’s brands have been carried on the team’s cars in more than 100 races over the last 12 seasons. The 13th year of this partnership involves running Unilever paint schemes on the team’s cars in seven of the 33 races on next year’s schedule.

While it has not yet been confirmed which seven races these will be, it has been confirmed that Earnhardt is slated to compete in one of them, just as he has done in each of these last 12 seasons in a Unilever-sponsored car.

Here is what he had to say about the matter in a team release.

"“My partnership with Unilever has grown so much over the years, and I’m proud to say they’ve been a huge part of what we’ve built at JRM. Unilever’s commitment to our team and the series has been unwavering, and we’re prepared to take that success even further.”"

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The 2021 season is slated to be the 26th consecutive season in which Earnhardt has competed in NASCAR on some level since making his Xfinity Series debut in 1996, and it is slated to be the 25th season and 21st consecutive season of him competing in the Xfinity Series, as he did not compete during his rookie Cup Series season in 2000.