NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. no longer in the NBC broadcast booth?

NBC is set to broadcast its first race of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. is not in the booth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR
Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR / James Gilbert/GettyImages

This coming Sunday afternoon's Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway is set to open up the second half of the 36-race 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, and it is the first race of the year set to be shown live on NBC.

Though Fox's portion of this year's broadcast schedule ended three weeks ago at Sonoma Raceway, the first two races of NBC's portion have been shown on the NBCUniversal-owned USA Network. USA Network has served as the alternate channel during NBC's portion since 2022, the year after NBC Sports Network shut down.

The broadcast booth is the same whether a race is on NBC or USA Network, so there will be no Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the booth this weekend at Nashville for the season's first race on NBC.

Dale Jr. no longer with NBC

Earnhardt confirmed earlier this year that has contract with NBC, where he had been since 2018, expired at the end of 2023. The 15-time Most Popular Driver Award winner joined the network after retiring from full-time Cup Series competition at the end of the 2017 season.

Though he did not initially rule out a return, he revealed that he was considering all of his options. He ended up signing with Amazon Prime Video and TNT Sports, which are both a part of NASCAR's new seven-year media rights deal.

That deal is set to go into effect next season, with Amazon and TNT slated to be responsible for five races each while Fox's commitment drops from 18 to 14 events and NBC's drops from 20 to 14. As a result, Earnhardt is not a member of any network's broadcast booth for the 2024 Cup Series season.

The NBC booth still consists of lead announcer Rick Allen and color commentators Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte for the 10th straight season. However, Earnhardt's departure isn't the only change coming to the booth in 2024.

After the upcoming three-week break from Cup Series action due to NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympics in Paris, Allen is set to move to the Xfinity Series, while NBC's lead IndyCar announcer, Leigh Diffey, is set to take over as the lead announcer during Cup Series races.

After this move was confirmed, NBC lost out on the IndyCar broadcasting rights to Fox for the 2025 season and beyond.

Kyle Larson has a new teammate for 2025 (if he decides to return). dark. Next. Kyle Larson has a new teammate for 2025 (if he decides to return)

Sunday's Ally 400 is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Nashville Superspeedway beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don't miss any of the action throughout the rest of the 2024 season!