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

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is no longer in the broadcast booth during NBC's portion of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series schedule. Where is the Hall of Famer now?
Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR
Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Though the race itself was on USA Network and not NBC, the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Iowa Speedway last Sunday night opened up NBC's portion of the 2024 Cup Series broadcast schedule after Fox opened up the year with 16 points races (plus the two exhibition races).

In the broadcast booth for a 10th consecutive year together were lead announcer Rick Allen and color commentators Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte.

But not returning for a seventh consecutive year was Dale Earnhardt Jr., who joined NBC ahead of the 2018 season after retiring from full-time Cup Series competition at the end of the 2017 season campaign.

Dale Jr. no longer a part of NBC broadcasts

During Fox's portion of the broadcast schedule earlier this season, the 15-time Most Popular Driver Award winner confirmed that his contract with NBC had expired and that he was considering all of his options moving forward.

As it turns out, he ended up signing with both Amazon Prime Video and TNT Sports for the 2025 season, when the new seven-year media rights deal is set to go into effect, leaving him out of the NBC (and USA Network) broadcast booth for the 2024 season.

Amazon Prime Video and TNT Sports are each set to show five races on the 2025 schedule, with Fox's portion set to drop from 18 races to 14 and NBC's set to drop from 20 to 14.

NBC making additional booth change in August

The departure of Earnhardt is not the only major change being made to the NBC broadcast booth for the 2024 season.

Following the upcoming three-week break in Cup Series action due to the network's coverage of the Summer Olympics in Paris, Allen is set to move to the Xfinity Series. NBC IndyCar announcer Leigh Diffey is set to take over for him in the Cup Series broadcast booth, starting on Sunday, August 11 with the race at Richmond Raceway.

That move was announced before it was confirmed that NBC would be losing the IndyCar broadcast rights to Fox after the 2024 season.

It is worth noting that, whether a Cup Series race is shown live on NBC or USA Network, the broadcast booth consists of the same individuals. USA Network is simply the NBCUniversal-owned alternate channel during NBC's portion of the schedule. It effectively replaced NBC Sports Network after NBC Sports Network shut down at the end of 2021.

In total, there are 10 races on NBC and 10 races on USA Network this season.

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

Tune in to USA Network at 2:00 p.m. ET (a change from the original schedule) this Sunday, June 23 for the live broadcast of the USA Today 301 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Start a free trial of FuboTV now and don't miss any of the action from now to the end of the 2024 season!