Retiring Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has signed a multi-year contract with NBCUniversal that will take effect in January.
NASCAR’s 14-time most popular driver will be heavily leveraged in multiple NASCAR platforms and possible other sports next season.
According to a release from NBC Sports Group, the deal will give Earnhardt opportunities in other areas, such as movies, television and podcasts.
“We are excited to welcome Dale Jr. to our team – both on and off the track,” Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports, said in a release. “As a company, NBCUniversal allows for talent to stretch themselves across not just their field of expertise, but across other areas of their interests in the media world.”
In addition, NBC will partner with the two-time Daytona 500 winner in some of his other endeavors, including Dirty Mo Media and Hammerhead Entertainment.
“It is a tremendous honor not only to join NBC Sports next year but to begin a new career alongside people who love NASCAR as much as I do,” Earnhardt said in a release.
“To be reunited with (former crew chief) Steve Letarte, to be able to call legends like Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty teammates rather than just friends, to be able to continue going to the track and connecting with race fans, it’s a privilege I don’t take lightly. I will devote my heart and soul to this broadcast team and pledge my very best to the millions who watch it.”
NBC beat out Fox Sports to land Earnhardt, who has ample experience in the broadcast booth — having worked for both Fox and NBC in previous capacities. He helped call an Xfinity Series race on Fox in June 2016, and he was in the NBC booth for two Cup races in 2016 when he was unable to race due to concussion symptoms.
Earnhardt, with 26 Cup victories, announced his retirement in April, saying he wanted to go out on his own terms. He saw his final Brickyard 400 over the weekend end in unceremonious fashion with an early accident. Earnhardt is still seeking his first win this year.
Last week, team owner Rick Hendrick announced Alex Bowman as Earnhardt’s replacement in the No. 88 Chevrolet for next season.
source: usa today