Watching his father dominate the sport during his youth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. just wanted to be a race car driver himself. Earnhardt couldn’t have known what that career decision would do for him more than 20 years later, as he is a 40-time NASCAR National Series winner, a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship owner, one of the most popular drivers in the history of the sport and now a heralded analyst on NBC Sports.
Friday, Earnhardt had the prestige honor of taking his place in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
“I don’t even know how you put that into words,” Earnhardt said in a video posted to the WFMY News website. “You don’t ever think about those types of accomplishments or honors when you’re trying to do your job or trying to race. You’re just trying to accomplish your goals every day and every weekend trying to win a race. You don’t ever think about where they might take you and where you may end up. So when you do get that call that they want to induct you into that Hall of Fame in North Carolina. You’re obviously very proud of your home state. I always had a North Carolina flag on the roof of the car next to my name just because I was so proud of where I was from. I don’t know, it’s just a great feeling. It’s a great feeling to be recognized.”
Earnhardt was on a list of 12 influential sports personalities from North Carolina who were enshrined in the NCSHOF.
Saturday morning, Earnhardt took to twitter to talk about the honor.
Was a cool honor to be inducted into the @NCSHOF last night. I don’t think I’ll ever truly appreciate how fortunate and blessed my life has been. I try to make sense of it, but it just leaves me humbled.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) May 4, 2019