Talladega Will Always Love Junior

By Jared Turner

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is beloved at Talladega Superspeedway like nowhere else on the NASCAR schedule. The adulation for the third-generation driver was on full display over the weekend when the track presented him with what will perhaps go down as his favorite retirement gift — a restored version of the original No. 2 Wrangler car that his late, legendary father drove in his rookie season of 1979. Clearly touched by Talladega officials’ kind gesture, Earnhardt took his dad’s old ride for a spin around the 2.66-mile track where on Sunday he raced for the final time. “I really do owe a lot to this track and the support that we have had here from the fans,” Earnhardt said. “Trust me when I say that whatever the track needs from me, anytime they want anything, I’ll be here to help promote and support this place no matter what the request is.”