Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Rings of Bling
by Tom Jensen March 04, 2022
When you win a NASCAR race, you sometimes get more than just a big check, points and bragging rights. In fact, you might take home something shiny, too.
Winning races and championships is what NASCAR is all about.
In the old days, drivers climbed out of their dusty race cars after dueling on the dirt and came away with a trophy in Victory Lane, a check and a kiss from the track queen.
Nowadays, well, it’s a little more sophisticated.
And a lot blingier.
So when Dale Earnhardt Jr. was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021, he wanted to show off some of the jewelry he had won throughout his career. Earnhardt was not the first to do this. Ray Evernham (2018), Roger Penske (2019), Tony Stewart (2020) and Joe Gibbs (2020) all made sure they had plenty of shiny rings in their respective artifact cases.
When you come to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, here are a few very special rings you’ll see in Earnhardt’s artifact case in the Hall of Honor.
1999 Busch Grand National Series Championship
The first of two consecutive driver championships in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series (now Xfinity Series) for Dale Earnhardt Jr. came in 1998, when he won seven races and had 16 top-five finishes driving Chevrolets for his father’s Dale Earnhardt Inc. team. In 1999, Earnhardt Jr. won 6 races and amassed 18 top-five finishes.
2004 Daytona 500
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s came up big in 2004, a season in which the North Carolina racer won a career-high six races, all driving for his late father’s Dale Earnhardt Inc. team. Earnhardt opened the 2004 campaign with a victory in the Daytona 500, where he wheeled his No. 8 Budweiser-sponsored Chevrolet to victory.
2012, Hendrick Motorsports 200 wins
This ring was not for a race that Earnhardt himself won. Rather it came from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson’s triumph in the 2012 Bojangles’ Southern 500 at historic Darlington Raceway. The victory was the 200th for the team, so as a team member, Earnhardt was presented with one of the rings.
2014 Daytona 500
The biggest race in NASCAR is the Daytona 500, so it makes sense that the winner’s ring is something special. And the one Earnhardt received for winning his second Daytona 500 in 2014 certainly fits the bill with a whopping 37 diamonds.
2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship
Not only did Dale Earnhardt Jr. win two championships as a driver in what is now the NASCAR Xfinity Series, he’s also won three titles as the co-owner of JR Motorsports along with sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Hall of Famer Rick Hendrick (2017). This was the team second title, won with driver William Byron.