1981: Here young Dale Jr. stands atop a camper at Richmond International Raceway as his father, Dale Earnhardt, competes.
1982: Dale Jr. and sister Kelley pose with father Dale Earnhardt and stepmom Teresa on their wedding day.
1984: Dale Earnhardt sits with his son Dale Earnhardt Jr., who would one day become a 14-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award winner and two-time Daytona 500 victor.
1986: Twelve-year-old Dale Jr. stands with stepmom Teresa and father Dale Earnhardt in Victory Lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
1987: Dale Jr. poses in his military school uniform in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
1990: Dale Jr. finds himself a seat on a tire on pit road at Richmond.
1992: Dale Jr. poses with his Legends car he drove at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
1992: Dale Jr. joins his dad and brother Kerry in Victory Lane after the “Intimidator” won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.
1999: Dale Jr. stands with his father during the IROC race at Daytona Speedweeks.
1999: Although he finished second to Jeff Gordon in the Outback Steakhouse 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his dad had plenty to celebrate, as the younger Earnhardt clinched the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series championship even though there was still one race remaining …
2000: Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned his first premier series win in the DirecTV 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, breaking the record previously held by his father for fewest starts by a driver before earning his first victory in NASCAR’s modern era, winning in just his 12th start.
2001: Dale Jr. celebrates with his crew in Daytona’s Victory Lane after winning at the same track where his father died earlier in the year.
2003: In a photo taken 13 years ago, Earnhardt Jr. and his now-Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon share a few words in the Richmond garage.
2004: Earnhardt Jr. celebrates his first Daytona 500 win by spraying champagne in Victory Lane. Junior would go on to have the most productive season of his career, winning six races.
2004: Dale Jr. celebrates his sixth win of 2004 — the most wins in a season for his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career — at Phoenix International Raceway.
2007: In his 41 years, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has had the opportunity to meet a lot of big-name celebrities. Here’s Earnhardt Jr. meeting six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan in Charlotte.
2007: Dale Jr. speaks to the media as he announces his move from Dale Earnhardt Inc. to Hendrick Motorsports.
2008: Dale Jr. celebrates in Daytona’s Victory Lane after winning the Budweiser Shootout for the second time.
2008: Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates his first win at Michigan International Speedway, breaking a drought of 76 races without a victory.
2012: Dale Earnhardt Jr., girlfriend Amy Reimann and the No. 88 crew celebrate in Victory Lane after Junior earns his second win at Michigan and his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory since 2008
2014: Ten years after his first Daytona 500 win, Dale Jr. scored another to open the 2014 season.
2014: As if a career-first win at Pocono a few months earlier wasn’t enough, Dale Jr. managed to sweep the 2014 Sprint Cup Series races at the ‘Tricky Triangle.’
2015: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s trip to Germany resulted in his proposal to longtime girlfriend Amy Reimann. She said yes.
2016: Earnhardt Jr. was still smiling when he met with media members in August, his first press conference since being out of the car.