(WSPA) – Dale Earnhardt, Junior will retire from NASCAR at the end of the current season.
Hendrick Motorsports announced in a news release Tuesday morning that the driver of the number 88 car will end his career after 18 seasons. He has started more than 600 races.
A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
Hendrick Motorsports says Earnhardt, Jr. Met with owner Rick Hendrick for the first time about the decision on March 29. Hendrick will join Earnhardt, Junior to talk about the choice to retire at the news conference.
Dale Earnhardt, Junior is a two-time Daytona 500 champion and has 26 career points-paying victories. He has also been named NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver a record 14 consecutive years. He first competed at the Cup level of NASCAR in May, 1999.
Earnhardt, Junior will turn 43 in October. His last NASCAR Cup Series race is scheduled to be on November 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
He returned as a full-time driver for the 2017 season after missing the final 18 races of 2016 because of a concussion. He began to experience concussion-like symptoms in July, 2016 and stepped out of driving the 88 car before the Brickyard 400.
Earnhardt, Junior also experienced concussions and missed two races in 2012.
He’s the son of legendary NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, who a record-tying seven Cup championships during his NASCAR career. He was killed after a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.