America's most popular auto racing series is losing its most popular driver.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has won the "Most popular driver" award 14 times. AP reports Earnhardt has announced this season will be his last.

This isn't good news for Nascar. Attendance and TV ratings are down. The past couple of years have seen the retirements of four-time champion Jeff Gordon, and three-time champion Tony Stewart. With Earnhardt's announcement, the circuit needs some "Star power."

Earnhardt is about to turn 43 years old, newly married, and has sustained multiple head injuries, losing much of the 2016 season to a concussion. He has 26 victories, including 2 Daytona 500 wins in Nascar's top tier series. He's also won 2 Xfinity series championships. His father, 7 time champion Dale Earnhardt, Sr., was killed in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

"For the longest time, I let racing be who I was instead of what I did. I've got a whole other life beyond driving, and I really believe that. I have got a lot of things I'd love to do."

  -Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Best of luck in the next phase your life, "Junior"!

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