Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring after 18 seasons in NASCAR on his own terms, but he still has 28 races this season to attempt to end a winless drought which dates to 2015.
Like his father, Earnhardt is known for being a great restrictor-plate racer, as evidenced by 10 of his 26 career wins coming at such tracks. But he's also enjoyed success at smaller tracks like Richmond, where NASCAR heads this weekend as the sport comes to terms with the fact its most popular driver is becoming the third icon to retire in consecutive seasons.
Of the remaining Cup Series races in Junior's career, there are a few tracks where he'll likely enter as the race-favorite. Here's four tracks where he will attempt to tame before his final race Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The 2.66-mile Alabama track hosts two Cup races in 2017, the Geico 500 on May 7 and the Alabama 500 on Oct. 15. Earnhardt has won six times at the restrictor-plate track, most recently in the fall race of 2015. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Earnhardt owns the highest driver rating (100.9) at the often unpredictable Talladega and has finished in the top 10 on 16 occasions. NASCAR fans love Earnhardt but Talladega might riot if he wins there in his final season.
Daytona International Speedway
Other than being named NASCAR's most popular driver 14 years running, Earnhardt is likely a lock for the Hall of Fame because he is a two-time Daytona 500 winner. Only five drivers in history have won more Great American Races than Earnhardt.
The season-opening race has passed (Earnhardt wrecked out), but the Florida track does host the Coke Zero 400 on July 1, a race he's won twice. In the last five races at Daytona, Earnhardt owns the highest driver rating among active drivers and has led the most laps.
Phoenix International Raceway
The site of Earnhardt's last win on November 15, 2015, the one-mile desert track has seen Junior in victory lane three times. He was fifth at the spring race last year and, even though he missed the 2016 fall race due to a concussion, his replacement, Alex Bowman, won the pole and led 194 laps before finishing sixth.
The No. 88 car could be headed for another high finish when the circuit returns for the second-to-last race of the season, the Can-Am 500 on Nov. 12.
Michigan International Speedway
One of the fastest non-restrictor plate tracks in NASCAR, Michigan was likely the site of Earnhardt's most recent concussion, which sidelined him for the final half of last season, doctors have ruled.
Junior was vying for his third career win at the two-mile track before the crash and has two more opportunities to capture the three-peat this season. The track will host the Firekeepers Casino 400 on June 18 and two months later welcomes the circuit for the Pure Michigan 400.