The streak lives, and it's an important one not only for the Earnhardt family, but NASCAR racing.
Back in December, TMG announced -- shockingly -- that it wouldn't bring back Jeffrey Earnhardt for the 2018 season. It shocked Earnhardt, who understood what the move meant. Earnhardts had participated in NASCAR for 39 straight years -- between his grandfather, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and his uncle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. No one wanted to see that streak come to an end.
It won't end now because Earnhardt has signed with StarCom racing to drive the 00 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. And he knows it's big. Bigger than big.
"It's huge," he told AltDriver. "One of the biggest things, one of my biggest goals, is to try to continue the legacy my grandfather built."
It's some legacy, too. Racing fans don't need a primer on what Dale Sr. meant to NASCAR -- if you think back, he actually transcended the sport -- but a little reminder won't hurt. Seven-time Winston Cup champion; rookie of the year; most popular driver; one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers; inducted into three Hall of Fames (Motorsports, International, NASCAR).
"He was my super hero," Jeffrey Earnhardt continued. "If I can continue to carry that legacy and that name for as long as I can, that's a huge goal of mine. Going down to Daytona and keeping the streak alive, it's incredible, almost like a dream come true."
That dream could as easily of been a nightmare. When he got the news from his former team, he took to Twitter and talked about his shock, but otherwise laid low.
"it's stressful. You sit there and wondering what you're going to do, and not knowing is the worst feeling. When I got the news it was obviously a shock. I kept telling everyone, one door closes for another one to open ..."
And he's right. He has a door opening through StarCom, a door that keeps the Earnhardt legacy alive.