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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Announces He's Retiring From NASCAR

The legendary athlete announced surprising news today.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is retiring.

The iconic NASCAR driver announced Tuesday morning that he will be retiring at the end of the 2017 season.

Earnhardt Jr. announced the news in a press release with his team, Hendrick Motorsports.

From NASCAR:

The 14-time Most Popular Driver has won 26 times in 603 starts over a career that began at age 24 in 1999. Among his accomplishments are two Daytona 500 crowns (2004, 2014) and two championships (1998, 1999) in what is now called the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

Earnhardt, 42, returned to competition in the No. 88 Chevrolet this year after a concussion sidelined him from NASCAR's top series for half of the 2016 season. Through his rehabilitation process, Earnhardt has become a vocal advocate for research of sports-related brain injuries.

Earnhardt's best finish in eight starts this season was fifth place at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9. He currently is ranked 24th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings.

Earnhardt recently got married and has been thinking about his future for a little while now, according to reports.

A press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m. this afternoon.

NASCAR will miss him greatly.