AVONDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 04: NASCAR Hall of Famer and JR Motorsports owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrate looks on during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 04, 2023 in Avondale, Arizona.
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Reflects On Emotional Weekend at Phoenix

There were plenty of emotions surrounding Championship Weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, as the top three NASCAR series all crowned champions.

It was a good weekend for fans of the Blue Oval as Ford swept the Truck, Xfinity and Cup championships.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a good seat for all the action, and he had quite an emotional day Sunday as he saw some good friends in their highs and lows.

Sunday saw the crowning of Ryan Blaney as Cup champion, but it was also the end of an era for Kevin Harvick as he made his final Cup start.

The emotions really hit Earnhardt because Harvick was the driver who replaced his dad when he was tragically killed in the 2001 Daytona 500. That had to have been hard for Dale Jr. to think that much time had passed, as Harvick has raced for 22 years.

Then he got to see the championship won by Blaney, the driver Earnhardt had picked to win the title before the playoffs began. That wasn't the only reason Earnhardt was happy for Blaney, as he has known YRB ("young Ryan Blaney") his whole life.

It was clear that Earnhardt truly realized how much time had passed, and it hit him very quickly in one moment, as he posted on his X page.

"This was an emotional day," Earnhardt said. "Watching @Kevin Harvick finish his career drives home just how far into this life I find myself. So many years and memories in the past. And @Blaney, who I remember talking to on the grid of his first cup start. I brought the beer to the post-race party after the first cup win. It's been fun to watch his career. He's one of the good guys and does what he can to push the sport forward. Man this sport can be frustrating at times, but it still to this day means the world to me and gets to me like nothing else in my professional life does. Now, time to go home and be with my girls."

It was a day of ups and downs, and the realization of how quickly time passes by, and Earnhardt clearly felt those emotions.

More: Ryan Truex Was Starstruck When He First Met Dale Earnhardt Jr.