5 Reasons Why Dale Earnhardt Jr. Remains NASCAR's Most Popular Driver

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5 Reasons Why Dale Earnhardt Jr. Remains NASCAR's Most Popular Driver
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Dale Earnhardt Jr., man of the people.

It's hard enough to win one election, let alone two. Ask President Obama about that.

But there is one figure in NASCAR who transcends the sport, who has been its "face" for more than a decade and seemingly makes national news for even the smallest happenstance or change in his life.

He is to NASCAR what Michael Jordan was—and still is, to a degree—to the NBA, a pair of superstars known the world over. Go to a far away land like China, mention the NBA and Jordan's iconic name almost immediately still comes forth from respondents. Ditto with the red-haired wonder of stock car racing: even if they're not race fans and know only one thing about NASCAR, it's his name. To them, he IS NASCAR.

Of course, we're talking about Dale Earnhardt Jr.

How has Junior been able to sustain as the sport's most popular personality for a decade?

Even though he has yet to win his first Sprint Cup championship and has won just two races in the last five seasons, Earnhardt continues to be Mr. NASCAR, much like his late father. He is the apple of fans' eyes and the focus of the majority of their attention.

Some people are already touting Danica Patrick as a rival to Earnhardt's dominance of the "most popular driver" category this season, but that's unlikely. His fan army far outnumbers Danica's and likely always will.

So what makes—and keeps—Junior as the MPD of NASCAR? Let's count five of the ways:

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