A Fourth Generation Of The Family Earnhardt Takes To The Track

Jim CrooksCorrespondent IMay 29, 2009

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 03:  Kerry Earnhardt, NASCAR Nationwide Series driver of the #8 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevorlet, prepares for practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The picture you see is of proud poppa Kerry Earnhardt, who will hopefully be watching his son Jeffrey start his very first race in NASCAR's top three series. Jeffrey Earnhardt will attempt his first start in the NASCAR Nationwide series on Saturday.

For those of you who keep up with such things, should young Jeffrey qualify for the Heluva Good! 200 at Dover, it will be the 1,394th start for a guy named Earnhardt in the top three series of NASCAR.

Ralph Earnhardt, the Originator, if you will, of the Earnhardt racing family, drove in 51 races in what was then known as the Grand National series.  

Ralph never won a race in that series, but he did have six top-fives, and 16 top-10 finishes. Ralph Earnhardt also won one pole and raced in the old convertible series, making two starts, with one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

For all his efforts, Ralph Earnhardt won a total of $23,553.00 in his lifetime driving for NASCAR.

Next came his son Dale Earnhardt. Dale, the Intimidator, won 76 Cup races, 21 Busch races (now known as the Nationwide series), and seven Cup championships.  

Dale won a total of $42,891,023 in his NASCAR career, between the old Busch series and Cup. Dale also won 21 races in 136 starts in the Busch series, and started 676 Cup races in his NASCAR career.

Next, of course, came Dale Earnhardt Jr. Dale Jr. is the only other racing champion in the Earnhardt family, having won the Busch Series championships in 1998 and 1999.

That compiles a total of nine NASCAR championships for the father and son. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won 18 races out of 339 starts in his Cup career.

In the old Busch series, now known as the Nationwide Series, Dale Jr. has won 22 times out of 111 starts, and has now piled up $60,417,539 in total winnings as a driver in NASCAR.

A guy who's almost been an asterisk in the Earnhardt family is Kerry Earnhardt, half brother to Dale Jr. and father to Jeffrey.  

Kerry has also tried his hand at racing, but has often not had the support that his brother and son have been given. Kerry, who probably looks more like his famous father than any of his siblings has amassed $1,806,195 in NASCAR earnings thus far.

Kerry hasn't won a NASCAR race yet, but he still runs a race once in a while.

And now the season changes once again. Jeffrey is 19-years-old, and ready to break into the big time. We'll see how long the Earnhardt name lives on in NASCAR, but right now, the future looks bright.

Source: Racing-reference.info.com