Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sep 15, 2023; Bristol, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) during driver introductions at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been very public recently about being a broadcast free agent, which is surprising considering how popular he has been as a driver and then an announcer for NBC Sports.

Earnhardt brings a unique energy and presence to the broadcast booth and connects with NASCAR fans in a way few others have as an announcer, regardless of the sport.

Now we know that Earnhardt Jr. won’t be a free agent much longer as he has signed on to be the new lead race analyst for Amazon and TNT Sports when they take over a midseason TV package of five races each in 2025.

The news was broken by Andrew Marchand at The Athletic:

The biggest name in NASCAR is on the move.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is leaving NBC and heading to racing newcomers Amazon Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, sources briefed on his decision told The Athletic.

Earnhardt is expected to take this season off and then resume his broadcasting career in 2025 when WBD Sports and Amazon begin their coverage.

It’s a huge coup for both Amazon and TNT Sports to gain Earnhardt’s services and it’ll immediately make them a hit with NASCAR fans as new rightsholders. The midseason package has been a tough one for networks in the past because it doesn’t feature the Daytona 500 at the start of the year or the season-ending playoffs that will stay with Fox and NBC respectively. The lighter race schedule will allow Dale Jr. to spend more time focusing on his own race team and his growing podcast network.

While it’s a big win for Amazon and TNT, it’s a huge loss for NBC. The network doesn’t necessarily need to replace Earnhardt with Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte as analysts alongside Rick Allen. However, the network and fans alike will miss his energy and enthusiasm when it comes to the most important time in the calendar for the playoffs.

The Athletic notes that Earnhardt doesn’t have a contract for 2024 and could still yet work this year for Fox or NBC, but it’s not expected at this time.

[The Athletic]