NASCAR has always touted itself as a family sport, and that’s not just evident in the grandstands and on couches all across America on race day. Families, particularly fathers and sons, have also dotted the NASCAR landscape over the years. Some fathers and sons have gone head-to-head on the track, while some sons have followed in their fathers’ racing shoes, keeping the family name alive into the next era of NASCAR racing.
Heck, some families have produced NASCAR racing fathers then sons, then sons, and so on. There’s the Earnhardts. First, there was Ralph, then Dale and then Dale Jr., and for a time, Kerry. The Petty family can boast one more generation than that. Lee was around in the early days, followed by son Richard. Then there was Richard’s son Kyle and then Kyle’s son Adam.
Actually, the Earnhardt family also may claim that extra generation. Kerry’s time in the sport may have been brief, but he did compete in NASCAR’s national levels early in this millenium. His son, Jeffrey, may not be a regular face in the Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series, but he does show up there every now and again, whenever he can find a ride.
You can’t hardly talk fathers and sons in racing without mentioning Bobby and Davey Allison. And don’t forget Ned and Dale Jarrett and David and Larry Pearson. The immediately aforementioned are gone from the landscape (but definitely not forgotten), but there are at least a few drivers keeping their family names alive in NASCAR. Chase Elliott, anyone? He’s the son of retired driver, Bill Elliott. Then, there’s Jeb Burton, son of Ward. If that’s not enough, another second-generation NASCAR driver is set to make his debut on the NASCAR national-level stage Saturday night. Ross Kenseth, son of Matt, is scheduled to make his Xfinity Series debut in the Xfinity race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet.
Something that may be worth mentioning — contrary to some people’s confusion, Darrell and Michael Waltrip aren’t father and son; they’re brothers with a big age difference between them. Just wanted to make that little PSA, since I think I remember Darrell commenting years ago that people thought Michael was his son.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand.
With the Sprint Cup Series having the weekend off, the NASCAR Father’s Day focus has been on the Xfinity Series, specifically Saturday night’s race at Chicagoland. That’s when and where the Elliott and Kenseth families will celebrate Father’s Day a day early in the best way they probably know how — Matt watching Ross make his NASCAR national series debut and Bill watching reigning series champion Chase continue his impressive Xfinity Series career.
Happy Father’s Day, guys!
Oh, and I’ll leave you with this:
While surfing around on the Net while working on this blog (I get distracted easily), I was reminded of some other NASCAR father/son duos that, I have to admit, completely slipped my mind.
Bobby Hamilton Sr. and Bobby Hamilton Jr.
Glen Wood and Jon Wood (okay, this is a grandfather/grandson duo, but still worth mentioning)
A.J. Foyt and Larry Foyt
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