NASCAR’s popularity has dipped dramatically since it’s heyday.

There are many reasons and opinions on why the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series doesn’t draw the type of attention the sport once did. Dale Earnhardt Jr., however, does believe the sport can get back to its former glory.

But, it’s “going to take a long time,” the former star driver says.

“The growth of our sport to its peak, that took decades,” Earnhardt said, via the Detroit Free Press. “That took more than 10 years, 20 years, that was a 50-years process,” he said in a phone conversation Friday, ahead of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. “You can take that apart overnight. It can be broken easily. Building it up again is going to take that same perseverance.”

It’s quite obvious to most race fans the dip in attendance at race tracks around the country. Daytona International Speedway, the home of NASCAR, deconstructed its backstretch grandstand because it has enough trouble selling out the front stretch at the hallowed 2.5-miler.

“I know that the tracks and the industry want things to get better, they want more fans to be at the racetrack,” Earnhardt said. “That’s just going to take a long time. It’s not going to happen overnight, not going to be next year, not going to be five years from now.”

People, including Tony Stewart, have provided plenty of reasons why they think the sport has dropped in popularity, and NASCAR has tried to implement new rules and a new schedule to help bolster the excitement. But Earnhardt, who last raced in NASCAR’s top circuit in 2019, is accurate to say the sport has a long way to go to get back to its glory days.

Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images