NASCAR scram­bles af­ter Dan­ica, Dale Jr. ex­its.

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - Ge­orge Díaz:

Stars twin­kle at night, and all hours of the day, in pro­fes­sional sports.

They foster love-hate re­la­tion­ships, an emo­tional train wreck that takes us along for the ride. Tom Brady, Floyd May­weather Jr., LeBron James — and Muham­mad Ali, back in the day — have made us cry for joy or sucker-punched us in the gut with anger.

Speak­ing of stars, Dale Earn­hardt Jr. and Dan­ica Pa­trick are two of the main rea­sons NASCAR is still in the fight to­day among your sporty smor­gas­bord.

Ju­nior is the son of a NASCAR icon and blue­blood who helped grow the base from the back roads of North Carolina to board­rooms in New York.

Dan­ica is the po­lar­iz­ing queen of stock cars, a pi­o­neer who broke boundaries and then caused heads to ex­plode when dis­cussing her in­abil­ity to stretch her mar­ket­ing reach once the en­gines started to roar.

They will both be gone in 2018. Dale Ju­nior an­nounced his adios a while back, and will step away af­ter con­cus­sions is­sues gave him clar­ity about the fu­ture. He doesn’t want to take another vi­o­lent hit, and end up drool­ing on him­self 10 years later.

Dan­ica an­nounced she won’t be back with Stew­art-Haas

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