There are two drivers currently racing in cup that raced for Dale Earnhardt Jr that Earnhardt Jr handpicked himself to drive for him. The first one is Martin Truex Jr.
Truex Jr got to run a few races for Earnhardt Jr in 2003 in what was then the Busch series. After that Truex Jr ran two full seasons in the Busch series winning six races in each series adding up to 12 wins, and two straight championships.
Truex Jr than became a full time cup driver in 2006. He has been there ever racing for Dale Earnhardt inc which turned into Earnhardt Ganassi and now racing for Michael Waltrip racing.
Earnhardt Jr han picked Truex Jr to drive his eight car. He felt that Truex Jr had the skill to make it and he was absolutely right. Truex Jr met Earnhardt Jr at a test session at Richmond. They spoke for ten to 15 minutes. Truex Jr was going to test Eanrhardt Jr;s car but it rained. After that the deal was set.
Truex Jr has won a race in cup (won it at Dover in dominating fashion) and made the chase in 2007. Truex Jr is a success.
Perhaps Earnhardt Jr's biggest success story is Brad Keselowski. Like Truex Jr he was an unknown kid who grew up in a racing family. One day Jr watched Keselowski almost win a truck series racing subbing for Ted Musgrave who got suspended. Only to be spun in the closing laps.
Earnhardt Jr saw the talent and gave him a shot.
While Keselowski didn't win any championships or nearly as many wins as Truex Jr did, winning two races in 2008 and finishing third in points, then winning three races in 2009 and finished third in points again.
But Keselowski has a cup driver excels Truex Jr's success.
Keselowski won at Talldega in 2009 in only his fifth start and Earnhardt Jr finishing second. Keselowski struggled in 2010, but in 2011 he has won three races and made the chase. Keselowski is now third in points and ahead of Earnhardt Jr.
Right now Aric Armiola is racing for Earnhardt Jr in his 88 nationwide car and Danica Patrick will run full time in 2012. She will also races in eight to ten cup races in 2012 and run full time in cup in 2012 for Stewart Haas racing.
That would be two more drivers Jr developed.
Earnhardt Jr seems to have an eye for talent and should be taken very seriously as a car owner. While soon to out car owner Kevin Harvick decided to put himself, his cup driver friends, and former cup drivers in his car, Jr decided to spend time developing talent.
That is giving back to the sport.