A long awaited and personal restoration project of Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finally wrapped up.
The two-time Daytona 500 champion has been updating NASCAR fans as he renovated the car his father, Dale Earnhardt, drove when he won at the Darlington Racetrack back in the 1980s. Dale Earnhardt had tragically died during a last-lap crash of the Daytona 500 in 2001. Since then, a part of his legacy has become making the racing industry safer through new regulations and features.
Thanks to his son, his No. 8 Chevy Nova he drove during part of the ’80s got to experience the rush of Darlington again. Now, it’s another part of his legacy.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. shared a picture of the car on his Instagram account. He wrote, “Drove to Darlington today to put a period on our restoration project. This Nova won here in the 1980s with dad behind the wheel. With me on the trip are my uncles Danny and Robert and my brother-in-law LW. Some great stories were told on the ride up. The weather is amazing. I wish Tony and Tony Jr were here along with everyone else who had their hands on this car back when it raced. I’m full of pride today. I’m also very thankful for the track and Nascar for allowing us to be here today. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.”
His sister, Kelley Earnhardt, also tweeted about getting to see her father’s car pace the field at Darlington before today’s race. She wrote, “My brother put his heart and soul into my dads #8 that paced the field at Darlington today. He has been excited about this moment and sharing it with NASCAR fans. Well done @DaleJr and all the people at @JRMotorsports who had a hand over the last two years on this project.”
After two years of work, the car got a spotlight treatment at the track on Saturday. JR Motorsports is owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelley Earnhardt, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Rick Hendrick.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Future Race
Since he retired from full-time racing in 2017, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been only racing in one NASCAR Xfinity Series race each year. This year, he is slated to appear at the Richmond Speedway on September 11.
In fact, he was going to be driving his No. 8 Chevrolet with an all-new paint scheme to honor those who passed away on 9/11.
The car will have four different spotlights scattered on the body of the car. These spotlights represent the four different locations affected in 2001. They include the two Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the Flight 93 Memorial site. The words “Never Forget” are also going to be painted onto the lower back portion of the vehicle.
Now, however, Earnhardt is saying he would switch his annual race to the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway if NASCAR decided to return with an Xfinity Series event. This is where Earnhardt started his career, which would eventually make him one of the most recognizable drivers in NASCAR history.
“If they run Xfinity Series here, I’ll be here. I run once a year. I’ll probably do that as long as I can and there should be a few more years of that. Hopefully we can get the Xfinity here soon; the next couple of years because I’d love to come out here and compete,” Earnhardt said, according to the Tennessean.
NASCAR left behind the Nashville Fairgrounds in 2011, citing poor attendance at Cup Series races. Throughout the years, the racetrack has been used for TV and movies.