NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Will Honor 9/11 Victims at Xfinity Series Start

by Madison Miller

Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced his semi-retirement in 2017. However, each year since then he’s been appearing in a single Xfinity Series race.

It has finally been announced which race the NASCAR legend will participate in this year. He will be racing at the Richmond Raceway in the Go Bowling 250. The day of the race happens to be on September 11 at 2:30 p.m. ET. In order to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, Earnhardt will be yielding a special new paint scheme on his No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

According to the NASCAR site, his car will have a U.S.A. paint scheme to honor the 9/11 victims. Earnhardt is partnering with Unilever, a longtime partner of the racer. The paint job is meant to mimic the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s Tribute in Light.

In addition, the car will have four different spotlights scattered throughout. 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.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since that terrible day. The spirit of unity and togetherness our country felt on Sept. 11 is just as relevant now as it was then. I’m honored to be driving this car and championing Unilever’s United for America program,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in a press release.

Earnhardt makes his appearance with JR Motorsports. This is the team he owns alongside his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, as well as Rick Hendrick. Despite not racing full-time, each appearance he has made in the Xfinity Series has ended with a top-five finish.

What Does Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Racing Future Look Like?

Despite no longer racing full-time, Earnhardt has had an incredibly busy schedule with a mixture of different responsibilities. He is currently hosting “Lost Speedways.” This is a TV documentary series where he travels to different deserted racetracks all around the country to explore them. Earnhardt is also married and has one daughter, Isla Rose, who demands a lot of his attention. Additionally, Earnhardt is the motorsports analyst for NBC and has his own podcast, “The Dale Jr. Download” with Dirty Mo Media. After his appearance in August 2019 at Darlington, Earnhardt opened up about how much longer he sees himself making NASCAR racing appearances.

“I don’t know how many more of these I’ll do. This might be the last one. This ain’t no tease or anything. I’m not trying to be annoying about that. It’s just a lot of commitment and I don’t know. It’s getting to the point where I’ve got to decide whether I’m helping things or I’m not helping the team, can I help the team in other ways,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said at the time, according to Sports Illustrated.

Clearly, this wasn’t his last race. He would go on to make a 2020 appearance at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and is now slated for his 2021 race in September. However, it does show that the full-on retirement may be very near. The two-time Daytona 500 champion has said he enjoys racing in one Xfinity race each year but doesn’t know how long that will continue.