In addition to their hopes of his winning there, fans attending Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final NASCAR Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will receive something special to remember him by.
CMS officials announced Wednesday that for every two tickets purchased to the Oct. 8 Bank of America 500, fans will receive a commemorative Dale Jr. bobblehead.
It will be the 14-time Most Popular Driver’s final chance at earning his first Cup points-paying win at his home track (he won the 2000 non-points NASCAR All-Star race as a rookie).
“We wanted to do something special to celebrate with our fans all that Dale Jr. means to our sport,” CMS executive vice president Greg Walter said in a media release. “These keepsakes will be a must-have for collectors and avid fans alike, and a tremendous way to commemorate his last home race here in Charlotte.”
Fans that purchase two tickets before Oct. 1 (or while supplies last) will receive a voucher to pick up the commemorative bobblehead during the 500 race weekend.
The “Tide Ride” will return to the track this year with Tide serving as a primary sponsor of Matt Kenseth in three NASCAR Cup Series races.
Tide Pods will be on the No. 20 for the first Phoenix race (March 19), the Brickyard 400 (July 23) and the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 7). Tide will serve as an associate sponsor throughout the rest of the season.
After a long absence, Tide returned to the Cup Series with a retro paint scheme on Kenseth’s car at Darlington Raceway last season. Kenseth finished sixth in the Southern 500.
The Procter & Gamble brand has a long history in NASCAR. It sponsored Darrell Waltrip in the 1980s, Ricky Rudd in the 1990s and Ricky Craven and others in the early 2000s.
“I’m glad they expanded their role, I think it’s exciting for NASCAR and fans as well because they were such a common name in the sport for so many years,” Kenseth said in press release. “You always noticed that car on the track. I think getting it back on the track is pretty cool for the sport.”
Kenseth, entering his 18th full-time season in the Cup Series, will also be sponsored by DeWalt.
MORE: Cup Series Primary paint schemes for 2017
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Sunday was not a good day to be a driver in the Chase for the Sprint Cup after five of the 12 remaining finished 30th or worse at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon are tied at three points behind Denny Hamlin in eighth, the cutoff spot for the third round. Following them are Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick.
But it was business as usual for Jimmie Johnson, who won his track-record eight race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He advances to the third round for the first time since the elimination format was introduced in 2014.
Immediately behind Johnson is Matt Kenseth (+31 to the cutoff) and Kyle Busch (+27).
Click here to see the full Sprint Cup Chase Grid.
Brad Keslowski was happy with his seventh place finish in Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
However, the 2012 Sprint Cup champion still wants to find more speed in his Team Penske Ford Fusion to have even better finishes and also to move up further in the standings.
Keselowski leaves Charlotte fourth in the Sprint Cup standings, 11 points behind new series leader and Sunday’s race winner, Jimmie Johnson.
Denny Hamlin had a strong race car all day in Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Well, he did until Lap 309 when the motor in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry suddenly let go with 25 laps remaining in the race.
Instead of a likely top-five finish, Hamlin finished a disappointing 30th. He remains winless at CMS in 23 career Sprint Cup starts there.
Check out the video above to see what Hamlin had to say afterward.