Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Watch: Budweiser unveils special tribute to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 8

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Honoring the beginning of a career that will end Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Budweiser unveiled a video tribute Tuesday morning to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The 3-minute montage honors some of the 14-time most popular driver’s most memorable moments in the No. 8 Chevrolet that he drove from 2000-07, beginning with his inaugural victory in NASCAR’s premier series April 12, 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway.

It also includes highlights of Earnhardt’s wins at The Winston in 2000, his 2004 sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway and the 2004 Daytona 500. It spends the most time on Earnhardt’s July 6, 2001 victory at Daytona International Speedway in the first race after his father’s death in a last-lap crash in the 2001 Daytona 500.

“We created this short film to pay tribute to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his incredible career,” Ricardo Marques, the vice president of marketing for Budweiser, said in a release. “Budweiser has great memories of working with Junior and we will never forever his time spent in the Bud car. Thanks for the unforgettable moments, Junior.”

Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet in the season finale will be a replica of the No. 8 Budweiser car with the same color codes.

“Budweiser will always have a special place in my heart,” Earnhardt said in a release about the video. “They took a chance on me early on, sponsored my first Cup ride and paved the way to many great opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  I’m deeply honored in what they’ve done to commemorate my final race.

“It was unexpected and humbling.  It brought back a rush of memories, but more than anything it reminded me how awesome it was to drive that red No. 8 car.”

NASCAR America 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Dale Jr., 5 remaining playoff drivers

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Carolyn Manno and Nate Ryan host from our Stamford, Connecticut studios, while NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett is on site in Phoenix.

On today’s show:

  • As the season’s penultimate race draws closer, we break down the five drivers who will race for the final spot in the Championship 4. Which one will emerge to join Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. in a championship showdown at Homestead-Miami Speedway? Plus we will talk to one of the three drivers already in the Championship 4.
  • We’ll share another story from one of this year’s finalists for the Comcast Community Champion Award, honoring members of the NASCAR community and their charitable service.
  • And we’ll reveal another favorite career moment selected by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his “My Greatest 8” list.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you can also watch it via the online stream at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here from 5-6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

F1 star Daniel Ricciardo introduced to NASCAR world in Texas

(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo made his first visit to a NASCAR Cup Series race at Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 from Texas Motor Speedway, as the Australian driver for Red Bull Racing was a guest of Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott.

Ricciardo had told NBCSN F1 pit reporter and insider Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas last month in Austin he planned to make a return visit to Texas to see Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s final start at the track as a full-time Cup driver.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well,” Ricciardo told NBCSN. “Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Elliott welcomed Ricciardo around, and he took in the atmosphere pre-race. He met Joey Logano, among others, before having the chance to see Earnhardt and complete his idea of doing the helmet swap.

Both Earnhardt and Ricciardo signed each other’s helmets, and Earnhardt, who will join NBC Sports as an analyst for its NASCAR coverage in 2018, said he looks forward to attending a Formula 1 race next year.

Some of the other NASCAR posts Ricciardo appeared in on Sunday are below.

Ricciardo also posted a couple photos to his Instagram story on Sunday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces he and wife Amy are expecting a girl

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. will retire from NASCAR into fatherhood.

The 14-time most popular driver announced via an Instagram post that he and his wife, Amy, are expecting a girl.

Earnhardt has five races remaining in his final full-time season in the Cup Series before joining the NBC Sports broadcast team in 2018.

Earnhardt said one of his peers actually had predicted the news six weeks ago, just after the couple had learned of the pregnancy.

Earnhardt’s family (personal and professional) also has embraced the news.

 

President Trump singles out NASCAR in anthem tweets; Dale Earnhardt Jr. supports peaceful protests

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President Donald Trump tweeted his support of NASCAR on Monday morning while Dale Earnhardt Jr. took a stance in favor of peaceful protests about 30 minutes later.

The 14-time most popular driver used a quote from John F. Kennedy in a tweet.

President Trump, who ignited a weekend controversy that involved anthem protests across professional sports when he said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during “The Star Spangled Banner”, singled out NASCAR and its supporters during a series of tweets this morning about the flag.

Team owners Richard Childress and Richard Petty both told reporters before Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway that they would fire team members who took a knee during the anthem as a show of protest.

Earnhardt cited comments by team owners when cautioned by a Twitter user about broaching the topic.

NASCAR issued a statement Monday afternoon.

“Sports are a unifying influence in our society, bringing people of differing backgrounds and beliefs together. Our respect for the national anthem has always been a hallmark of our pre-race events. Thanks to the sacrifices of many, we live in a country of unparalleled freedoms and countless liberties, including the right to peacefully express one’s opinion.”

During his weekly appearance on SiriusXM’s “The Morning Drive,” NASCAR senior vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell addressed whether NASCAR had a policy on respecting the anthem.

“I think it’s something that we’ve always talked about in the industry as a sport, if you look at our history, we’ve always as a sport demonstrated a respect for the American flag and the freedoms it represents,” O’Donnell said. “We celebrate the servicemen and women who have sacrificed to be part of that. That’s part of the sport. From our standpoint, we view ourselves as a sport and want to continue to celebrate the flag but respect others’ opinions.

“But going forward, that’s where we stand, and we’ll leave it at that and hope people can contribute or look at NASCAR as something to tune into on a Sunday and enjoy a sporting event.”

Brad Keselowski, who carries an American flag in his car during victory celebrations, also addressed the protests on Twitter late Sunday night.