Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced Tuesday the creation of the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and the Dale Jr. Foundation made a contribution of $88,888.88.
The Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund will aid pediatric injury rehabilitation and research and prevention at America’s largest pediatric hospital and research center.
“Amy and I are incredibly proud to make this announcement and to continue to be involved with Nationwide Children’s Hospital as I step away from racing,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in a statement. “These children and their families go through so much during rehabilitation, and pediatric injury research is really underfunded. We want to support them and give hope to children everywhere by speeding research discoveries and being an advocate for this important issue of injury prevention. This also allows us to grow and expand the mission of The Dale Jr. Foundation, which is to help children in need and see them achieve their full potential.”
MORE: Wish upon a star: Dale Jr.’s dedication to ill children leaves lasting impact
“The Dale Jr. Foundation is excited to join Dale Jr. and Amy in launching this long-term relationship with Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports and vice-president of The Dale Jr. Foundation. “This is an opportunity to spread our mission by helping children through an organization that has such a national impact. This marries so well with our ongoing commitment to help organizations of all sizes, both here in Charlotte and across America.”
“On behalf of all the patients, families and staff at Nationwide Children’s Hospital we send our deepest gratitude to Dale Jr., Amy and everyone supporting this vitally important Fund,” said Steve Allen, MD, CEO of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Dale Jr. is a beloved NASCAR champion but many of his biggest fans are here on the floors of Nationwide Children’s. He and Amy have a special place in our hearts and this Fund will create a legacy that helps children for generations to come. Their involvement will help us continue our mission to help kids everywhere and support life-saving research and advocacy in pediatric injury.”
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.”
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.
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. 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.