DARLINGTON, S.C. — In an exclusive interview Wednsday with Marty Snider of NBC Sports (above), Dale Earnhardt Jr. discussed the throwback paint scheme his No. 88 Chevrolet will sport in the Southern 500.
Earnhardt’s car, which was unveiled Wednesday at Darlington Raceway, will be a tribute to the 1979-80 “Gray Ghost” piloted by legendary driver and broadcaster Buddy Baker, who died of cancer last August. Earnhardt has said it’s his favorite paint scheme in the history of NASCAR.
In the interview with Snider, Earnhardt said the throwback theme of the Southern 500 is gaining traction in its second year after a smashing debut with the 2015 Southern 500 marking the signature event’s return to Labor Day weekend. Earnhardt’s No. 88 is one of three teams that unveiled their special schemes for the Sept. 4 race.
“Now that everyone understands what the idea is, people are going to get so creative,” Earnhardt said. “I’m looking forward to going through the garage area when the race is here to see what everyone has got.”
During the interview, the Hendrick Motorsports driver also reviewed his success in 2016, his growing relationship with crew chief Greg Ives and the reaction to his banana and mayonnaise sandwich that went viral.
Click above to watch the video.
Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.
JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.
John Hunter Nemechek remains the points leader after 13 races. He has a 14-point lead on Hill. Nemechek leads Allgaier by 44 points.
Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.
JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.
Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.
Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.
Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed
STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.
NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).
Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.
It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.
Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.
Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.
Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger
STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.
NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)
Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.
Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.
Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.
The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.