Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s NASCAR Cup series career will come full circle on Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
During a program on QVC, Earnhardt revealed his No. 88 Chevrolet will look just like the No. 8 Budweiser car he drove in five Cup starts in 1999 and then full-time in 2000.
Designed by famed artist Sam Bass, the Axalta-sponsored car has the exact same color codes of the Budweiser car. Wednesday night was the first time Earnhardt had seen the completed car in person.
“This is incredible to see it first hand,” Earnhardt said. “I’ve been involved in the design process going forward, but I haven’t seen the car. I’ve only seen some sheets of metal and choosing the proper paint codes and all that stuff and seeing it on paper. This brings back a lot of memories.”
Earnhardt made his first start with the paint scheme in the 1999 Coca-Cola 600, starting eighth and finishing 16th. He would earn his first Cup win the following April at Texas Motor Speedway.
Earnhardt would be sponsored by Budweiser and drive the No. 8 until he left Dale Earnhardt Inc. for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008.
The driver explained the extra effort that went into making sure the paint scheme was faithful to the original.
“We actually talked to some of the guys on the team to get the proper paint codes so that we knew that we were doing the right thing and doing this from the top to the bottom as good as we possibly could,” Earnhardt said. “It was important to me that the car replicated the actual race cars as close as possible. Sam was incredibly involved in the design back in the late 90s. He was involved in the designs of a lot of our cars and him and my father were great friends. Sam did do a lot of these designs at DEI … He’s designed our Axalta car that we run this year.”
CONCORD, N.C. — Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott were involved in a big crash midway through Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and each blamed the other.
Elliott’s car slapped the outside wall near the start-finish line, and his car made contact with Hamlin’s Toyota, sending Hamlin slamming into the wall. The front end of Hamlin’s car was smashed. Elliott’s Chevrolet also was damaged.
Both drivers parked for the evening, and neither was happy.
Hamlin said Elliott had a “tantrum” and said he should be suspended from next week’s race.
“I got right-rear hooked in the middle of the straightway,” Hamlin said. “Yes, it was a tantrum. He shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”
Elliott had a different view.
“The 11 (Hamlin) put me in the fence, and once you take the right sides off these things it’s kind of over,” he said. “Once you hit the wall in these things, you can’t drive them any more.”
Elliott denied intentionally hitting Hamlin, saying the crash was “unfortunate circumstances.”
CONCORD, N.C. — Despite an improving forecast, rain continued to plague NASCAR and its drivers Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The twice-rescheduled Xfinity Series race was stopped twice because of weather Monday after finally getting the green flag, and the conclusion of the 300-mile race was postponed until after the completion of Monday’s rescheduled 600-mile Cup Series race.
Forty-eight of the race’s scheduled 200 laps were completed before weather and the impending scheduled start of the Cup race intervened.
When (or if) the race resumes Monday night, it will be broadcast by FS2, the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
After two days of soaking rains, the longest race on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is set for a 3 p.m. ET start Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 600-mile marathon was scheduled for a 6:21 p.m. start Sunday, but persistent rain forced a postponement to Memorial Day.
A look at the Monday Cup schedule:
Details for Monday’s Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
(All times Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:12 p.m. by USO official Barry Morris and retired drivers Jeff Burton, Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte. … The green flag is scheduled to be waved at 3:23 p.m.
PRERACE: Driver introductions are scheduled at 2:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given by retired Air Force Master Sergeant Monty Self at 3 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Elizabeth Marino at 3:04 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 400 laps (600 miles) on the 1.5-mile track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 100. Stage 2 ends at Lap 200. Stage 3 ends at Lap 300.
Charlotte Motor Speedway’s rescheduled NASCAR Xfinity Series race is set for an 11 a.m. start Monday.
The race originally was scheduled Saturday, but was postponed by weather to noon Monday. After Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 Cup Series race also was postponed to Monday, the Xfinity Series race was moved to an 11 a.m. start.
A look at the Monday Xfinity schedule:
Details for Monday’s Xfinity race at Charlotte Motor Speedway
(All times Eastern)
START: The command to start engines will be given at 11:01 a.m. by representatives of race sponsor Alsco Uniforms … The green flag is scheduled to be waved at 11:12 a.m.
PRERACE: Xfinity garage opened at 8 a.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 90.