The ‘Gray Ghost’ rides again for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in final Martinsville start

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive one of his old Nationwide Insurance paint schemes in his final Cup Series start at Martinsville Speedway.

Sort of.

Earnhardt announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon that a fan vote held by Nationwide had chosen his 2016 Southern 500 “Gray Ghost” paint scheme for the Oct. 29 race at Martinsville.

But due to a concussion that forced Earnhardt to miss the final 18 races of last season, Jeff Gordon wound up driving the car at Darlington Raceway.

The “Gray Ghost” scheme, a tribute to a car driven by Buddy Baker, beat out seven other old Nationwide paint schemes Earnhardt has actually driven.

“I wanted to make sure that all the fans that voted know I really appreciate it,” Earnhardt said in a Twitter video. “Yes, I was a little envious (of Gordon). It is a paint scheme I really, really like and I just never got a chance to run it. This goes out to all the fans for voting. I have only you to thank.”