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.”