Dale Earnhardt Jr. to drive father’s first Cup scheme in Darlington Xfinity race

JR Motorsports
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. will pay tribute to his father’s first Cup start with a paint scheme for the Aug. 31 Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway.

Earnhardt Jr., who will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, will have a scheme based on the No. 8 driven by Dale Earnhardt in his Cup debut on May 25, 1975 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The 2019 car, sponsored by Hellmann’s, mirrors the blue and yellow scheme, has a similar font and re-creates the vintage style of the No. 8 on the door panels and roof.

“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while,” Earnhardt Jr. said in a release. “We had the perfect opportunity with the Darlington throwback race, and I couldn’t pass up the chance. Hellmann’s has been completely supportive from the beginning, and the whole concept aligns well with their core values.”

With sponsorship from 10,000 RPM Speed Equipment, Earnhardt’s No. 8 was owned by Ed Negre, both a driver and car owner who made 338 Grand National starts between 1955-79.

Negre’s son Norman worked as an engine builder for his father and the Negre Racing Team and was a close friend of Earnhardt. After some persuasion, the pair convinced the elder Negre to let them enter a second car at Charlotte, where Earnhardt finished 22nd in his first of 676 starts.

The Aug. 31 race at Darlington is Earnhardt Jr.’s only scheduled start for the year. His most recent start was a fourth Sept. 21 at Richmond Raceway.