Two-time Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive Kyle Larson‘s Cup car during this week’s organizational test at Daytona International Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports announced Monday morning.
It will be Earnhardt’s second time in the Next Gen car. He ran about 50 laps in a Next Gen car in October at Bowman Gray Stadium after a Goodyear tire test with Tony Stewart.
The NASCAR on NBC analyst, who won the Daytona 500 in 2004 and ’14, last raced at Daytona International Speedway in 2017. That was his final full-time Cup season. Earnhardt will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Jan. 21.
The opportunity for Earnhardt to take part in the test Tuesday and Wednesday is because Larson is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week to defend his Chili Bowl Nationals title.
Four-car teams, such as Hendrick Motorsports, are allowed to have two teams at an organizational test. William Byron will join Earnhardt at the test. Hendrick drivers Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman also are competing at the Chili Bowl Nationals this week.
Since retiring from full-time competition, Earnhardt has run at least one Xfinity race a season. He is scheduled to compete in the April 8 Xfinity race at Martinsville Speedway.