OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA (Feb. 22, 2019) – Dale Earnhardt Jr. has announced that he will compete in Darlington Raceway’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 race, scheduled for Saturday, August 31 (4 p.m. live on NBC and MRN), at the track Too Tough To Tame.
“There are many things I love about Darlington that contributed to my decision to run there this year, but the main reason is the track surface,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I love races where you have to be smart and manage your tires. Darlington is slick, and it wears out tires. It’s one of the few stops on the circuit that provides that challenge.”
Earnhardt Jr., who retired from full-time competition in 2017, will race in just his second NASCAR-sanctioned event since his retirement after competing at Richmond Raceway in their XFINITY Series race in Sept. of 2018 (he finished fourth).
“It will mean a lot to me in the same way it meant a lot to me at Richmond last year,” Earnhardt Jr. continued. “The only expectation I bring into the weekend is to give the fans their money’s worth. Otherwise it’s no pressure, maximum fun. It’s not about the results anymore; it’s about the experience. Make no mistake though – I’m going to try to win.”
Earnhardt Jr. will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 with support from his longtime sponsor Hellmann’s. As for what his special throwback paint scheme will be for the race? Earnhardt Jr. knows, and his fans will know soon enough.
“Hellmann’s is once again the primary sponsor, and I will drive the No. 8. I had an idea for a throwback scheme, but with this being my only race I knew it would’ve been justified for Hellmann’s to prefer a current scheme. They supported my idea, and I am thankful. Together with Hellmann’s we will unveil the car in the next month or so. I will say this – it’s not going to be a throwback to anything I’ve ever driven myself,” he said.
Earnhardt Jr. has never been shy about his love and support of Darlington’s throwback weekend, having competed with a special retro-style throwback paint scheme in all three years he raced in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition from 2015-17 (he did not compete in the 2016 event due to a concussion. Jeff Gordon raced his special scheme for him).
The track introduced its throwback campaign, which celebrates the history and heritage of the sport, the same year it returned to its beloved Labor Day weekend date in 2015.
Earnhardt Jr. hasn’t competed in XFINITY Series competition at Darlington Raceway since 1999. He has competed in four total NXS races at the Lady in Black, two in both 1998 and 1999, when the track hosted two NXS races per season. His career-best XFINITY Series finish at Darlington came in September of 1998, when he placed second.
“We are thrilled to have Dale Earnhardt Jr. race in our NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 event at Darlington Raceway,” Kerry Tharp, track president said. “Dale has a tremendous amount of passion for Darlington and we are all excited to see what kind of special throwback paint scheme he will run at the track Too Tough To Tame. Fans don’t get many opportunities to see him race, so it will be something special to see on August 31.”
Tickets for the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 race are available now for purchase by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting www.DarlingtonRaceway.com.
You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DarlingtonRaceway and on Twitter atTwitter.com/TooToughToTame. Fans are encouraged to post their Bojangles’ Southern 500 stories and memories at, #BojanglesSo500 and #SportClips200.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.