Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Testing No. 88 JR Motorsports Late Model Stock at Florence Motor Speedway

Photo Credit: Karly Wertz (@kwertz_55 on Twitter)

UPDATE: November 19, 2020 — 5:30 PM ET

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has confirmed that he will not enter Saturday’s South Carolina 400 late model event. On his Instagram, Earnhardt says he had a great time turning laps and connecting with old friends at Florence Motor Speedway.

UPDATE: November 19, 2020 — 5:00 PM ET

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended the practice session tied for fifth-quickest in the No. 88 JR Motorsports Late Model Stock at Florence Motor Speedway on Thursday.

According to timing and scoring on the app Race Monitor, 31 drivers turned laps in Thursday’s practice at the 0.400-mile short track in South Carolina. Earnhardt turned a total of 33 laps in the session and had a quick time of 17.887 sec., which was 0.234 sec. behind the quick time set by Sam Yarbrough.

Matt Craig, Brendan Queen and Sammy Smith were the other drivers to clock in a lap faster than Earnhardt’s in the session. Casey Kelley turned the exact same laptime as Earnhardt (17.887 sec.).

As of now, Earnhardt is not on the entry list for the South Carolina 400, which takes place this weekend (updated entry list from Short Track Scene), and Josh Berry is currently listed as the driver of the No. 8 JR Motorsports late model for the event. Earnhardt was driving the No. 88 on Thursday, while Berry, who was 11th-fastest on Thursday, drove a No. 8 JR Motorsports late model.

Berry will of course drive a partial schedule in the No. 8 JR Motorsports NASCAR Xfinity Series car during the 2021 season.

ORIGINAL STORY: November 19, 2020 — 3:44 PM ET

Well, here is something quite interesting. On Thursday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. hopped behind the wheel of the JR Motorsports No. 88 Late Model at Florence Motor Speedway in South Carolina to run some laps, according to Karly Wertz who is at the track today.

At the time of this post, Josh Berry is scheduled to drive the No. 8 in this week’s South Carolina 400 late model event (here is the current entry list for the South Carolina 400), but Earnhardt is not currently on the entry list. If he doesn’t end up racing the South Carolina 400, Earnhardt being behind the wheel on Thursday could signal that he is showing an interest in some late model events in the near future.

According to timing and scoring of the session, Earnhardt has currently turned 22 laps and is 14th-quickest in the practice out of 28 who have turned laps. Earnhardt’s best lap so far is an 18.208 sec. circuit, which is 0.289 of a second slower than the fastest lap, which was turned by Robert Powell. Berry is currently second-fastest in the session.

The session is still ongoing.

Karly Wertz also shared short video clips of Earnhardt driving the No. 88 on track:

NASCAR Roots also shared photos of Earnhardt at the practice session:

Earnhardt, who is a member of the Class of 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame, won two NASCAR Xfinity Series championships in 1998 and 1999 and he also captured 26 victories in the NASCAR Cup Series. Earnhardt currently runs one race per year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and is also an analyst for NBC Sports. Of course, Earnhardt also owns the JR Motorsports race team.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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