There are some expectations that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will pay tribute to his father’s first Cup start with a paint scheme for the August 31 Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway. Earnhardt Junior 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. He will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.
The 2019 car that is sponsored by Hellmann’s mirrors the blue and yellow scheme and has a similar font and re-creates the vintage style of the No. 8 on the door panels and roof. Earnhardt Jr. said in a statement that it was something he had wished to do for a while. They had the perfect opportunity with the Darlington throwback race, and he 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.
Earnhardt’s No. 8 was owned by Ed Negre, both a driver and car owner who made 338 Grand National starts between1955-79. There was sponsorship from 10,000 RPM Speed Equipment. 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 advice, 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 August 31 competition at Darlington is Earnhardt Junior’s only scheduled start for the year. His latest start was a fourth September 21 at Richmond Raceway.