A NASCAR legend has set the date for his return to the track. 15-time Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has revealed that he will get back behind the wheel of the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro on Sept. 11 for an Xfinity Series race at Richmond. He will use the opportunity to honor 9/11 victims with a special paint scheme.
JR Motorsports broke the news with a special video highlighting the paint scheme. Earnhardt explained that he will partner with Unilever to bring the scheme to life as part of the organization’s United for America campaign. Unilever created this campaign in May 2020 to serve the people and communities most impacted by the pandemic while providing supplies to frontline workers.
— JR Motorsports (@JRMotorsports) May 4, 2021
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since that terrible day,” Earnhardt said in a press release. “The spirit of unity and togetherness our country felt on Sept. 11 is just as relevant now as it was then. I’m honored to be driving this car, and championing Unilever’s United for America program.”
This pairing marks the third time that JR Motorsports works with Unilever’s United for America campaign. Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier previously brought attention to first responders providing care in the wake of COVID-19.
The paint scheme will represent the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s “Tribute in Light”
The No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro will feature a blue and white paint scheme that represents the spotlight tribute that first began in 2002. On the night of Sept. 11, twin beams extend four miles into the sky above Manhattan. These lights represent the shape and the orientation of the Twin Towers, and they remain from dusk to dawn.
The paint scheme will feature these spotlights, along with two others, to represent the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the Flight 93 Memorial site in Shanksville, PA. The phrase “Never Forget” will cover the lower rear quarter panel and will pay tribute “to the brave souls lost during the terror attacks.”
The paint scheme will prominently feature the Never Forget Fund on the vehicle’s decklid. The foundation, created by the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, has the goal of raising awareness and educating the next generation on “America’s capacity to unify, heal and show gratitude in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy.”
Earnhardt has run a limited schedule since retiring
A former two-time Xfinity Series champion, Earnhardt has not raced a full schedule in any series since retiring at the end of the 2017 season. He walked away from the top Cup Series with 26 wins and 149 top-fives to his name and joined the NBC Sports booth. Though Earnhardt has continued to make annual starts in the Xfinity Series.
Since the year 2001, Earnhardt has started at least one Xfinity race, adding another 11 wins to his overall mark. He ran nine races in 2008, the most since his back-to-back championships in 1998 and 1999, but has only started one race each year since 2018. His best finish in this stretch was fourth place at Richmond, which he paired with fifth-place finishes at Darlington and Homestead-Miami.
Earnhardt last won an Xfinity Series race in 2016. He headed to Richmond Raceway with his fellow drivers for the ToyotaCare 250. He led 128 of the 140 laps, holding off such names as Daniel Suarez, Cole Custer, Ty Dillon, and Brad Keselowski to take the checkered flag. Now he will have another opportunity to reach Victory Lane while honoring 9/11 victims.
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