Sport Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces his lone NASCAR race of 2021, will drive 9/11 tribute paint scheme

23:25  04 may  2021
23:25  04 may  2021 Source:   ftw.usatoday.com

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Since retiring in 2017 from racing full-time in NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has returned to the track and gotten behind the wheel for one second-tier Xfinity Series race a season, competing for his own team, JR Motorsports.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. looking at the camera © Provided by For The Win

And Tuesday, Earnhardt and his team announced his lone Xfinity start for the 2021 season: The Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway in the fall. NASCAR’s 15-time most popular driver will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet, but this time, he’ll have a different sponsor on the car.

The Xfinity Series’ only Richmond race on the schedule falls on Saturday, September 11, so on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, 46-year-old Earnhardt will run a special blue and white United for America paint scheme honoring the victims of 9/11.

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In the video announcement explaining the paint scheme, Earnhardt said:

“This race is on September 11 — a date that lives forever in our hearts and in our minds, not just for the unimaginable tragedy we experienced but for the way our country united. We all remember what we were feeling in the aftermath of that day, how we as a nation rallied around each other and the phrase ‘united we stand’ was more than just a slogan. We will never forget the sacrifices of those heroic first responders — the firefighters, the police officers, the medical professionals, the volunteers — who all put others above themselves. …

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“Today we face new challenges that test the resolve of our nation, which means the lessons of 9/11 are as important today as they were 20 years ago. Those lessons — to unite, to take care of each other, support our frontline heroes and commit to helping our communities recover, rebuild and reimagine their futures.”

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More about Earnhardt’s paint scheme for the September race via JR Motorsports:

In the spirit of remembrance and reverence, Earnhardt Jr.’s United for America Chevrolet will mirror the 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s Tribute in Light, a powerful tradition that began in 2002 in New York. On the night of Sept. 11, from dusk to dawn, twin beams extend four miles into the sky above Manhattan, reflecting the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. The No. 8’s blue-and-white paint scheme similarly features four spotlights each representing the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the Flight 93 Memorial site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania with the axiom “Never Forget” on the lower-rear quarter panel, paying tribute to the brave souls lost during the terror attacks.

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Following Earnhardt’s retirement from full-time racing, he’s competed in three once-annual Xfinity races for JR Motorsports, and this will be his second time competing at Richmond since ending his full-time career after finishing fourth in 2018. He also came in fifth at both Darlington Raceway in 2019 and Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2020.

After Dale Jr.’s top-5 finish in June at Homestead, he speculated that it might have been his last race and needed to gauge whether he was “helping things or I’m not helping the team.” At the time, he said in part:

“I don’t know how many more of these I’ll do. This might be the last one. And this ain’t no tease or anything like that.”

While Earnhardt said last year he’s definitely not looking to do more than a single race each year, JR Nation is surely thrilled he’s not quite done racing yet.

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usr: 1
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