Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dale Earnhardt Jr. looking for first Bristol win since 2004

Dale Earnhardt Jr, runner-up last week, is 18/1 to win at Bristol Sunday.
Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr. 
Hometown: Kannapolis, North Carolina
Age: 41 
Resides: Mooresville, North Carolina

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media at 1:30 p.m. local time on Friday, April 15, in the Bristol Motor Speedway media center.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Bristol
“We’re excited about how good our cars are – (No. 88 team crew chief) Greg (Ives) is doing an awesome job, and so is the whole team. They are putting some great cars on the racetrack. I’m looking forward to the next several weeks. I love racing at Bristol. I always look forward to racing there. There’s just no other track like it.”

BRISTOL STATS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. has earned one victory at Bristol Motor Speedway, which came in August 2004 when he led 295 laps en route to capturing the checkered flag. The driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS has been running at the finish of 30 of the 32 (93.8 percent) races he has entered at Bristol. He has also completed 15,549 of 16,027 laps (97 percent) in his 32 starts. Earnhardt has completed the most green-flag passes (1,202) among all active competitors in the last 10 years according to NASCAR's loop data statistics. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native is tied for the second-best average finish among all drivers in the last 22 Cup races at Bristol. Earnhardt, who recorded 10 top-10s during that span, has an average finish of 12.0.

PATIENT CHAMPION AIDEN: Through The Dale Jr. Foundation’s Driven to Give Gloves program, 8-year-old Aiden VanWagner will have his name featured above the passenger door of Earnhardt’s No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet this weekend. Aiden was diagnosed with autism at an early age but under the care of Nationwide Children's Hospital's (NCH) Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Aiden has received individualized and comprehensive interventions and is enjoying school in a mainstream classroom. The Driven to Give Gloves program has been revamped for 2016 and focuses on four NCH Patient Champions. This month, Earnhardt is wearing gloves accented in blue, representing autism. Earnhardt’s race-worn gloves will be auctioned off to raise funds for NCH’s clinical and research programs. NCH is America’s largest pediatric hospital and research center with all care provided regardless of a family’s ability to pay. All four 2016 NCH Patient Champions will be attending the Kentucky Speedway race as special guests of Earnhardt and the No. 88 team.

NASCAR MPD WELCOMES NFL MVP: Earnhardt, NASCAR’s 13-time Most Popular Driver, will welcome fellow Nationwide spokesman and five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning to his first NASCAR experience for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Manning, Tennessee’s proverbial hometown football hero, has been named honorary race official of the 500-lap event at Bristol. As an honorary race official, the legendary quarterback will accompany Earnhardt during driver introductions and experience the World’s Fastest Half Mile from Earnhardt’s pit box on Sunday.

Earnhardt on Peyton Manning coming to Bristol
“It's pretty awesome that Peyton Manning is coming out to Bristol. I think he's going to enjoy watching the race there because it's such an amazing racetrack. It's awesome to have a legend like him coming to participate and enjoy our sport. He's going to enjoy his experience, I'm sure, and we're excited to have him.”

NATIONWIDE CELEBRATES 90 YEARS AND THROWBACKS: Earnhardt will race a throwback No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 4. While he races the throwback paint scheme -- which will be unveiled Wednesday, April 13 -- to honor NASCAR’s storied heritage, the scheme is also a way for Nationwide to pay homage to its own past. On April 14, Nationwide will celebrate its 90th year as a company. Earnhardt’s paint scheme features colors and logos used by Nationwide during the same era. The unveil will be streamed live on NASCAR.com Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET. For details on the media-only event, please contact Tiffany Daniels.

#DALEJRSANDWICH: Earnhardt’s favorite banana and mayo sandwich went viral last week when he tweeted a picture of it from a Hellmann’s photo shoot. After realizing how much attention the sandwich was getting, the driver came up with an idea to use it to do something positive. He and his teams at JR Motorsports and The Dale Jr. Foundation created a website called DaleJrSandwich.com where people can donate money that will benefit Blessings in a Backpack – a national, non-profit organization that packs food for school children who are at risk of going hungry on the weekends. The site will remain live until April 23 when Earnhardt competes in the XFINITY race at Richmond in the No. 88 Hellmann’s Chevy. He has pledged to match up to $50,000 before donating it in full to Blessings in a Backpack, and Hellmann’s has agreed to match it with another $50,000. Total donations to date total almost $35,000. This weekend, Bristol Motor Speedway will be selling the “Dale Jr. Sandwich” for $4 with $1 from each sandwich sold going to The Dale Jr. Foundation.

Earnhardt on the 'Dale Jr. Sandwich
“We had that sandwich tweet go viral. We’ve eaten that sandwich all of our lives – it’s a banana sandwich that you put a little bit of mayo on. It’s pretty easy and pretty good. I just took a picture of it and put it on social media and that thing went crazy. After it went viral, we decided to try to take advantage of that attention and raise some money for Blessings in a Backpack, which is a national non-profit organization that we’ve worked with for a long time at The Dale Jr. Foundation. We saw it as a great opportunity to try to raise more money than we have in the past. I pledged $50,000; I challenged the fans, our supporters and people online to donate an additional $50,000; and Hellmann’s stepped up with an additional $50,000. As of today, the fans have raised almost $35,000 and we have plenty of time left before we get to Richmond in two weeks.”

2016 Season

  • 6th in standings
  • 7 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 3 top-five finishes
  • 4 top-10 finishes
  • 49 laps led


  • 584 starts
  • 26 wins
  • 13 pole positions
  • 146 top-five finishes
  • 250 top-10 finishes
  • 8,183 laps led

Track Career 

  • 32 starts
  • 1 win
  • 0 pole positions
  • 7 top-five finishes
  • 15 top-10 finishes
  • 790 laps led

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