|Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 40/1 to win at Richmond Sunday.|
“Richmond’s real slick. It’s really hard to get a hold of and hard to figure out exactly what line we’re running and where you need to put your car to get it to work. It’s been a bit of a challenge for us over the last couple of trips, but it should still be a fun race.”
Earnhardt on retiring
"I don't see myself really detaching from NASCAR. My intention is still to be involved in the sport on some level. In fact, I still have two XFINITY races to run for JR Motorsports in 2018, so even after this season is over, you've not seen the last of me on the racetrack. But more than that, I want to be a part of the future of this sport for many, many years to come."
No. 88 team crew chief Greg Ives on Earnhardt's retirement
“You’ve got to look at it as a blessing, in a way. I have the opportunity to be with Dale Jr. in the last races of his career. I think that’s the way everybody feels who touches this No. 88 Nationwide car.”
“We’re going to stay focused and keep on grinding away and have some fun while doing it.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m. local time in the Richmond International Raceway media center.
ON HIS OWN TERMS: After 18 seasons and more than 600 races behind the wheel, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will bring his NASCAR Cup Series driving career to a close at the conclusion of 2017. He discussed his decision in a press conference yesterday, mentioning that he felt blessed to be able to leave the sport on his own terms. To watch the full press conference, click here.
RICHMOND STATS: Among active drivers, Earnhardt is one of four competitors tied for second with three Cup victories at Richmond International Raceway. Earnhardt most recently went to Victory Lane at Richmond on May 6, 2006, after leading 47 laps. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has one pole at the three-quarter-mile, D-shaped oval, which he earned in September 2012. Richmond is another track where the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS has shown his ability to pass, as he ranks fifth among active drivers in green-flag passes with 1,184 since 2005, according to NASCAR’s loop data statistics.
GLOVES: Earnhardt will again be wearing his blue gloves this weekend at Richmond. The 42-year-old has been wearing them during the month of April, and his No. 88 Nationwide Chevy also featured Patient Champion Tristen Cooper’s name above the passenger door last week in Bristol. The blue-accented gloves will be auctioned off through The Dale Jr. Foundation’s Driven to Give Gloves program to raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s autism research. For more, visit TDJF’s website.
HOMETOWN SUCCESS STORY: Adam Jordan, interior mechanic for the No. 88 team, grew up in Timberville, Virginia, about two-and-a-half hours northwest of the racetrack. He was working as a painter at a body shop right out of high school, and happened to meet someone who was helping a race team in the Pro Cup Series, a traveling short-track racing series a step above late models. Jordan, who didn’t have any previous racing experience, started helping the team on weekends. When the crew chief of that car moved to North Carolina to start working for a NASCAR Cup Series team, he called Jordan to come down for an interview as a painter for his team. Jordan got the job, moved to Hendrick Motorsports a few years later, and the rest is history. In 2014, Jordan and the No. 88 team won the Daytona 500, which he names as his most memorable moment in NASCAR. Jordan’s success extends to his personal life as he recently married his wife Alexa in an outdoor ceremony on the Easter off-weekend.
ICYMI, DEW-S-A CAR UNVEILED: In case you missed it, last week Earnhardt’s new red, white and blue Mountain Dew “DEW-S-A” scheme was unveiled. He will drive the patriotic No. 88 DEW-S-A Chevrolet SS at Kansas Speedway on May 13. More will be coming soon on the DEW-S-A scheme, but in the meantime, click here for a look at Earnhardt’s new ride.
NCH VISIT: On Thursday, Earnhardt, along with his wife, Amy, and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, will visit Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Stay tuned to the Nationwide 88 social media channels and hendrickmotorsports.com tomorrow for highlights from the visit.