Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finally confirmed where he is set to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series start later in the 2021 season.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced last October that he would be making another one-off appearance in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports, the team he co-owns, this season, but he did not announce which race.
Earnhardt, the 15-time Most Popular Driver Award winner who retired from full-time Cup Series competition after the 2017 season, has competed in one Xfinity Series race per year since stepping away from full-time competition.
When asked in November by Beyond the Flag about where he would compete, Earnhardt hinted that it would be at one of the tracks where he has competed since then.
“It’s somewhere that I’ve raced before in the last couple of years,” he said. “I’m sure some of you guys can kind of guess where it might be.”
He has now confirmed that he is set to drive the #8 Chevrolet in the Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway on Saturday, September 11 with a special 9/11 tribute paint scheme from Unilever.
Unilever and JR Motorsports announced in October that they would be continuing their partnership in 2021, marking 13 straight seasons of working together, and Earnhardt had said that needing time for activation was one of the reasons why he couldn’t yet disclose the location of his Xfinity Series start.
“They need a little bit of time to sort of activate the sponsorship and get their money’s worth, and we need to allow them to be able to maximize that,” he explained. “For what we ask of them, they deserve that much from us.”
Earnhardt competed at Richmond Raceway in 2018 and finished in fourth place.
He then finished in fifth place at Darlington Raceway in 2019 and fifth at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year.
Sam Mayer is set to drive the #8 Chevrolet full-time starting with the race at Pocono Raceway in late June, since he is set to turn 18 years old on Saturday, June 26. So this race at Richmond Raceway will be the only one of the final 18 races on this year’s schedule in which he is not slated to compete.
Josh Berry is set to run the remain oval races behind the wheel of the #8 Chevrolet before Mayer’s 18th birthday, and Miguel Paludo is set to run the remaining road course races in the car before then.
The Go Bowling 250 is set to be broadcast live from Richmond Raceway on NBC Sports Network beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 11.