NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. confirms return, announces race location

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jr., JR Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jr., JR Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images) /

Dale Jr. is set to return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series again in 2023, and the location of one of his two starts has been confirmed.

Even after retiring from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition at the end of the 2017 season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. hasn’t been able to fully step away from racing.

Once per year since his retirement, Earnhardt has competed in an Xfinity Series race for the JR Motorsports team he co-owns along with his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller.

In 2018, he competed at Richmond Raceway. In 2019, he competed at Darlington Raceway. Then in 2020, when he hinted that he may be set for his final start, he competed at Homestead-Miami Speedway. However, he returned to Richmond Raceway in 2021, and he made his first career Xfinity Series start at Martinsville Speedway in 2022.

For the first time since 2017, Dale Jr. is set to compete in two NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2023.

From 2018 to 2022, he has been sponsored by Unilever’s Hellmann’s brand in his lone Xfinity Series start. The 48-year-old Kannapolis, North Carolina native is set to be sponsored by the brand again in 2023 after it was announced that Unilever would be returning to sponsor JR Motorsports for a 15th straight season, and the location of his start was announced on Tuesday.

Earnhardt is set to pilot the No. 88 Chevrolet in the September playoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway, where he last competed in August 2017. He won the Xfinity Series race there in August 2004, doing so on the same weekend he secured his lone Cup Series victory at the track.

Where Dale Jr. will make his other start remains unknown. He is set to do so thanks to a renewed and expanded partnership between JR Motorsports and longtime sponsor Bass Pro Shops.

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The 2023 season is set to be his 28th consecutive season of competing in NASCAR on some level, and it is set to be the 49th consecutive season of an Earnhardt competing in the sport.