NASCAR legend’s return marks a key change from 2022

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR Xfinity Series (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR Xfinity Series (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is set to make his seventh NASCAR start since retiring from full-time Cup Series competition at the end of the 2017 season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. still hasn’t fully retired from NASCAR competition following his retirement from full-time Cup Series action following the 2017 season, having made one start in every Xfinity Series season since 2018 with sponsorship from Unilever’s Hellmann’s brand.

He competed at Richmond Raceway in 2018 and 2021, Darlington Raceway in 2019, Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2020, Martinsville Speedway in 2022, and Bristol Motor Speedway back in September.

But in 2023, he is set to do something he hasn’t done since 2017, and that is compete in multiple Xfinity Series races.

With sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops, the 15-time Most Popular Driver Award winner is set to make another start behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevrolet for the JR Motorsports team he co-owns with sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller. He is set to compete in this Saturday afternoon’s Contender Boats 300 at Homestead.

Considering the fact that Earnhardt considered a full retirement following his start at Homestead in June 2020, it is even more impressive that he is back in a car this week as he continues to search for his first NASCAR win since 2016. He came close at Bristol, but a late fire in his car knocked him out of contention.

FanDuel Sportsbook, which is giving a guaranteed $200 to all NASCAR fans who sign up and place a single $5 bet, lists Earnhardt at +1400 to win Saturday’s race, making him the ninth favorite.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has made six career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the track.

Four of those six starts resulted in top eight finishes. He recorded his top finish of second place back in 1999. In his most recent start at the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Homestead, Florida oval three years ago, he finished in fifth. A third place effort was his best in 17 Cup Series starts at the track, that coming in 2013.

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

The Contender Boats 300 is set to be broadcast on USA Network, not NBC as it was initially supposed to be. However, the race is still set to begin at 3:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 21. Start a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss it!