Dale Earnhardt Jr Returns for His Annual NASCAR Xfinity Outing at Richmond Raceway

Published 09/08/2021, 11:06 AM EDT
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – APRIL 08: (EDITOR’S NOTE: Image was processed using digital filters.) Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)


At the end of the 2017 season, Dale Earnhardt Jr walked away from the Cup Series. However, this does not mean that the sport has seen the last of him in the paddock. He still plies his trade in the Xfinity Series on a part-time basis and is expected to make an appearance at Richmond.

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Recently, NASCAR unveiled the preliminary entry lists for the Xfinity Series race at the Richmond Raceway. It is worth noting that in the coming weekend, the Cup and Xfinity Series is hosting a doubleheader. This is also the penultimate race in the regular season before the Xfinity Playoffs commence. With this reveal, the NASCAR Hall of Famer will make his lone series start of 2021.

According to reports, the 46-year-old will pilot the #8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. In his Xfinity career, Dale Earnhardt Jr boasts of 24 wins, with his most recent one coming in April 2016 at Richmond. Considering that he is making his one-off appearance at the very same track, he could be a dark horse.

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There are other new faces on the grid alongside Dale Earnhardt Jr

On an interesting note, Dale Jr will not be the only new face on the Xfinity paddock. Patrick Emerling will hop into the #23 Our Motorsports Chevrolet. There are also a few Truck drivers, like John Hunter Nemechek, Josh Berry, and Akinori Ogata. Finally, part-time drivers Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer will complete the grid.

TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 25: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, reacts on pit road after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 25, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Of course, Dale Jr has nothing to lose, so he can simply go out on the track and enjoy himself. Whether he will win is anybody’s guess, but he will be certain to try his best. The coming race at the Richmond Raceway will be his 143rd race start, over a period of 25 years. Aside from him, the real battle will be between Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, and many more drivers.

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Dhruv George

11993 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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