|Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS, will be available to members of the media on Friday, Sept. 8, at 1:50 p.m. local time in the Richmond Raceway media center.
RICHMOND STATS: Among active drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one of four competitors tied for second with three NASCAR Cup Series victories at Richmond 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 0.75-mile, D-shaped oval, which he earned in September 2012. Richmond is another track where the driver of the No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS has shown his ability to pass, as he ranks fourth among active drivers in green-flag passes with 1,290 since 2005, according to NASCAR’s loop data statistics.
DOUBLE DUTY: For the second – and final – time this season, Earnhardt will be pulling double duty, driving the JR Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR XFINITY Series on Friday night in addition to the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday night. Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports will have five cars entered in Friday night’s XFINITY race. The last time he raced for his JR Motorsports team at Richmond (April 2016), he led 128 of 149 laps to bring home the victory, which also helped create another spike in his viral, banana-mayo sandwich Twitter campaign to raise over $158,000 for Blessings in a Backpack, a national, non-profit organization which packs food for school children who are at risk of going hungry on the weekends.
TEAL WHEEL AND SHOES: Earnhardt will be using a teal-and-gold steering wheel and wearing teal shoes this weekend at Richmond to promote ovarian and childhood cancer awareness. The teal-and-gold steering wheel, which will be autographed by Earnhardt after he races with it, will be auctioned off via The NASCAR Foundation to support the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation at Nas.cr/auctions. Earnhardt will continue to wear the teal shoes for the remainder of September before auctioning them off in support of ovarian cancer research online at http://www.ebay.com/usr/dalejrfoundation. For more, visit The Dale Jr. Foundation’s website.
HOMETOWN SUCCESS: Adam Jordan, interior mechanic for the No. 88 Axalta 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 had no 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.
VICTORY TOUR AND THE REDSKINS: ICYMI, Earnhardt stopped at Richmond Raceway for a Victory Tour appearance on Aug. 8 in advance of the track’s fall race weekend. The day started with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney presenting a proclamation to the 14-time most popular driver declaring Aug. 8 (8/8) “Dale Earnhardt Jr. Appreciation Day” in the City of Richmond. Earnhardt, a lifelong Washington Redskins fan, then gave five players – quarterback Kirk Cousins, cornerback Josh Norman, linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Will Compton, and right tackle and Richmond native Morgan Moses – a unique view of Richmond by driving them a few laps around the 0.75-mile, D-shaped oval in a two-seater No. 88 Axalta Chevrolet show car. After visiting with RICHMOND NATION members at the track, Earnhardt made his way to the Redskins training camp where he observed practice, chatted with the players and ran some plays as a wide receiver with Cousins and Norman. In other Redskins news, last Wednesday, Earnhardt announced at the Redskins’ 56th annual Welcome Home Luncheon that The Dale Earnhardt Jr. Foundation would be teaming up with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation to celebrate student achievement. Together the two foundations will re-design and create a state of the art library at a Washington, D.C., metro area elementary school. The school will be selected from the more than 140 schools actively participating in the Redskins Read Program and will be based on the students’ accomplishments in the program.