The Daytona International Speedway crowd got a double treat of sorts on Tuesday – a chance to preview the new NASCAR Cup Series Next Gen cars before the Daytona 500 and a chance to watch one of the sport’s most popular drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr., drive around one of his favorite tracks.
Earnhardt is filling in for newly-crowned NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet during the two-day Next Gen Test at the track. The 47-year-old two-time Daytona 500 winner is set to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame next weekend, but was eager to take this opportunity to try out the series’ new car.
“Just trying to learn everything we can,” Earnhardt said.
“It’s been fun and a great learning experience,” said Earnhardt, who said he had originally planned to be down in Florida for the test as an observer – expecting to gain some knowledge to help in his role as a race broadcaster for NBC Sports.
“But the chance to be behind the wheel is even better,” he said. “I’m enjoying it. It’s been fun.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!