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NASCAR Cup: Dale Earnhardt Jr. to drive Brickyard 400 pace car

FORT WORTH, TX – NOVEMBER 05: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide/Justice League Chevrolet, signs autographs for fans before the Driver/Crew Chief Meeting prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on November 5, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Dale Earnhardt Jr. maybe retired as a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver, but he’ll lead the field to the green flag for the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard on Sept. 9 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On Wednesday, IMS announced Earnhardt as the pace car driver for the 2018 edition of the NASCAR Cup Series race at the storied track.

“I am honored that Chevrolet asked me to drive the Camaro ZL1 pace car in one of the biggest races of the year,” Earnhardt said. “The fan in me was already looking forward to this event. It’s a big race. There is a lot at stake since it’s the final chance for the teams and drivers to make the playoffs, so I hope to do a good job leading the field to the green flag, but I can promise you I’ll soak in every minute and enjoy the Brickyard in a way I never have before.”

Earnhardt, who retired from full-time NASCAR competition as a driver at the end of last season, made 17 starts in the Brickyard 400, resulting in five top-10s and a best finish of fourth in 2012.

“Dale Jr. will enjoy a unique and exciting race day this year at the Brickyard,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. “He’s leading the field to the green flag of one of the most prestigious races on the calendar, and then, he’ll head right to the booth to offer his insightful analysis for NBC Sports. Everyone at IMS and all of our loyal fans can’t wait to welcome back one of the most admired drivers to ever turn a wheel at IMS, and his role as pace car driver adds even more excitement to our action-packed week of racing, music and family fun.”

Since his retirement, Earnhardt has transitioned into a NASCAR TV analyst for NBC Sports.

After two-consecutive NASCAR Busch (now-Xfinity) Series championships in 1998 and 1999, Earnhardt’s Cup Series career began with part-time status in 1999, and he went full-time in the series in 2000. The 15-time Most Popular Driver won 26 times in 631-career Cup Series starts. His career-stats also include149 top-fives and 260 top-10 finishes driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Hendrick Motorsports.

“We are proud that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the Camaro ZL1 Pace Car for the Brickyard 400,” Chevrolet CAR and Crossover Marketing Director Steve Majoros said. “It will be special to have a longtime partner like Dale Jr. behind the wheel of the ZL1 as Chevrolet paces this special race for the 25th time.”

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Posted by on August 16, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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