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NASCAR Cup: Dale Jr. to drive 2019 Daytona 500 pace truck

TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 15: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Mountain Dew Chevrolet, waves to the crowd on his driver introduction lap prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 15, 2017 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will return to the track at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February, but he won’t be racing. Instead, he’ll pace the field of the 2019 Daytona 500, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season opener, on Feb. 17. He’ll be the honorary pace car driver, behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Silverado.

“I’ve had a lot of fun and a lot of success at Daytona over the years, and now I can’t wait to get out on that track in a Silverado,” Earnhardt said. “Away from the track, I’ve driven Chevy trucks all my life, and I’m excited to have this unique experience of pacing the Daytona 500 with the Silverado.”

Earnhardt, who retired from competition as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver at the end of the 2017 season, is a two-time Daytona 500 winner, winning the NASCAR marquee race in 2004 and 2014. Earnhardt has four points-paying Cup Series wins at Daytona, also winning the July 4 weekend race there twice.

“Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the perfect choice to pace the race because of his enthusiasm for the sport, his long history with Chevrolet and his love of trucks,” Chevrolet US Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell said. “It’ll be exciting to have Dale lead the field to green in the strongest, most advanced Silverado ever.”

Earnhardt competed in 36 Cup Series points-paying races at DIS, resulting in 13 top-fives and 19 top-10 finishes, including his four wins. He also has wins in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and non-points-paying Cup wins in the Clash exhibition race and Daytona 500 qualifying races at Daytona.

Since retiring as a Cup Series driver, Earnhardt has transitioned into a broadcasting career with NBC and continues as co-owner of JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series.

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Posted by on December 13, 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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