Earnhardt Reveals Darlington Xfinity Throwback

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s throwback scheme for Darlington Raceway in August. (JRM Photo)

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Hellmann’s and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have unveiled a special paint scheme that will appear on the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro Earnhardt will drive at Darlington Raceway on Aug. 31 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 8 Hellmann’s Chevrolet draws inspiration from the same classic design his father, Dale Earnhardt, piloted in his first NASCAR Cup Series start on May 25, 1975 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 2019 version mirrors the blue and yellow livery, showcases a similar font and recreates the vintage style of the No. 8 on the door panels and roof.

“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while,” Earnhardt said. “We had the perfect opportunity with the Darlington throwback race and I couldn’t pass up the chance. Hellmann’s has been completely supportive from the beginning and the whole concept aligns well with their core values.”

With the project combining NASCAR history and car design, two of Earnhardt’s passions, the appeal and significance of the commemorative paint scheme is evident given its intriguing backstory.

Carrying sponsorship from 10,000 RPM Speed Equipment, the elder Earnhardt’s No. 8 was owned by Ed Negre, both a driver and car owner who made 338 Grand National starts between 1955-79. Negre’s son Norman worked as an engine builder for his father and the Negre Racing Team and was a close friend of Earnhardt. In 1975, after some persuasion, the pair convinced the elder Negre to let them enter a second car, which Earnhardt would drive and Norman would crew chief in the World 600. With his approval, the two dusted off a spare car out of Negre’s shop and went to work prepping it for the race.

Earnhardt would go on to finish 22nd in what was his first of 676 series starts. It was the start of long and fruitful motorsport careers for both he and Norman and the beginning of another chapter in their respective family legacies.

“It was a ton of fun getting Norman (Negre) in on it, too,” the younger Earnhardt said. “He was good friends with Dad and they worked together to get that car ready for the race back in the day. Norman had some old pictures of that ride and we collaborated to get the paint scheme as close as we could to the original. I’m really happy with how it turned out.”

The No. 8 Hellmann’s throwback car marks the fourth time Earnhardt has driven a special paint scheme in tribute to an Earnhardt family member.