Dale Earnhardt Jr. Receives His Father’s Classic Chevrolet Monte Carlo Prior to His Final NASCAR Race
The staff at the Talladega Superspeedway prepared a special farewell gift for one of NASCAR's most legendary drivers
Yesterday marked the ending of an era for the world of NASCAR racing, as legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. embarked on his official final laps as a NASCAR Driver at the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. While Earnhardt did not drive away with a victory during his final race, instead finishing with a solid seventh place, the Talladega Superspeedway did provide him with something perhaps even more valuable.
On Friday, the staff at the Talladega Superspeedway presented Earnhardt Jr. with a permanent loan for the No. 2 Chevrolet Monte Carlo his father once drove.
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Dale Earnhardt Sr. piloted the classic Chevrolet model during the 1980 NASCAR Championship title. Prior to this, the elder Earnhardt drove it during the 1979 season when he won the NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award.
“There’s no better place for this iconic No. 2 car than in the hands of Dale Earnhardt Jr.,” stated Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway. “The Earnhardt family means more to Talladega Superspeedway than we can express, so it is our honor to present the race car his father drove to his first championship to him. We know he will cherish the car like no other. It is in good hands.”
The car wasn’t the only gift prepared for Earnhardt Jr. Talladega Superspeedway also provided him with two celebratory champagne bottles, one from his father’s victory in 2000, and one from his own victory the following year.
Earnhardt Jr.’s 2001 victory marked the beginning of a record four straight Talladega victories. That’s a record that currently still stands.
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Before heading off for his final race, Dale Earnhardt Jr. decided to take the classic Monte Carlo out for a couple of laps. In his own words, it was a unique and memorable experience.
“I am so surprised. I didn’t think I was going to take home a race car with me from this weekend,” explained and excited Earnhardt Jr. “Just got to thank Talladega Superspeedway and the state of Alabama. They’ve been really good to me.”
News Source: ESPN