Team Chevy Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Retire his Favorite Racecar ‘Amelia’
Just as outstanding basketball players sometimes have their numbers retired with the promise the team for which they played will never let another athlete wear those digits, from time to time racecar drivers do the same type of thing with high-performing cars.
Take for instance Dale Earnhardt Jr., who drives the No. 88 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and has won 26 career races in NASCAR’s premier division. After winning two races in 2015 with a car he gave the nickname “Amelia,” which was named after famous pilot Amelia Earhart, the popular NASCAR driver recently announced he will lay that car to rest in the woods behind his house, after wrecking it at the recent event at Talladega Superspeedway.
“Not that that car got obsolete or that is the reason why I keep spinning out in it, but we typically wouldn’t keep bringing a car back for that long a period of time,” Earnhardt told ESPN. “We would have built a new car by now. But we really thought it could keep continuing. It’s probably best that we go ahead and build a new car.”
Earnhardt Jr. said he would perform the ceremony after his race team strips the vehicle of any useful parts it still has left, such as its engine and possibly the transmission. Amelia will join other stock cars in Earnhardt’s auto graveyard like the car that six-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson crashed at this year’s race at Phoenix after the steering wheel came loose. In addition, the car that was driven into a jet dryer during the 2012 Daytona 500 by Juan Pablo Montoya can also be found in the woods on Dale Jr.’s property.
It will surely be a sad time putting Amelia to rest, especially after driving it to victories at Talladega and Daytona last year, but as the old-saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.”
Think it might be time for Amelia to find her way to Dale Jr.’s car graveyard & remember her in happier times. pic.twitter.com/mYDJIiiwfN
— XFINITY Racing (@XFINITYRacing) May 1, 2016