Dale Earnhardt Jr. Driving Historic Cup Car at Talladega

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Getty Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his daughter Isla arrive at Richmond Raceway.

The 15-time Most Popular Driver will take part in a special ceremony at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive Ron Bouchard’s historic No. 47 on a ceremonial lap around the superspeedway to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the late NASCAR driver’s stunning win.

Bouchard scored his only career Cup Series win at Talladega Superspeedway on August 2, 1981. He ran third behind future Hall of Famers Terry Labonte and Darrell Waltrip on the final lap, but he made a massive move to steal the win. Waltrip had the lead entering the tri-oval while Labonte raced on the outside trying to make a pass. However, Bouchard dove to the bottom of the track and passed both drivers to take the checkered flag with a two-foot advantage.

Talladega Superspeedway officials issued a press release on Tuesday, Sept. 28, confirming that Earnhardt will climb into the historic stock car ahead of the YellaWood 500 playoff race. The yellow and white stock car with blue numbers will also be on display for race fans in the Talladega Garage Experience, providing an up-close look.

Bouchard spent seven years in NASCAR’s top series, primarily with Race Hill Farm Racing. He only won one race, but he posted 19 top-five finishes and 60 top-10s. He also won Rookie of the Year in 1981 after his wild victory at Talladega. Following his time in NASCAR, Bouchard created the Ron Bouchard Auto Stores and opened dealerships across Massachusetts, which he ran until his death in December 2015.

The YellaWood 500 will take place on Sunday, Oct. 3, at 2 p.m. ET. NBC will provide coverage as the NASCAR drivers fight for the win and an automatic spot in the Round of Eight. Prior to the race, Earnhardt will take the stock car around Talladega on the ceremonial lap.


Earnhardt Has Considerable Success at Talladega Superspeedway

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

GettyDale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates qualifying for the pole position at Talladega.

The 15-time Most Popular Driver will be on hand at Talladega to provide coverage for the race with NBC Sports. He will make his annual trip to a track where he enjoyed considerable success during his Cup Series career.

Earnhardt made 35 total starts at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, winning six times. He also posted a total of 17 top-10 finishes and 12 top-fives while averaging a finish of 15.4. More impressive is the fact that he only posted six DNFs during his Cup career — three for crashes and three for mechanical issues.

The Hall of Fame inductee had a very successful run in 2001, 2002, and 2003. He won four consecutive races at Talladega Superspeedway, starting with the EA Sports 500 on October 21. He added wins at the 2002 Aaron’s 499, the 2002 EA Sports 500, and the 2003 Aaron’s 499.


A Cup Series Driver Can Break a Tie With Earnhardt

Earnhardt ended his career with six wins at Talladega, four shy of his father’s 10 wins. However, he set a mark that other drivers would try to match in future years. Now one of those Cup Series stars has an opportunity to win at Talladega on Oct. 3 and break a tie with Earnhardt.

Brad Keselowski, the driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford Mustang, reached six career wins at Talladega on April 25, 2021, when he won the Geico 500. He took the lead on the final restart from Matt DiBenedetto and locked up a spot in the playoffs. Now he will try to win again move on to the Round of Eight.

Keselowski won his first-ever start at Talladega in 2009 while running a part-time schedule for Phoenix Racing. He started ninth in the No. 09 Chevrolet and held off Earnhardt to capture his first career win. Keselowski then moved full-time to the Cup Series after his part-time year, joining Team Penske and winning five more times at Talladega — 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2021.

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