Dale Earnhardt Jr. Teases Return to Historic Track

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Getty Dale Earnhardt Jr. has teased another potential racing return.

Hall of Fame driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. already made his lone Xfinity Series start of the 2022 season, but he may not be done racing just yet. He has teased a return to North Wilkesboro Speedway for some grassroots racing.

Earnhardt turned heads the morning of April 17. He posted an old photo of himself standing next to the No. 3 Sun Drop stock car at the North Carolina track and asked if he and his prior sponsor should “run it back.” There will be grassroots races on the old North Wilkesboro Speedway asphalt in August 2022 before the track crews tear it up, and it could serve as the site of another Earnhardt start.

The August races will feature numerous series at the .625-mile paved track. There will be Super Late Models, Street Stocks, Limited Late Models, Pro Late Models, Open Wheel Modifieds, and Hornets on the XR Events schedule. The Hall of Fame driver made several starts in both the Street Stocks and Late Models divisions prior to moving up to the ranks of NASCAR.

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Earnhardt Played a Major Role in Racing’s Return to North Wilkesboro Speedway

Earnhardt has regularly put his love of old tracks on display, whether he has discussed them on “The Dale Jr. Download” or filmed an episode of “Lost Speedways” for Peacock. He went a step further with North Wilkesboro Speedway by spearheading cleanup efforts.

Late in 2019, Earnhardt led a group of volunteers at North Wilkesboro Speedway as they battled dreary weather. They spent a considerable amount of time cleaning out weeds and preparing the track so that iRacing could scan it and make it available for sim racers around the world.

The list of volunteers included Speedway Motorsports Inc. president Marcus Smith, iRacing executive vice president and executive producer Steve Myers, NASCAR Cup Series driver Chris Buescher, Xfinity Series driver Myatt Snider, NBC Sports’ Rick Allen and Marty Snider, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s spotter Tab Boyd, spotter Andy Houston, and many others.

Years after the track became available on iRacing, it will now be ready for some actual drivers. Competitors will head to the short track with a variety of vehicles, and they will battle for the win at a historic site.


2 JR Motorsports Drivers Could Compete at North Wilkesboro Speedway

There is no clear answer as to whether Earnhardt will return to North Wilkesboro Speedway. However, he has made it clear that he wants JR Motorsports involved in some capacity. He tagged both Josh Berry and Carson Kvapil on Twitter when he saw that Late Models would be part of the August lineup.

Prior to moving to the Xfinity Series full-time for the 2022 season, Berry was a prominent part of the JR Motorsports Late Model program. He won dozens of races, including the 2021 Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park, the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series national championship, the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville, the Myrtle Beach 400, the Old North State Nationals, and the Throwback 276.

Berry passed off control of the No. 8 entry to Carson Kvapil after his win in the Thanksgiving Classic. He moved to a part-time Late Model schedule while his replacement went full-time in the CARS Late Model Stock Tour. The No. 8 has already returned to Victory Lane with Kvapil capturing the race at Caraway Speedway on March 13, 2022.

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