DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 17, 2009) -- Race fans will have two chances to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. compete on the historic 2.5-mile tri-oval during the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on July 2-4.
Earnhardt Jr., who owns 12 career victories at DIS, will pull double duty during the Independence Day holiday weekend competing in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series 250-mile race on Friday night, July 3 as well as the 51st annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 4.
In Friday’s 250-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Earnhardt Jr. will make his seventh career start in the 120-lap event driving the No. 5 Fastenal Chevrolet for JR Motorsports – his two-car Nationwide Series team.
Earnhardt Jr. has two victories in the summer NASCAR Nationwide Series race, winning the 2003 race from the pole and leading all 120 laps and capturing the 2006 event in a green-white-checkered finish.
He’ll be joined in the event by several other moonlighting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers such as Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer.
In Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, Earnhardt Jr. will be looking for his second career victory in the mid-summer classic behind the wheel of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
He won the 2001 Independence Day classic driving for the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc. and will be making his 10th career start in the 160-lap, 400-mile race.
The summertime NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway has always been a special one for Earnhardt Jr., the son of the late Dale Earnhardt, who is Daytona’s all-time victory leader.
The July event was one that Earnhardt Jr. was able to attend in person and watch his father race the famed No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet. Because of school, he was never able to witness a Daytona 500 in person until 2000, when he competed in “The Great American Race” for the first time.
“This was one of the races that I always looked forward to go to because I was in school all year and this was summer and if there was one race you were always able to go to it was this race,” Earnhardt Jr. said of the July Sprint Cup event. “You got to come in early and go on the beach and fool around on the beach and in the hotel. We used to watch the race from the old scoring stand in Turn 1 where they used to have all the wives, daughters, and sons. It would be a full room down there.”
Tickets for the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.