A new Goodyear commercial that traces Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s lifelong love of racing is proving the driver’s emotional appeal with fans remains strong, months after his retirement from NASCAR’s Cup Series.
The commercial, set to Jim Croce’s “I’ve Got A Name,” had drawn 39,000 views on Facebook within hours of its posting on Wednesday.
Dale Jr. worked with Goodyear on the commercial, which honors his late father and shows the family history with the tiremaker. The ad will debut in the season-opening Daytona 500 Sunday.
The 100-second commercial begins with a pickup truck on a country road and then shows video of Earnhardt on tracks from boyhood to present. One scene captures his dad’s No. 3 car bump-drafting his son’s No. 8 Budweiser car.
“What’s Next for Dale JR?” the commercial proceeds to ask, showing Earnhardt in a suit in a boardroom.
“Those who live up to their names make one for themselves,” Earnhardt says at the end of the commercial, before it flashes back to Earnhardt Jr. as a boy giving a trackside interview.
“I just kind of wanna make my own name, you know,” he says, before the commercial ends with (present-day) Earnhardt plugging Goodyear. “Goodyear,” he says. “Driven.”
Earnhardt also tweeted the video, saying the commercial was filmed in North Carolina, that he enjoyed making it and, “Hope ya like it.”
In December, Earnhardt Jr. was voted NASCAR’s most popular driver for the 15th straight year.
Under the YouTube video of the commercial, fan Pamela Maloy posted three heart emojis, followed by the word “it” and then a sun emoji.
“Best commercial ever!” chimed Matt Jones.