Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive his ‘badass truck’ at Daytona 500 as official pace truck

Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. discusses first season as TV broadcaster

Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently finished his first season as a TV commentator for NBC.
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Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently finished his first season as a TV commentator for NBC.

Retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is looking forward to driving his “badass truck” as the first “official pace truck” at a NASCAR race, the 61st running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. hopes that more wins in 2019 will help his successor in the No. 88 car, Alex Bowman, create his own legacy. Evan Agostini Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

“I own this truck and it’s badass,” Earnhardt tweeted Tuesday of the Chevy Silverado pickup truck. “Appreciate Chevy asking me to drive it at the #Daytona500 to celebrate what an awesome trick it is. Can’t wait to kick the new season off right.”

“Daytona is a special place, and I cannot wait to bring these two American icons together,” Earnhardt said in a video posted on Twitter by NASCAR. “The first truck to ever pace the 500, with over 100,000 fans in the stands and millions watching at home. It will be a legendary moment.” In five hours the video drew 16,500 views.

Earnhardt retired after the 2017 season and has become a fixture in the NBC broadcast booth for NASCAR races on the network.

Earnhardt takes in all the pageantry of his last start at his home track for the Bank of America 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. says that he made peace with Daytona International Speedway a long time ago. Dale Earnhardt Sr. passed away 17 years ago in a wreck on the final lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001. Dale Jr recognizes how special Daytona Internationa

Surrounded by family and friends, including Rick Hendrick, Earnhardt says he'll wrap it up at the end of the 2017 NASCAR season as a regular driver.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.