Dale Earnhardt Jr. got his famous No. 8 back for the upcoming 2019 NASCAR season.
The number “was made famous” by Earnhardt when he drove the No. 8 Budweiser car to 17 wins from 2000 to 2007, NASCAR.com reported.
On Friday, JR Motorsports owner Earnhardt tweeted a video in which he proclaimed: “The number 8 is coming back.” Mooresville-based JR Motorsports said multiple drivers for the team will use No. 8.
“I wanted to run that number in a single event next year in a throwback car at Darlington,” Earnhardt, a retired driver and current NBC Sports NASCAR analyst explained.
“We were going to swap numbers with BJ McLeod Motorsports for that event, but NASCAR won’t allow us to swap for just one race.
“So we talked to B.J. and asked him if he’d be willing to give us the No. 8 for the whole season, and he was nice enough to do it,” Earnhardt said. “So thank you, BJ Motorsports, and that ‘s the rest of the story.”
BJ McLeod Motorsports is a Mooresville-based driver development team that competes in the NASCAR Xfinity series.
In a JR Motorsports news release Friday, Earnhardt said his father, Dale Earnhardt, and his grandfather Ralph Earnhardt also drove No. 8 cars at times in their careers.
“Everybody remembers the number on the side of the car,” Earnhardt said in the release, which announced a “reshuffling” of car numbers among the cars driven by his team. “The No. 8 is very special to me and to JR Nation. There’s a lot of history with the No. 8 in my family and in NASCAR. It’s time to write some new stories and continue to add to the number’s rich heritage.”
JR Motorsports drivers Zane Smith, Jeb Burton, Ryan Truex, Spencer Gallagher and Ryan Preece will take turns behind the wheel of the No. 8 Chevrolet at various tracks. Taylor Moyer will be the No. 8 crew chief all season, according to the release.
Earnhardt’s sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, is general manager of JR Motorsports.
“The No. 8 will always be a fan favorite, and we take a lot of pride in being able to run that number,” she said in the release.