Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. sits in the restored 1984 Chevy Nova driven by his father the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. on pit road prior to the Steakhouse Elite 200 at Darlington Raceway. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be racing Friday night in Bristol.

Earnhardt Jr. will return to action at Bristol Motor Speedway during the Food City 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race.

Earnhardt has never fully stepped away from the sport and has competed in a few Xfinity events over the years, but this is his first race since 2022 in Martinsville.

He is set to make two Xfinity Cup Series starts this year for the first time since the 2017 season when he competed in the Xfinity Series for Hendrick Motorsports.

Each time he has competed in the Xfinity Cup Series since leaving Hendrick Motorsports, he has driven for the JR Motorsports team he co-owns with sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller, and he has done so with sponsorship from Unilever’s Hellmann’s brand.

“I love the high banks of Bristol,” said Earnhardt Jr. back in January when it was first announced. “When I was a little boy and watched dad race, out of all the races when I was a kid, the Bristol Night Race was the one I didn’t want to miss. It’s just electric there and I would always beg dad to go to that race.”

Since semi-retiring, Earnhardt has started a podcast and called a few races over the years. But it is also exciting to see the former racing champ get behind the wheel of a car again even if it’s for a brief period of time.


About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.