Junior's key to being the Pied Piper of the draft at Talladega
Dale Earnhardt Jr. breaks down how his No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet handles the draft at Talladega Superspeedway, and shares the key to being the leader on restrictor plate tracks.
Sprint Cup qualifying order for Talladega
# Car Driver Team 1 7 Regan Smith Golden Corral Chevrolet 2 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger/Hungry Jack/Crisco Chevrolet 3 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 4 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet 5 83 Matt DiBenedetto Dustless Blasting Toyota 6 46 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 7 30 * Josh Wise Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet 8 32 Bobby Labonte Rimrock Devlin Ford 9 23 David Ragan Schluter Systems Toyota 10 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Nationwide Chevrolet 11 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 12 43 Aric Almirola Fresh From Florida Ford 13 14 Ty Dillon (i) Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet 14 15 Clint Bowyer AccuDoc Solutions Chevrolet 15 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet 16 34 Chris Buescher # Love's Travel Stops/CSX-Play it Safe Ford 17 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Fifth Third Bank Ford 18 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 19 19 Carl Edwards ARRIS Toyota 20 78 Martin Truex Jr Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota 21 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 22 44 Brian Scott # Twisted Tea Ford 23 38 Landon Cassill FR8Auctions Ford 24 3 Austin Dillon Dow - Energy & Water/Intellifresh Chevrolet 25 98 * Cole Whitt RticCoolers.com Toyota 26 27 Paul Menard Moen/Menards Chevrolet 27 18 Kyle Busch Skittles Marvel Toyota 28 35 * David Gilliland Shaw's Southern Belle Seafood Ford 29 21 * Ryan Blaney # Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 30 55 * Michael Waltrip Peak & BlueDEF Toyota 31 16 Greg Biffle Ford EcoBoost Ford 32 95 Michael McDowell Thrivent Financial Chevrolet 33 42 Kyle Larson Target Chevrolet 34 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 35 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 36 4 Kevin Harvick Busch Fishing Chevrolet 37 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 38 10 Danica Patrick Aspen Dental Chevrolet 39 41 Kurt Busch Monster Energy Chevrolet 40 24 Chase Elliott # NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 41 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald's Chevrolet * Required to qualify on time, (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series
Nationwide reveals its 2016 races for Earnhardt Jr.
RELATED: Earnhardt's 2016 Nationwide paint scheme revealed Nationwide Insurance, previously announced as the 2016 primary sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr ., revealed Friday which races it would ride along with the No. 88 Chevrolet in 2016. Time to mark your ! Here is where you will see the No. 88 @ Nationwide car in the 2016 @NASCAR season. #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/4ZboLmMG3K — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) January 29, 2016 Earnhardt Jr. will debut the 2016 No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS at Daytona International Speedway for the season-opening Daytona 500 . Nationwide will also adorn the car at the July Daytona race, as well as at Atlanta, Las Vegas, Auto Club, Martinsville, Texas, Bristol, Talladega, Dover, Charlotte, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Pocono, Darlington, Kansas and Phoenix for a total of 21 races. The organization will serve as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the schedule. Nationwide teamed up with Earnhardt and Hendrick Motorsports in 2014 and is signed to a three-year partnership with the organization. Earnhardt ran the Nationwide paint scheme for 24 races in 2015, making three trips to Victory Lane in the scheme at Talladega, Daytona and Phoenix.
Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award wins prestigious award
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The NASCAR Foundation and Nationwide were honored at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards in New York City, winning the award for Nonprofit/Corporate Partnership with a Brand for The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide . Cynopsis Media hosted the second annual Social Good Awards Breakfast April 7 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City to celebrate achievements by brands, networks and digital entities over the past year. "Winning this award is a true testament to the amazing work that The NASCAR Foundation is doing with the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award," said Mike Boyd, senior vice president of marketing at Nationwide . " Nationwide is honored to partner with The NASCAR Foundation and assist with their efforts to honor those NASCAR fans who strive to make their communities a better place to live." The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide honors a NASCAR fan who embodies the ideals of charity and community that France, the foundation's founder and chairwoman emeritus, has championed throughout her life. This year marks the sixth annual presentation of the award and NASCAR Official Partner Nationwide's second year as presenting sponsor for the award. Since the award's inception in 2011, The NASCAR Foundation has donated more than $875,000 to children's charities across the country in honor of outstanding volunteers. And, through all finalists' combined efforts, the lives of nearly 200,000 children have been positively impacted. "We are so pleased to receive this recognition for our Award and the partnership with Nationwide . Impacting the lives of children by honoring volunteers who are the heart and soul of charitable work is one of our most meaningful programs," said Lorene King, executive director, The NASCAR Foundation. With a panel of judges who benchmark excellence in the area of social good in the TV and entertainment industry, Cynopsis Media's Cynopsis Social Good Awards honors everything from sustainability partnership and PSA's, to diversity campaigns, environmental initiatives and more.
'Gray Ghost' left lasting impression with Dale Jr.
MORE: See the scheme, fire suit that Dale Jr. will sport at Darlington RELATED: Buy Darlington tickets " '16 throwback schemes " SHOP: Dale Jr. gear DARLINGTON, S.C. -- The "Gray Ghost" lives to race again. Or at least a very reasonable facsimile of the famous entry that was driven to victory in the 1980 Daytona 500 by NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Buddy Baker. On Wednesday at Darlington Raceway , Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr . unveiled his team's throwback paint scheme for this year's Bojangles' Southern 500 (Sunday, Sept. 4, 6 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), paying homage to the 19-time race winner and his Harry Ranier-owned, Waddell Wilson-tuned machine. Photo credit: @Nationwide88 Twitter account The black and silver Chevrolet carries orange numbers -- 88 instead of Baker's No. 28 -- and orange stripes while featuring Nationwide branding. But even with those minor differences, the resemblance is striking. RELATED: Dale Jr. drops throwback hints It is, Earnhardt Jr. said, his favorite paint scheme. "The black and silver, the chrome numbers that NASCAR doesn't allow any more," Earnhardt said. "Those chrome numbers to me were very, very cool. But the black and silver was a mean looking race car, a real tough looking race car. "I thought the colors and the chrome numbers really complimented each other really well. Buddy was this giant guy; it probably wouldn't have been quite as cool a paint scheme if it had been a four-foot 10 guy driving it." The car was named the "Gray Ghost," a reflection of its color scheme which blended in with the racing surface of the track and its apparent ability to appear out of nowhere, speeding past unsuspecting rivals at a moment's notice. Baker and Wilson teamed up to win twice that season -- at Daytona and again later that year at Talladega. His average winning speed of 177.602 mph at Daytona, where he led 143 of 200 laps, remains a race record. It was especially gratifying given the team's stumble the previous year when a clearly dominant car (Baker had won the pole and his qualifying race handily) suffered mechanical issues early in the race. "He just seemed to be a great match with the car," Earnhardt Jr. said. "They were just so good, so fast. When they won the Daytona 500 after such a devastating loss after 1979 -- they were the greatest thing down there, nobody could touch them throughout the entire weekend and then they didn't even really get to race. "And then they went back in '80 and won, it was pretty neat; I know that was pretty special for Buddy to get that win. You can tell in some of the interviews from back then how important the Daytona 500 win was to him." The car and the team were no less stout at Talladega Superspeedway , Earnhardt Jr., said, adding, "Nobody could keep up with them." Seven-time premier series champion Dale Earnhardt ran second to Baker, but according to Earnhardt Jr., the elder Earnhardt "was just hanging on to his coattails all day long. "(He was) just lucky to be in the draft," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I think Dad had the lead somehow or another, (through) pit cycles, to where (he) had like a 10-second lead and Buddy ran him down in like 20 laps. It was ridiculous. "You could see all day long in that particular race Buddy wasn't even really stretching the legs in that race car. And when he had to, when he got nervous and it got down to the end and he had to make up that distance, he was beating the second-place car by half a second a lap almost. It was incredible." This will be the second year Darlington Raceway has featured a throwback theme, with a focus on paint schemes that ran between 1975 and 1984. Last year, Earnhardt Jr.'s entry featured a red, white and blue paint Valvoline paint scheme that honored NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and three-time series champion Cale Yarborough. RELATED: See Dale Jr.'s paint scheme from 2015 Jim McCoy, Director of Sports Marketing for Nationwide , said the company knew as soon as last year's throwback program hit the track at Darlington that Nationwide should be involved. "We talked about it starting last September when we saw the pieces come together," McCoy said. "We weren't (the) primary (sponsor), Valvoline had the paint scheme with Dale. It just felt like we should be there. "We love his passion and he loves what he drives and what it looks like. He's such a great partner. "He clearly had a vision in direction in which he wanted to head. We were supportive of that and found the right ways to infuse our logo, the historic logo (with) the 'N' and Eagle that's on the hood. It was a great back-and-forth process that I think we're all very pleased on how it turned out." Baker passed away Aug. 10, 2015. Come September, he and the "Gray Ghost" will be front and center once again.
Habul donates $100,000 to Nationwide Children's Hospital
A father of a boy and two girls with another baby girl on the way, Kenny Habul balances being a successful business owner, race car driver and family man. While in Ohio last Thursday afternoon, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver and his family visited the Nationwide Children's Hospital (NCH) and made a $100,000 donation on behalf of everyone at his company, SunEnergy1. For more than half a century, Nationwide has partnered with NCH to provide life-saving care to children and their families. The third annual Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio was part of the company's effort to raise awareness and more than $4 million for NCH and its wide-ranging, world-class research efforts. RELATED: Drivers form lasting bond with Patient Champions In his 11th career XFINITY Series start and second of the season, Habul qualified 15th and finished 28th. Last month, Denny Hamlin drove Habul's SunEnergy1 No. 20 Toyota Camry to New Hampshire Motor Speedway's Victory Lane.
Watch live: Dale Jr.'s Darlington paint scheme reveal
RELATED: Watch the live stream " 2015 Darlington throwback paint schemes Buy Tickets: Darlington On Wednesday, NASCAR.com will live stream the reveal of Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet paint scheme (@Nationwide88) that he'll wheel at Darlington Raceway during Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2-4, 2016). The reveal will be streamed from 2-2:45 p.m. ET. In line with last season's highly successful throwback theme, the annual Southern 500 at Darlington will once again feature a retro theme that focuses upon the 1975-84 era of racing. Many drivers will feature throwback paint schemes on their cars to go along with the theme. Most recently, Ricky Stenhouse Jr . unveiled his throwback scheme on Monday for his No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford that pays tribute to Darrell Waltrip. MORE: Roush reveals Stenhouse's retro look " Darlington sets throwback theme Tune in to the live stream here.
Dale Jr.'s 2016 Nationwide paint scheme revealed
In a special video featuring select Dale Earnhardt Jr . fans, the Hendrick Motorsports driver revealed the No. 88 Nationwide paint scheme for races in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Watch the video below to see how fans helped unveil the new look. Nationwide will be a primary sponsor for 21 races on the No. 88 in 2016. Watch this video to see @DaleJr 's 2016 No. 88 @ Nationwide paint scheme get revealed by 10 unsuspecting fans. #NW88JR https://t.co/QQAUq6nvXV — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) October 13, 2015 Here is a look at what the primary scheme looked like in 2015.
Nationwide Patient Champions give NXS command
The Nationwide Patient Champions give the command for the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Sprint Cup practice results from Bristol
Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed 1 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight Toyota 14.913 128.666 2 78 Martin Truex Jr . Furniture Row Toyota 14.944 128.399 3 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 14.947 128.374 4 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 14.970 128.176 5 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald's Chevrolet 15.018 127.767 6 4 Kevin Harvick ditech Chevrolet 15.023 127.724 7 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr . Nationwide Chevrolet 15.052 127.478 8 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 15.052 127.478 9 47 AJ Allmendinger Bush's Beans Chevrolet 15.056 127.444 10 19 Carl Edwards Comcast Business Toyota 15.064 127.377 11 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 15.070 127.326 12 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevrolet 15.072 127.309 13 31 Ryan Newman WIX Chevrolet 15.093 127.132 14 42 Kyle Larson Target Chevrolet 15.093 127.132 15 95 Michael McDowell KLove Radio Chevrolet 15.093 127.132 16 *21 Ryan Blaney # Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 15.098 127.090 17 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 15.105 127.031 18 24 Chase Elliott # Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet 15.114 126.955 19 22 Joey Logano Autotrader Ford 15.117 126.930 20 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips Chevrolet 15.128 126.838 21 27 Paul Menard Tarkett/Menards Chevrolet 15.132 126.804 22 38 Landon Cassill Snap Fitness Ford 15.160 126.570 23 16 Greg Biffle Roush Performance Ford 15.168 126.503 24 7 Regan Smith APC Chevrolet 15.178 126.420 25 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 15.179 126.411 26 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr . Zest Ford 15.186 126.353 27 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 15.188 126.337 28 23 David Ragan Dr Pepper Toyota 15.208 126.170 29 34 Chris Buescher # Love's Travel Stops Ford 15.212 126.137 30 44 Brian Scott # Shore Lodge Ford 15.218 126.088 31 3 Austin Dillon Bass Pro Shops/Ranger Boats Chevrolet 15.231 125.980 32 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Chevrolet 15.253 125.798 33 83 Matt DiBenedetto Cosmo Motors Toyota 15.310 125.330 34 14 Ty Dillon (i) Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats 15.344 125.052 35 32 Jeffrey Earnhardt # Keen Parts/Visone RV Ford 15.430 124.355 36 10 Danica Patrick Nature's Bakery Chevrolet 15.458 124.130 37 *30 Josh Wise Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet 15.649 122.615 38 *55 Reed Sorenson ChampionMachinery.com Chevrolet 15.791 121.512 39 46 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 15.914 120.573 40 *98 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 16.113 119.084