Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his primary sponsor Nationwide revealed the No. 88 Nationwide Insurance Gray Ghost Chevrolet SS Wednesday that Earnhardt will drive in the Southern 500 during Labor Day weekend in September. Last’s years throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway was a huge success with most of the entrants racing cars with schemes reminiscent of NASCAR’s earlier days. This year’s Southern 500 will throwback to the 1975-1984 era when drivers such as Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Darrell Waltrip raced.
For his Southern 500 entry, Earnhardt’s paints scheme honors Buddy Baker’s No. 28 Gray Ghost paint scheme, which was made famous by Baker when he won the 1980 Daytona 500. The unveiling took place at the track in Darlington South Carolina Wednesday.
“The track is the perfect place to unveil our throwback weekend paint scheme. This place has so much history and has served our sport so well,” said Earnhardt Jr. “I appreciate Nationwide’s enthusiasm to be involved and their appreciation for the history of the sport as well. It certainly shines through with this paint scheme. It’s my favorite paint scheme.”
The paint scheme is also a way for sponsor Nationwide to pay homage to its own past.