Dale Earnhardt Jr. returning to his roots at North Wilkesboro

Dale Earnhardt Jr. made official Tuesday what many felt was a forgone conclusion: he will race at a JR Motorsports entry in the CARS Tour during North Wilkesboro’s Racetrack Revival on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

His No. 3 late model Chevy will carry a green and yellow paint scheme which is a tribute to the late model Earnhardt Jr. drove at North Wilkesboro in 1993. The then-18-year-old racer wheeled a Sun Drop-branded car in a dozen races that year.

“I came to North Wilkesboro so many times as a kid,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “It’s a special place. I never thought I’d get a chance to race around here again. To put this program together with Sun Drop, who sponsored my late model in ’93, I wouldn’t want it any other way. They were with my dad for years and one of my first sponsors. Seeing the Sun Drop Chevy at Wilkesboro again will bring back some great memories for me.”

The Earnhardt family’s connection to Sun Drop, owned by Keurig Dr Pepper out of Frisco, Texas, dates back to 1989 when the citrus-flavored brand first partnered with Earnhardt Sr. It quickly became a fan-favorite combination that coupled the elder Earnhardt’s on-track success with Sun Drop’s regional popularity in the southeast.

Earnhardt owned Dirty Mo Media will be on hand to document the event, with plans to produce a deeply personal video series called Roots & Revival that will capture Earnhardt Jr.’s journey leading up to, and including, the North Wilkesboro CARS Tour race. The six-part series will be featured exclusively on Dirty Mo Media’s YouTube channel on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Earnhardt Jr. joins teammate Carson Kvapil in the No. 8 Chevrolet to round out JRM’s two-car lineup for the event. The CARS Tour race from historic North Wilkesboro is part of three series competing on Wednesday, Aug. 31. The green flag drops at approximately 7:30 p.m. ET with the race broadcast available on racingamerica.tv and racexr.plus.

Greg Engle