Dale Earnhardt Jr to “minimize my time” at track prior to race
Semi-retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he’ll fly in to Homestead, Miami for Saturday’s Xfinity Series event at “the last possible minute” due to the Covid-19 health protocols.
Since his fulltime retirement from competition at the end of 2017, Earnhardt Jr. has run one Xfinity race per season with his own JR Motorsports team at various tracks. He will race the #8 Hellmann’s car at Homestead-Miami Speedway Saturday, in a race rescheduled from March.
But the health screening and PPE protocols that NASCAR has put in place means that he’s planning to spend as little time as possible at the track ahead of the 250-mile event, which he will start from the sixth row of the grid alongside teammate Justin Allgaier.
“All of the drivers in the Xfinity Series, Truck Series and Cup Series have experienced this protocol and I’m doing it for the first time,” said Earnhardt on his Dale Junior Download podcast this week. “I’m going to fly in to Homestead on the day of the race, wait until the last possible minute, maybe even an hour before the race starts, I’ll do that because once I get there I have to go through a health screening process, and once I’m inside the racetrack I have to sit in the rental car.
“I can’t go anywhere, there’s only two people allowed inside the haulers at one time, there’s really nowhere to go. I didn’t send my bus down there, because I knew I’d arrive and leave on the day, so I didn’t want to send my driver all the way to Homestead, Florida for that just so I could sit comfortable for a little while.
“I will minimize my time at the racetrack, and I’ll put my suit on in the car, grab my helmet and get in the racecar. The curious thing for me is that I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to get in the car, drive it and see if the mirror is in the right place, so a few things won’t be exactly comfortable. But I’m looking forward to getting back into the car and driving in competition. That’s the only reason why I run these races at this particular point of my life, to remind myself of the sights and sounds and smells. But there’s weather in the forecast, so everything is fluid.”
Earnhardt’s last start was at Darlington in 2019, where he finished fifth.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel,” he added. “It’s definitely going to be interesting having not been in a car in almost a year to jump back in and go race without having any practice.
“I’m excited to get back and to get to work with Taylor [Moyer, crew chief] and all of the guys on this team. We’ve been working toward this race with Hellmann’s for a while now and I’m happy it’s finally here.”
What time is Dale Earnhardt Jr racing in NASCAR today?
This event was postponed from March, and is the first of two Xfinity Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. Dale Jr will only race in the first of these, the Hooters 250, scheduled for 3:30 EST. on Saturday.
Harrison Burton will start from pole in the #20 Toyota Supra, ahead of Noah Gragson in the #9 Chevrolet Camaro. Earnhardt will start 12th in his #8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.
- Race: Hooters 250
- Date: Saturday, June 13th, 2020
- Start time: 3:30 p.m. EST.
- Location: Homestead-Miami Speedway
What channel is Dale Earnhardt Jr's NASCAR race broadcast on today?
The race will be broadcast live on the FOX network. MRN will carry the radio broadcast, along with Sirius XM NASCAR.
- TV Channel: FOX
- Streaming: Fox Sports Go
- Radio Station: Motor Racing Network (MRN)
- Start time: 3:30 EST.
- Location: Homestead-Miami Speedway
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