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Dale Jr. to make Xfinity start

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has announced his yearly NASCAR Xfinity Series start will take place at Richmond Raceway in the Go Bowling 250 (Sept. 11 at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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Dale Jr 22 2021This year‘s start will come on the 20th anniversary of the 2001 attacks on Sept. 11, and he will sport a special United for America paint scheme to honor victims of 9/11 with longtime partner Unilever on the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. In the spirit of remembrance, his paint scheme will mirror that of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum‘s Tribute in Light. The blue-and-white paint scheme will feature four spotlights each representing the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the Flight 93 Memorial site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, with the words “Never Forget” on the lower-rear quarter panel to honor those who lost their lives during the attacks.

“It‘s hard to believe it‘s been 20 years since that terrible day,” Earnhardt said via a team release. “The spirit of unity and togetherness our country felt on Sept. 11 is just as relevant now as it was then. I‘m honored to be driving this car and championing Unilever‘s United for America program.”

Since retiring from full-time duty after the 2017 season, the 46-year-old has made one start in each of the past three seasons for the team he co-owns with sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Rick Hendrick, JR Motorsports. All of those starts have resulted in top fives. In 2018, he finished fourth at Richmond. In 2019, he finished fifth at Darlington Raceway, and in 2020, he also finished fifth at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

For his career, Earnhardt has 24 Xfinity Series wins and two titles. His most recent Xfinity win was also his most recent NASCAR national series win to date — in 2016 at Richmond. One of Earnhardt‘s 26 Cup wins came in the sport‘s first race after 9/11 at Dover International Speedway.