Earnhardt Jr. back for Daytona
Dale Earnhardt Jr. can’t walk away from the Daytona 500.
The retired NASCAR star has been named the honorary starter for the 62nd annual Daytona 500, which is slated for Feb. 16 at Daytona International Speedway.
Earnhardt announced the news on his Dale Jr. Download podcast.
He won the Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014. After his retirement from racing and the start of his broadcast career, Earnhardt was the 2019 Daytona 500 pace-truck driver and 2018 Daytona 500 grand marshal.
“The only thing left for
Dale now is for him to sing the national anthem prior to the Daytona 500,” Daytona International Speedway president Chip Wile said in a news release. “That probably won’t happen.
“But what will happen, come February, will be another outpouring of support from race fans about Dale’s involvement. There’s no way to exaggerate how much he means to the fans and to NASCAR. Any role he plays on a Daytona 500 weekend is significant.”
“One thing is certain, I’m not doing any singing at Daytona no matter how hard they ask,” Earnhardt joked. “But I am going to enjoy waving the green flag in February. The start of the Daytona 500 is a special moment in not only NASCAR but all of sports. I am truly honored to be part of that.”
The track is special place for Earnhardt, whose father won the Daytona 500 in 1998 during a dominant racing career and died following a crash at the track in 2001.
Race officials are selling a 2020 Earnhardt honorary starter package. For $250, fans can get a ticket to the race, fan zone prerace access, an exclusive question-and-answer session with Earnhardt and a commemorative item signed by Earnhardt.
To purchase, tickets fans can visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been named the honorary starter for the 2020 Daytona 500.