No. 8 Car Honors Three Generations of Earnhardts at Michigan Race
May 31, 2006
ST. LOUIS (May 31, 2006) — Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Budweiser will honor three generations of racing success with a commemorative Father’s Day paint scheme for the No. 8 Budweiser car that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will race at Michigan International Raceway on Father’s Day, June 18. The paint scheme is based upon the No. 8 cars driven by Ralph Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt during their NASCAR careers.
The predominantly cream-colored car will feature vintage Budweiser bow-tie logos which were introduced in 1956 — the same year Ralph Earnhardt won the NASCAR National Sportsman title, a series that eventually became the modern-day NASCAR Busch Series.
“I love that era, and I like the look of the car,” said Earnhardt Jr. of the vintage Bud machine. “If I can’t go back in time and race in the 1950s, at least I can drive a car that looks like it’s from the ’50s. I’ve always liked bold, simple paint schemes, and it’ll be cool to drive a car that looks so similar to what my dad and grandpa drove.”
“From the early days of our sponsorship of Dale, to our current involvement with NASCAR and Dale Jr., Budweiser has always been proud to be associated with the Earnhardts and their great racing tradition,” said Tony Ponturo, vice president of Global Media and Sports Marketing. “We think the fans will really appreciate this vintage car honoring two of racings all-time greats, Ralph and Dale, on Father’s Day.”
The car is the second DEI paint scheme this season to honor the legacy of a member of the Earnhardt family. Previously, Dale Jr. raced a black and silver No. 8 Budweiser car at Talladega on April 30 to celebrate his father’s induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
While Dale Earnhardt, a seven-time NASCAR champ, is most famous for driving the black No. 3 car with Richard Childress Racing, he raced much of his early career with the No. 8 on his cars. Earnhardt raced the No. 8 during his 1974 NASCAR debut season, the same year Dale Jr. was born.
Driving a cream-colored No. 8 car, Ralph Earnhardt finished in the top 10 of the NASCAR National Sportsman point standings six times, won more than 350 NASCAR races, and was selected as one of NASCAR’s Top-50 all-time best drivers in 1999. Ralph Earnhardt passed away in 1973.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has driven the predominantly red No. 8 Budweiser car to 17 victories since joining the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 1999. He became the first third-generation NASCAR champion when he won the first of two consecutive Busch Series titles in 1998. Dale Jr. is also the host and executive producer of the television show, “Back in the Day” on the Speed Channel, a show that celebrates the vintage era of NASCAR racing in the 1970s.
The cream-colored Father’s Day car diecast will be available through Motorsports Authentics, with additional merchandise including mirrors, t-shirts, and a limited edition beer stein available online at www.budshop.com.
Budweiser has sponsored 38 national or world championship teams in many different forms of racing, including NASCAR, Indy car, Formula One, offshore powerboat, off-road and NHRA drag racing. Anheuser-Busch is celebrating its 25th anniversary of support for the NASCAR Busch Series in 2006. (Dale Earnhardt won the first-ever Busch Series race at Daytona in 1982.) Budweiser currently sponsors the NHRA Top Fuel dragster driven by Brandon Bernstein and the Williams Formula One race team in addition to the DEI No. 8 Nextel Cup team.