Dale Earnhardt Jr. Unveils Buddy Baker Inspired Scheme At Darlington Raceway

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Unveils Buddy Baker Inspired Scheme At Darlington Raceway

by April 13, 2016 0 comments

DARLINGTON, S.C. – On Wednesday at Darlington Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Nationwide pulled the cover off of a Chevrolet SS that resembled Buddy Baker’s No. 28 “Gray Ghost” car. The throwback scheme will be run during the 67th running of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend.

The Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Nationwide Insurance Gray Ghost SS that Earnhardt Jr. will be piloting at the track Too Tough To Tame is a throwback to Baker’s 1980 Daytona 500 winning car. He is a 19-time winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In 58 starts at Darlington Raceway, Buddy Baker captured two wins, 15 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes. Baker passed away last August.

“I had ran the ‘Gray Ghost’ scheme in the All-Star race in 2008 with 3 Doors Down in a promotion we did with them, with their ‘Citizen Soldier’ song with the National Guard, and I wanted to run it again after he passed away,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “I thought it was a great way to honor him. Our scheme that we’re running all year with the Nationwide car is the same thing really, just different colors. Felt like it was cool. He was a good part of the sport for a very, very long time. It was just fun to have an opportunity to honor him.”

Nationwide celebrates their 90th anniversary this year (April 14), and that’s where the orange “N” and outline derive from. Orange was Nationwide’s branding color during the same time period Baker drove the “Gray Ghost”.

The Bojangles’ Southern 500 will take place at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 4. Coverage for the 67th running of the prestigious event will broadcast live on NBC and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 6 p.m. ET. Visit for more information on tickets.

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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