Dale Earnhardt Jr. is back once again.
The NASCAR Hall of Famer returns to the No. 88 Chevrolet on Sept. 15 for the Xfinity Series‘ night race at Bristol Motor Speedway, JR Motorsports announced Tuesday. The announcement comes coupled with news that Unilever returns to sponsor Earnhardt and JRM for a 15th consecutive season. In addition to sponsoring Earnhardt at Bristol, the company will also don the No. 7 Chevrolet driven by Justin Allgaier in six races in 2023.
“We’ve been partners with Unilever since the very early days of JR Motorsports,” Earnhardt said in a press release. “They’ve been with us as our program has grown and been an important part of our success — on and off the track. They’re a key component of our company. I’m grateful for their support, and I’m happy to watch our partnership continue to grow.”
Earnhardt has made his love for short-track racing well known, bolstered by a Monday announcement that the 15-time Most Popular Driver of the Cup Series purchased the CARS Tour with partners Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Justin Marks.
Since retiring from full-time Cup racing in 2017, Earnhardt has continued to make once-yearly starts in the Xfinity Series, making three of his last five starts at Richmond Raceway (0.75 miles) or Martinsville Speedway (0.519 miles). Earnhardt‘s last Xfinity start at Bristol came in 2017 where he finished 13th, one lap down.
Earnhardt, a two-time Xfinity Series champion, is slated to compete in two Xfinity races in 2023, marking the first time since 2017 that he will compete in multiple national series events. JRM has yet to announce where Earnhardt‘s other race will take place, but announced on Nov. 1 he will compete with sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops.
Unilever has partnered with JR Motorsports since 2009, the organization‘s fourth full-time season. The company now serves as JRM’s longest-tenured partner and one of the longest-running active sponsors in NASCAR, according to the release.
“We are so proud and excited to continue our partnership with Dale Jr. and his team at JR Motorsports,” Ben Crook, VP/GM Dressings & Condiments Unilever North America, said in a release. “The equal passion that NASCAR fans have for their favorite brands like Hellmann’s and drivers like Dale Jr. is what makes this partnership so special. We look forward to continuing this ride with Dale for years to come.”
As part of the sponsorship, Earnhardt has donned the Unilever colors at least once in each of the last 14 seasons. Allgaier, who finished third in the Championship 4 in 2022, carried Unilever to Victory Lane at Darlington and Nashville last season.