Hendrick Motorsports

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Earnhardt's ride goes retro this weekend

Old school meets new school on Saturday night when Dale Earnhardt Jr. lines up for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

The 33-year-old will go retro with his No. 88 Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet by running the same paint scheme that Darrell Waltrip drove in the early 1980s. Earnhardt, excited about the throwback scheme, also is looking forward to finding out how the track will handle since it was repaved earlier this year.

“I think the Mountain Dew retro paint scheme is very fitting for the history at Darlington,” Earnhardt said. “The car itself is an old paint scheme on a new car, and we’ve got an old racetrack with a new surface. It’s going to be very interesting. It’s going to be fun to see how to get around that track and where the fast grooves are—where to find the grip and speed. It’s a real good-looking race car so I can’t wait to get some good photos—old school type photos—when I get out there.”

A racing history buff, Earnhardt prides himself in remembering those drivers who helped build the sport. He considers Waltrip, a three-time Cup champion, among those. Waltrip ran the Mountain Dew paint scheme on his No. 11 Buick when he recorded championships in 1981 and 1982.

“It probably looks more like the original deal than most people expect just because it’s got two eights on it so it almost looks like two 11s,” said Tony Eury Jr., crew chief of the No. 88 Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet. “But that was a pretty special car that Darrell Waltrip drove there for a long time. Me and the guys are kicking around whether we should wear our white pants or not. There’s no telling what we’ll show up with. Dale Jr. is telling us it will be cool, but we told him he has to wear a white driving suit if we did. Dale Jr. is really into the retro paint schemes and the history of NASCAR so it’s a real privilege to be able to do things like that and have sponsors working with us. It kind of shows off the heritage” of the sport.”

Fans can visit www.oldschoolornew.com.