MOORESVILLE, N.C. – With a lifelong passion for music and a broad taste for its many variations, NASCAR’s eight-time Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is taking his zeal to others and using the NASCAR Sprint All-Star weekend and The Dale Jr. Foundation to do it.
Through the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, The Dale Jr. Foundation is providing a $30,000 grant to Neal Middle School in Durham, N.C., to enhance its music program and give its students the opportunity to excel musically. The school was selected through a qualification process by the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, which partners with school districts to restore instrumental music education programs in our nation’s public schools. The already limited band program at Neal Middle School was cut completely last year due to lack of instruments and funding. With the new grant, the school will not only be able to restart its band program but institute and support a school-wide music education initiative.
The partnership between The Dale Jr. Foundation and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation will be celebrated on Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as primary sponsors AMP Energy and National Guard have donated the paint scheme of the No. 88 car to TDJF for the third consecutive year. With the donation, Earnhardt Jr.’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will feature bright red, orange and yellow coloring with music notes accentuating the side panels.
Barring an Earnhardt victory in one of the next three Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on April 30, Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on May 7 or Dover (Del.) International Speedway on May 15, the one-off paint scheme will appear in the May 21st Sprint Showdown with the opportunity to advance into the Sprint All-Star Race by winning the Showdown or fan vote at www.NASCAR.com.
“Anyone who knows me knows music is a big part of my life, and I’ve always admired artists who can express themselves and connect with people musically,” said Earnhardt, who has appeared in music videos for artists such as Jay-Z, Sheryl Crow and Trace Adkins. “I really believe in what the folks at the VH1 Save The Music Foundation are doing – giving kids across the country the opportunity to develop their talents and learn how to express themselves while receiving a complete education that includes music.”
Pre-orders for the collectable diecast and apparel items related to The Dale Jr. Foundation/VH1 Save The Music paint scheme are being accepted now at www.ShopJrNation.com. A portion of the proceeds from merchandise sales of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation All-Star paint scheme will be donated to The Dale Jr. Foundation in continued support of non-profit organizations such as Victory Junction, Make-A-Wish and Blessings In A Backpack.
“We’ve got a lot going on with our foundation, and I want to thank my sponsors AMP Energy and National Guard for their role in this,” Earnhardt said. “This is the third year in a row they’ve let us do a foundation paint scheme. It means a lot to me, because there’s no better platform for us to get our message out there. I really appreciate it.”
To date, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has provided more than $47 million in new musical instruments to 1,750 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of more than 1.6 million children.
“This was a natural fit for us because of Dale Jr.’s deep-rooted love for music,” said Emily Mueller, coordinator for The Dale Jr. Foundation. “It is important that we support programs that are aligned with Dale Jr.’s interests, which is why we put such an emphasis on schools and kids in the local communities. Partnering with the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and locating a school in North Carolina to award the $30,000 grant to is an extreme privilege.”