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HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- The Earnhardt family name and Chevrolet are all but synonymous, as the family has a longstanding history with the car manufacturer.

Sunday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. piloted his No. 88 Chevrolet SS around a racetrack for the final time, capping off a long, successful career with the company that owns 31 driver championships.

"It's been very special," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports. "The Earnhardt family and Chevrolet have a long history together. We all watched Dale Jr. grow up around the track.

"We're so proud to be a partner with him.

And the partnership extends far beyond the racetrack, as Earnhardt has helped Chevrolet develop numerous vehicles and engines.

"He's just been a great partner all the way through," Campbell continued. "Amazing guy on the track, off the track, and we look forward to a long partnership with him and Kelley Earnhardt Miller and their team for years to come."

As Earnhardt steps away, there's plenty of change coming in 2018 -- including the introduction of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 into the NASCAR Cup Series.

Back in August, the Hendrick Motorsports drivers helped introduce the new car, which is a fuel-injected, V-8 powered, rear-wheel-drive performance car both on the road and at the racetrack.

"I'm really optimistic about what is going to happen next year -- we have our new Camaro ZL1 race car," Campbell said. "Cannot wait to get this on the track."

And even with Earnhardt's departure, the influx of drivers like Alex Bowman and William Byron mixing with young talent like Chase Elliott and veterans such as Jimmie Johnson has Campbell excited to see what's to come.

"We have a lot of these young drivers coming up," he said. "It's exciting. They're hungry. The veterans, they want to put an exclamation point on their careers.

"It's a great combination."