Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally gets chance to drive Gray Ghost at Martinsville

It was one of his favorite paint schemes as a child and now as he approaches retirement, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will get to drive the gray ghost.

Earnhardt will get behind the wheel of a Hendrick Motorsports car meant to replicate that of the “Gray Ghost” driven by Buddy Baker in the 1980 Daytona 500. The car earned its nickname for its black and silver color that allowed it to just appear out of seemingly nowhere while blending in with the racing surface.

For those who have a good memory, you may be scratching your head thinking perhaps you had seen this car before driven by Earnhardt. In 2016 Earnhardt was set to drive this car for the Darlington throwback race, however lingering effects from a concussion left him off the track that weekend while Jeff Gordon filled in to drive the No. 88 car.

So enter Nationwide who created a fan poll for this race. The winner of course was the “Gray Ghost” and Earnhardt is excited.

“Martinsville this weekend should be a lot of fun. We’ve got the Gray Ghost — I appreciate everybody voting for that paint scheme so I can run it,” Earnhardt Jr. said  on his podcast earlier this week. “I didn’t get to drive that car last year and I love that car, so I may have swayed the vote because I went on social media and said, ‘That’s the one I’d love to run.’ I’m excited to get the opportunity to drive that car this weekend. Martinsville is a great track for us. I love the short tracks and short-track racing.”

Martinsville is NASCAR’s smallest and oldest rack.

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