Nationwide Series Debut

6/22/1996

Dale Earnhardt Sr. pulled a chassis from the stash used during Jeff Green's DEI tenure with the intent on giving his 21-year-old son a shot at NASCAR Nationwide Series competition. But he did it under one condition – the son had to do the work. With the help of his friend, Wesley Sherrill, Junior got his shot at Myrtle Beach Speedway, a track he was very familiar with from four years of late model competition. In fact, Dale Jr. competed in the late model race at Myrtle Beach the same day of his Nationwide Series debut. His introduction to NASCAR was a successful one, as he qualified the No. 31 Mom 'n' Pop's Chevrolet seventh and finished 14th just in front of Jeff Fuller, Chad Little and Phil Parsons. Following the race Dale Jr.'s uncle, Danny Earnhardt, called Dale Sr. and reported with confidence and conviction, "The boy can drive."