Graveyard Ghosts: Dale Jr.’s No. 8 Chevrolet From Richmond

Ron Lemasters | 9/5/2017

Dale Jr. News Racecar Graveyard Richmond

Not every car in the Racecar Graveyard has a sinister story. This familiar No. 8 Looney Tunes machine led 190 of 250 laps en route to Dale Jr.'s third NXS win at Richmond.

Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Car: No. 8 Looney Tunes/Action Performance Chevrolet

Track: Richmond Raceway (Sept. 6, 2002 NASCAR Busch Grand National race)

Bio: Not every car in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Racecar Graveyard has a sinister story. Take the No. 8 Looney Tunes/Action Performance Chevrolet here. All it did was lead 190 of 250 laps at Richmond on the way to victory on the .750-mile oval on Strawberry Hill.

Notably, it was Earnhardt Jr.’s third of four eventual Richmond wins in Xfinity and Busch Series competition.  Perhaps a little-known fact about this car and victory is that it marked the first time Earnhardt Jr. carried the No. 8 in the Busch Series (yes, you read that right). At that point in his young career, Earnhardt Jr. had been sporting the No. 8 on the Cup side for more than three years, and prior to that wheeled the No. 3 in his full-time duties in the Busch Series back in 1998-99, but had yet to race his grandfather’s iconic No. 8 in Grand National.

The car, fielded by Dale Earnhardt Inc., carried a host of famous Looney Tunes characters that night. None were featured more prominently than the large, orange monster Gossamer, who guards the hood wearing a backwards JR Motorsports hat. Closer inspection will reveal the likes of Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Sylvester, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, Marvin the Martian and the Tazmanian Devil.

It was pitted by an amalgam of DEI crewmen, and the race got started well. Dale Jr. led the first 75 laps before cautions and pit stops took hold, and diced with brother Kerry for a long period in the middle stages before surging back to the front. The orange and white No. 8 Monte Carlo was eventually taken out of service and reported to the Racecar Graveyard, there to remain as a reminder of a very good day.