Dale Jr. Motorsports rookie Noah Gragson is racing into Bristol next weekend while honoring the sport's history in the process.
Gragson stopped by WVLT sporting a sweet ride on Tuesday afternoon. His Chevy Camaro SS is an exact replica of the car Dale Earndhardt Sr. drove in his first career series win at Bristol Motorspeedway 40 years ago.
"So this car is a replica car of Dale Sr.'s 1979 race win car," he told us. "He won his first race at Bristol Motor Speedway in the cup series. It's a camaro ss that's painted up like dale senior's car from back in 1979. It'll actually be on display after the race and I'll be there in the Alsco 300 on Saturday."
Earnhardt picked up his first career Cup Series win at the Southeastern 500 in April 1979. The first 10,000 fans through the gates next weekend at the Food City 500 will receive a free commemorative poster from a painting by motorsports artist Bill Patterson, inspired by a photo from the BMS archives of Earnhardt's car crossing the finish line with his arm held high outside the door.
Gragson will race in the Alsco 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. The race will serve as the first race of the Dash 4 Cash program. The 20-year old Las Vegas native currently leads the Rookie of the Year race in the Xfinity Series.
"When I started racing I was 13-years-old," Gragson told us. "You might say that's young to start racing, you can't even get your driver's license, well they considered me a late starter. People that I race against, they started when they were four, five or six years old.
Gragson is sporting the old-school Earnhardt look as he gears up for next weekend's race. But every time he's on the starting line, he's representing the Earnhardt name.
"I guess I've kind of caught up to them, and Dale Jr. Motorsports is a good place for me and I'm just fortunate to be there," he added.
Gragson was voted the most popular driver of the NASCAR Truck Series last year. He sits eighth in points entering this weekend.