Some people go out in style; others with a bang. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is going out grateful.
Earnhardt Jr. announced his version of a final act - a five-month campaign called JR Nation Appreci88ion. It will start this weekend at Daytona and carry through the end of the 2017 season, his last as a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver.
The Appreci88ion campaign will create opportunities in social media, at-track activation, fan engagement, industry participation and philanthropy to celebrate Earnhardt Jr.'s historic career while offering gestures of gratitude to everyone who made the ride possible. That includes fans, teammates, colleagues, family members, lifelong friends and anyone who influenced Earnhardt Jr.'s time in the driver's seat.
"My expectations were very low when I started racing - I just wanted to pay my bills," Earnhardt Jr. said. "If I could pay bills and make a living by racing, that was a win.
"Now some 18 years later, I look at what became of it, and I just feel grateful. I wouldn't be where I am today without the support of so many people, especially fans. So as I visit tracks for the last time in this role, that is my motivation. I'm going to drive as hard as I can for the people who made an 18-year Cup career possible."
Daytona International Speedway will mark the first stop of the JR Nation Appreci88ion Tour, and that is fitting as it has been home to many Earnhardt Jr. career highlights, including two Daytona 500 trophies (2004, 2014), four total Cup wins, seven non-points Cup victories and six NASCAR Xfinity Series wins.
JR Nation Appreci88ion will have a heavy presence on social media with the #Appreci88ion hashtag and digital engagement opportunities throughout the five-month campaign. Earnhardt Jr. will release weekly videos recollecting memories and milestones achieved at each of the specific racing venues. Sponsors and industry partners will have featured roles as well, activating in unique ways to give back to JR Nation.
JR Nation Appreci88ion merchandise will be available at the Dale Earnhardt Jr. souvenir trailers at the track and at ShopJRNation.com.
More information on the Appreci88ion campaign can be found at DaleJr.com.
--- JR Motorsports ---