BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 17, 2017) - As Dale Earnhardt Jr. prepares for his final weekend behind the wheel at The Last Great Colosseum, Bristol Motor Speedway unveiled its major tributes to Little E.
Earnhardt Jr.'s name will live on in Bristol lore with the announcements of the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Scholarship and the It's Bristol, Baby! sign, located in the Fan Zone.
Drawing inspiration from his social media profile that mentions his former career as an automotive service mechanic, Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday honored Earnhardt by announcing it was starting a scholarship in his name. The Dale Earnhardt Jr. Scholarship will be a $2,088 annual award that goes to a high school student from Sullivan County, Tennessee who wants to pursue a career in the automotive industry.
Students must be graduating seniors who live in Sullivan County and attend high school in Sullivan County Schools, Kingsport City Schools or Bristol Tennessee City Schools. Students must have completed at least two automotive technology or similar courses during high school.
Later in the day, the track also dedicated an interactive monument paying homage to the, It's Bristol, Baby! slogan that Earnhardt first uttered after his victory on Aug. 28, 2004. The sign, which is located in the Fan Zone near the iconic Bristol Tower, allows fans an opportunity to take part in BMS' tributes to Junior. The Speedway invites fans to share their social content featuring the sign on Bristol's social media channels and utilizing #ItsBristolBaby.
Earnhardt Jr. will compete in both the Food City 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race tomorrow night and the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday evening before moving to the NBC broadcast booth next year. The doubleheader is fitting end to Earnhardt Jr.'s career at The Last Great Colosseum, where he has seen his fair share of memorable moments.
"It's been an incredible racetrack and it has done so much for NASCAR over the years to promote the sport and give folks a great place to come enjoy a race," said Earnhardt Jr., who is best remembered in Bristol lore for his 2004 sweep. "Everything that happens around the racetrack, outside the racetrack, the atmosphere during race weekends is really great. They do an awesome job. I hope to keep coming back. It's definitely still my favorite stop. I'll be lucky I guess, is a way to put it, to be able to call this race next year and be a part of the broadcast team."
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