Countdown To Daytona: 8

February 16, 2013, Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service, NASCAR.com

Dale Jr.

There are 8 days left before the Feb. 24, 2013 Daytona 500; hence, today’s number is: 8.

The car number Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove to 17 of his 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories. All seven of Earnhardt’s wins at restrictor-plate superspeedway -- including his triumph in the 2004 Daytona 500 -- were accomplished in the No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet. When Earnhardt left his family-founded team to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, his stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt, retained control of the No. 8. Hence, Earnhardt switched to the No. 88 Chevy at HMS and has won two points races with that number, both at Michigan. Earnhardt also won the exhibition Daytona Shootout (now The Sprint Unlimited) in his first competitive outing for owner Rick Hendrick.