NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Pit Note #3
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Teams With Bass Pro Shops and DEI to Honor Dale Earnhardt – In the second press conference of the day held in the Time Warner Media Center, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and driver Jamie McMurray announced they would run a special Bass Pro Shops paint scheme honoring the late Dale Earnhardt in the fall Talladega NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
The No. 1 car of McMurray will feature the paint scheme Earnhardt ran in the 1998 All-Star race that carried the Bass Pro Shops logo. It will also pay tribute to the 10-year anniversary of Earnhardt’s final Sprint Cup victory.
Helping make the announcement was Bass Pro Shops founder and owner Johnny Morris.
“This is very special to everybody in the company,” said Morris. “We wouldn’t be here today, and we wouldn’t be involved in racing if it wasn’t for him. We came here about 14 years ago with our friends from Realtree. They got us hooked up with Dale and RCR. They wanted to put a Bass Pro Shops decal on the car since they liked to hunt and fish, too. And they said they would put the Bass Pro Shops decal on the hood of the car for the All-Star race. When we announced it, I didn’t have any idea about what was going to happen. They wanted to donate all their Bass Pro Shops royalties to conservation and these different groups. It was mainly due to Dale’s popularity and how many people that liked to hunt and fish that we sold so much of this stuff. It really got us into racing. I have never met such a remarkable person to be around as Dale.”
McMurray noted the paint scheme is special.
“It’s an honor to have that involvement with our race team,” said McMurray. “I never got to meet Dale Earnhardt Sr. I came along in 2002 running my first Cup race. But I remember my dad always pulled for him. He will always be known as the Intimidator. He was incredible in a race car. To watch him do things in a car that you really don’t think is possible…he can do it but you can’t do it. Dale Earnhardt was that guy. I remember watching this car with this paint scheme at the All-Star race and thinking it was a really cool-looking race car. Of any special paint scheme I have ever run, this is the one that I am most excited about. It means a lot to me. And to drive that at Talladega, where he got his last win, makes it even more special. I sent Dale Jr. a text when I saw the car and let him know that I thought it was an honor to race a car that looks similar to what he drove, and he sent me a text back that just said ‘cool.’ It’s an honor to get to be a part of it, and anything involving the Earnhardt name is special.”
Acting as MC for the announcement was fellow driver Kenny Wallace, who helped push Earnhardt to that Talladega win.
“That is heavy,” Wallace said. “I never thought that I would be remembered for that. It’s hard for me sometimes to watch movies about that.”