Great Cars, Great Cause

Two of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s vehicles to help raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Barrett-Jackson held its 46th Annual Scottsdale Auction Jan. 14-22, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans had a special reason to tune in: at the storied auction, bidders had two chances to drive away with a very personal piece of Dale Jr.’s history.

Two well-known cars personally linked to the popular driver were going up for bid, with proceeds benefiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The first car, a 1970 Chevelle SS, was built by Chevrolet but designed by Dale Jr.

“This car is the original 1970 Chevelle that me and Chevrolet built together about five years ago,” Dale Jr. explains. “I have a carbon copy of the car in my own garage.”

He says that Chevrolet has displayed the car in shows across the country, but that the opportunity to bid on such a vehicle is extremely rare. The Chevelle has a rich history, both in his own family – both his dad and brother drove them – and as a part of American lore.

“This is a really great concept car that took a lot of time and effort to build,” Dale Jr. says.

Racing Style

Also up for bid was his No. 88 Nationwide Chevy SS from the very first season that Nationwide became one of Dale Jr.’s primary sponsors.

“I really love the look of the car,” Dale Jr. says. “I had 100 percent influence on the design of the car, and this is one that I’m very, very proud of.”

He says he enjoyed some “good success and a lot of great runs” in the car, which took to the track in the 2014-15 seasons. Dale Jr. says the design was a “tip of the hat” to those used in the late 1970s by NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough, who retired in 1988.

“I do like the white on the race car, and anytime you have a white or light-colored car, it shows the wear and tear of the race,” he says. “You can look at [that] and kind of get a sense of how the day went.”

For the Kids

The auction marks the first time that three major partners – Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports and Nationwide – have come together to generate such a generous donation for the hospital.

“The great thing about this auction … is that Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports and Nationwide have teamed up to raise money for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” Dale Jr. says. “Nationwide has supported the Children’s Hospital for many, many years; they do a lot of amazing work saving lives for kids across the country.”

The best news came at the end of the night when the auction hammer dropped at Barrett-Jackson. These two unique cars crossed the auction block and raised over $400,000 to support the lifesaving care provided at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Dale Jr. has become involved also, visiting the hospital personally as well as auctioning off his racing gloves to raise proceeds for the hospital. He also has raised money through his “Ride With Dale Jr. to Help Kids Everywhere” campaign, which offers fans the chance to have their name appear on the hood of his race car.

Barret Jackson car auction