(NEXSTAR) – It’s been five years since Dale Earnhardt Jr. put the rubber to the road at Talladega Superspeedway in the #88 car, but he’ll be in the raceway’s booth during the NASCAR Cup Series Race on Sunday, April 24. If you’re an avid NASCAR viewer, you may notice Earnhardt is working for a competitor’s team, though.
Earnhardt, a NASCAR Hall of Fame driver who has won at Talladega six times, works as an NBC Sports analyst now that he’s no longer racing. But during Sunday’s race, Earnhardt will work alongside the Fox NASCAR team of Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer.
The deal to borrow Earnhardt from NBC for the race came to fruition earlier this month, The Athletic reports.
Fox hoped to bring back one of its former analysts, Jeff Gordon, for the race at Talladega, but his schedule was full. NBC Sports’ executive producer and president Sam Flood told The Athletic they “had no hesitation” to the idea and Earnhardt “talked about how excited he is to be back at the track.”
“Calling a race from Talladega is an incredibly fun experience,” Earnhardt said in a press release. “You absolutely have to be on your toes at all times … it doesn’t take much for all hell to break loose.”
It’s hard not to think of the Earnhardt name when discussing Talladega. Earnhardt Jr. has six wins at the Lincoln, Alabama, track, tying with Gordon and Brad Keselowski. Only one driver has won more – his father, Dale Earnhardt, who recorded 10 wins at the track. The senior Earnhardt’s last career win came at Talladega in the fall of 2000, just months before his tragic death during the Daytona 500.
The green flag dropped at Sunday’s Geico 500 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX. After his one-time appearance Sunday, Earnhardt will return to NBC Sports when they continue coverage of the Cup Series in late June.