HAMPTON, Ga. - The car that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will test in here Monday and Tuesday for Hendrick Motorsports will, believe it or not, have a special paint scheme.
The No. 5 Chevrolet will be painted red and white like the first All-Star Racing car that team owner Rick Hendrick used when his team came into existence in 1984.
“It’s really exciting for me because that car got it all started,” Hendrick said. “This was totally Dale Jr.'s idea. He loves the older stuff - the history - and he wanted to paint it up like our first car with All-Star Racing and City Chevrolet on it.
“It brings back some old memories, and I’m just honored that he wanted to do it.”
Earnhardt Jr. and crew chief Tony Eury Jr., who has already moved to the Hendrick team from Dale Earnhardt Inc. to get ready for the driver’s move next season, will test that No. 5 car with elements of what’s now the No. 25 team.
Crew chief Alan Gustafson, currently will work with Casey Mears at the test on a No. 25 car. Mears and Gustafson will work together on the No. 5 team next year, while Earnhardt Jr. will drive the No. 88. The two Hendrick teams in championship contention will skip the two-day car of tomorrow test.
“We’ve got great communication at Hendrick Motorsports, and I know that we'll be able to utilize the information the 5 and 25 teams will bring back,” said Chad Knaus, crew chief on Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 team. That team shares a shop with Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 team.
“Right now, we’re focused on what we have going this season and trying to win a championship out ofthe 24/48 shop. With the data from our teammates, and with off-season testing scheduled for California and Las Vegas, we'll be up to speed for 2008.”