Dale Earnhardt Jr. is finally ready to try his hand at broadcasting.
Saturday, Earnhardt Jr. will become the eighth Sprint Cup Series driver to join the FOX Sports 1 booth as a guest analyst for the XFINITY Series race. Earnhardt Jr. will join Michael Waltrip and Adam Alexander at Michigan International Speedway for the Menards 250 Presented by Valvoline (1:30 p.m. ET).
FOX had extended an offer to Earnhardt Jr. last season after the Hendrick Motorsports driver expressed interest on “The Jay and Dan Podcast” in one day calling a race. However, Earnhardt Jr. also wanted to be comfortable beforehand by hopefully getting a chance to take in the behind-the-scenes effort of the television production.
Earlier this year, Jeff Gordon, who joined FOX following his retirement last season, took Earnhardt Jr. for a tour of the TV compound in Talladega. Gordon later explained he wished all drivers could experience that in order to appreciate the different perspective.
“The reason FOX (uses Cup drivers) is no different than why we like seeing Cup drivers in the XFINITY races – because the fans like to see them. The fans like to, even though sometimes somebody like Kyle Busch might stink up the show, people like seeing those Cup drivers interact with the XFINITY drivers,” Gordon said last month. “Same thing when they’re in the booth. Their knowledge and their experience, and especially if they are comfortable on TV, it makes the broadcast more entertaining. At the same time, it helps them appreciate the job and the effort that goes into it and what all it takes.”
EMAIL KELLY AT email@example.com
FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @KellyCrandall
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.