Before Dale Earnhardt Jr took the wheel of the iconic #88 car, who drove it? We’re taking a look back through history to see who was behind the wheel before one of NASCAR’s biggest stars. So rev up your engines, buckle your seatbelts, and get ready for a wild ride as we answer the question: Who drove the 88 before Dale Jr?
Who was the driver of the 88 vehicle in Nascar?
The #88 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has had several well-known drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., since its first race in 1975. Before coming to NASCAR in 1988, the #88 car was driven by Donlavey Racing, which held an exclusive deal with the Coors Brewing Company.
Drivers of the Donlavey #88 included Jody Ridley (1976-1981), Lennie Pond (1982), Harry Gant (1983-1985), Bobby Hillin Jr. (1986) and Phil Parsons (1987). Under Earnhardt’s endorsement of his late father Dale Earnhardt Sr’s Nationwide Series team, DEI merged with Chance 2 Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
In 2008, Earnhardt Jr left DEI to join Hendrick Motorsports and drive the #88 car. Since then, successor drivers of the #88 have included Mark Martin (2009-2010), Regan Smith for one race (2011) Jeff Gordon for three races after Smith suffered a concussion at Talladega Superspeedway (2011), Tony Stewart for three races in order to collect points for current driver Aric Almirola who ran a double duty schedule that season—Almirola replaced Stewart as full-time driver for 2012 until 2014, when he moved to RCR. Greg Biffle took over from 2015–2017 and Alex Bowman is currently driving it since 2018.
Where did Bowman, Alex come out on top?
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Alex Bowman, is best known for being the full-time driver of the #88 Chevrolet SS in 2017 and 2018. Prior to that, Alex was racing in the Xfinity Series, where he had a number of wins and top 10s. At Daytona in 2012, Bowman made a name for himself at age 18 when he took the pole position driving a part-time ride in the #99 car.
Prior to that, Hendrick Motorsports’ #88 car had been driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon (in 2008 and 2009), Jimmie Johnson (in 2006), Justin Labonte (from 2001 to 2003) and Terry Labonte (from 2000 to 2001). After Terry, who finished 14th in points during his last season as driver of the #88 car for Hendrick Motorsports, Mark Martin filled in for four races before handing off to Gordon in 2008.
In Nascar, what are the points?
In the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) point system, points are awarded to drivers based on their results in each race. Drivers gain points by finishing high in the race and leading laps (with bonus points awarded to certain drivers). Points are calculated using a complicated formula and awards can vary from race to race.
The most important part of the NASCAR point system is the championship standings. All official races offer points that are used to determine which drivers are eligible for the season title, known as the “Champion.” At the conclusion of each regular season, there is a special 10-race playoff series called “The Chase” with additional points distributed for performance within those races. The driver with the highest cumulative point total at the end of The Chase is declared Champion.
Points are awarded as follows:
-Win: Winner receives 50 points plus 3 additional points for each race win during a given Championship season & Earns 5 playoff bonus points
-2nd Place Finish: Earns 42 points plus 1 playoff bonus point
-3rd Place Finish: Receive 40 Points plus 1 playoff bonus Point
-Leading Lap During A Race: Receive 1 Point
-Most Laps Led In A Race: Earn 2 Bonus Points
Is Dale Jr the owner of the 88 car?
No, Dale Jr. is not the owner of the 88 car. Richard Petty Motorsports purchased the number 88 team from a private owner in 2006 and NASCAR allocated this number to RPM for the 2007 season. Before the number was allocated to Dale Jr., veteran driver Jon Wood drove it in February 2006. Following that, Kenny Wallace drove for 8 races before Dale Earnhardt Jr. took over as primary driver beginning with the June 2006 race in Michigan.
Which Nascar driver is the wealthiest?
Nascar is known for its big money drivers, but the four-time Cup Series champion and third-generation driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the top driver when it comes to career earnings. With over $300 million in total earnings, Earnhardt has earned most of his money by taking his winnings and investments in multiple business ventures — ranging from real estate to broadcasting.
Outside of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson has also earned more than $200 million during his stellar driving career. Johnson has made large amounts of money through endorsements, plus he has capitalized on his fame to start two businesses with partner Jeff Gordon: A corporation that runs several car dealerships across America and a high-end wine brand.
In third place is former driver Jeff Gordon with nearly $190 million in career earnings. Gordon had a very successful racing career and now works as a television analyst for Fox Sports. He also owns various other businesses like education software programs and an auto racing simulator training program for aspiring drivers.
Fourth place on this list of Nascar wealthiest drivers is Kyle Busch with earnings totaling nearly $163 million dollars during his time on the track. Busch’s success has come from winning races and larger endorsement deals than some other drivers by announcing sponsorship deals with companies like Pedigree, Tide and M&M’s candy among others throughout the years.