The NT

HOMESTEAD, Fla. _ There’s no mistaking Dale Earnhardt Jr. on a racetrack. The axis of focus tilts toward him, his every move dissected with the finest of combs. 

Saturday afternoon, inside a yellow Hellman’s No. 8 car, that spotlight was only accentuated, as one of the most recognizable figures in the history of the sport competed in the Hooters 250 Xfinity Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway. 

Earnhardt Jr. retired from Cup Series racing in 2017. But the driver who had 260 top-10 finishes and 26 wins over his decades on the Cup Series still races sporadically on the Xfinity Series, roughly once per year, if only to dip his toe back in the water.