NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced today that he will once again compete in the Food City 300 (7:30 p.m., USA Network, PRN Radio) on Friday night, Sept. 20, under the lights at the high-banked all-concrete short track that races like a superspeedway.

Earnhardt Jr. will again drive the blue, yellow and white Hellmann’s No. 88 Chevy Camaro in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season finale race.

It’s the 20-year-anniversary of when the two-time Xfinity Series champ famously coined the phrase “It’s Bristol, Baby!” after winning the 2004 Night Race in the Cup Series at BMS. That year he also won the Xfinity Series race a night earlier to sweep both events in a single weekend. At the time, he was the first driver to accomplish that feat.

In last year’s Food City 300, Earnhardt Jr. brought the fans to their feet inside The Last Great Colosseum by leading and running in the top-five of the race for most of the night. A small electrical fire in his dash with 29 laps remaining in the race forced him to park his car early, and he settled for a 30th place finish.

“We had a positive wire short up in the top of the dash, and the casing on the wire melted down onto the leg brace and caught the foam in the leg brace and the cloth cover of the leg brace on fire, so it burnt the leg off my uniform,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “It was like another lap, and I was probably gonna be blistered up. But, no burns on my leg. Just barely escaped. I was disappointed to have to get out. We were gonna run fourth or better.”

The Food City 300 will continue an important streak for Earnhardt Jr. He has run at least one Xfinity Series race each year since his retirement in 2017 to get his racing fix. Earnhardt, 49, says he feels competitive anytime he puts on his driving suit.

“I’ll run as long as I can,” Earnhardt said last year following his Bristol effort. “I like running one here and there. I think I still feel young. I overachieved tonight in my eyes in terms of how I ran, so I guess that gave me some confidence to try do to one here and there for a couple more years.”

Earnhardt Jr. has a solid Xfinity Series record at Bristol. In 13 career starts he has posted 10 top-10 finishes and 7 top-fives, which includes the memorable ’04 sweep. Prior to last year’s 30th place effort, his worst Xfinity finish at BMS was a 22nd place finish in his first attempt in 1997 where he started the race on the outside pole for local team owner Ed Whitaker.

“There was a tremendous atmosphere and buzz around Bristol Motor Speedway when Dale Jr. was leading the Food City 300 last fall,” said Jerry Caldwell, president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “We are thrilled that he is returning to take care of some unfinished business this September. He is such a legend in the sport and has meant so much to fans in our region. We can’t wait to see him back in action on the high-banks in his No. 88 Hellmann’s Chevy.”

In addition to Earnhardt’s return to the cockpit in the Food City 300, the race is also the regular season finale for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, so the stakes will be high for his four full-time team cars as they work to grab a Playoff spot. Those drivers include defending Food City 300 winner Justin Algaier (No. 7); Sam Mayer (No. 1); Sammy Smith (No. 8) and Brandon Jones (No. 9).

On Saturday evening, the crown jewel Bass Pro Shops Night Race will showcase the Cup Series Round of 16 Playoff elimination race (7:30 p.m., USA Network, PRN Radio) under the lights as tensions will be high. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will get the fun started on Thursday night, Sept. 19, with the running of the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics (8 p.m., FS1 and MRN Radio). The ARCA Menards Series will open Thursday’s racing to make it a doubleheader night with the Bush’s Beans 200 (6 p.m., FS1 and MRN Radio).

For tickets, please visit the BMS website or call the BMS Ticket Sales Center at (866) 415-4158.