Dale Earnhardt Jr.
|Series||NASCAR Busch Series|
|Race drivers||Martin Truex Jr.|
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
|Sponsors||Yum! Brands, Bass Pro Shops|
Chance 2 Motorsports is a former NASCAR racing team that was founded by Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2003. Although connected with Dale Earnhardt, Inc., the race team founded by Dale Earnhardt Sr. and run by Teresa Earnhardt after his death, the two were separate operations.
The team ran in the NASCAR Busch Series for the three years it was in operation. The team fielded the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/Yum! Brands Chevrolet for Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 81 under various sponsorships and for various drivers including Earnhardt Jr., Truex, and Tony Stewart. Truex scored 2 Busch Series championships and 12 wins for the company in its 3-year existence. Between 2004 and 2005, Earnhardt Jr. also won 2 races for Chance 2.
Chance 2 was founded in 2003 by Teresa Earnhardt, widow of Dale Earnhardt, and Earnhardt's son Dale Earnhardt Jr. The team name originates from Chance Racing, the team Earnhardt Sr. founded for his children Kerry, Kelley, and Dale Jr. which was the precursor to Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
Car No. 8 history
The 2004 season saw the first full-time season for Chance 2 as Martin Truex Jr. was to run the full season and was considered one of the favorites. Truex had run several races for Chance 2 the year before in the No. 81 and had made fourteen previous starts in the Busch Series prior to 2004, driving one race for Phoenix Racing in the No. 1 Yellow Transportation Chevrolet, driving several for his father, Marty Truex, and one race for Stanton Barrett's race team. Truex was expected to wage a spirited battle with Kyle Busch, who was racing his first full season since the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement had taken away his Truck Series ride at Roush Racing when he was 16, for the points championship; Busch was driving the No. 5 Lowe's Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, the team that had won the series points championship in 2003 with Brian Vickers driving.
Truex's car was to carry sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops for a majority of the races, with Yum! Brands sponsoring for 14 races.
Truex's first victory in the No. 8 came in the Sharpie Professional 250 at Bristol in March. He followed it up with three additional victories in the next seven races. He won the Aaron's 312 at Talladega, the Charter 250 at Gateway, and the Goulds Pumps/ITT Industries 200 at Nazareth. Truex's victory at Nazareth was the final race held at the speedway.
Truex claimed the points lead after Nazareth but quickly lost it to Busch. However, Truex put together a string of top 10 finishes that not only regained him the lead but also put distance between him and Busch. Truex won his fifth and sixth races of the season in the second half of the season, winning at Dover and Memphis, and clinched the series points championship with one race to spare.
Truex's 2005 season saw him claim a victory at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the first NASCAR race held in Mexico. He won at Talladega for the second consecutive year and also won at Dover in the spring. Truex's summer got off to a strong start as he won three times in six races, winning at Daytona, New Hampshire, and IRP. This duplicated his 2004 season total of six victories, and Truex won his second consecutive points championship by 68 points over Clint Bowyer.
After the season, Chance 2 folded its operations and Truex joined DEI full-time as the driver of the No. 1 car. The remnants of the team became JR Motorsports.
Car No. 81 history
The No. 81 car was a part-time operation for Chance 2 and was run by Earnhardt Jr. primarily. Tony Stewart ran one race for the team in 2004.
- Chance 2 Motorsports owner statistics at Racing-Reference