Hendrick Motorsports Chassis #88-716 is a Chevrolet Impala that was raced 11 times by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., from 2012 through 2014. Earnhardt, Jr. drove this car to his second NASCAR Cup Series win at Michigan International Speedway wearing the Batman Dark Knight Rises paint scheme.
Warranty: This vehicle is being sold as is
Condition of Sale: Bill of Sale
After a first season together that included a dominant Daytona Speedweeks and a win at Michigan in 2008, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s next four years at Hendrick Motorsports were full of near misses and heartbreak, including seven second place finishes.
On the fourth anniversary of his first win in the No. 88 Chevrolet, Dale Jr. returned to Michigan in 2012 after a strong run the week before in Pocono at a time when his Hendrick team was riding a tidal wave of success.
Just weeks before, the organization captured win number 200 for owner Rick Hendrick and followed it up with three straight weekends of victory. After the fastest Cup qualifying session in 25 years at the newly repaved 2-mile oval, Dale found himself in 17th position for the Quicken Loans 400.
He marched his way to the front by lap 70, and would go on to lead a race high 95 laps in a dominating performance that saw little real challenge from any competitor. After leading the final 30 laps with ease, he was able to snap the longest winless streak of his career – and he did it in a special Diet Mtn Dew Batman “The Dark Knight Rises” movie paint scheme that he helped design.
Chassis #88-716’s Cup debut came at Kansas in April 2012, finishing where it started in seventh position in the race in the “Heartland.” In a rare yet unfortunate circumstance, the car was driven by a different driver later that year.
After being diagnosed with a concussion after a wreck at Talladega, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was forced to miss two races. Regan Smith put in an impressive performance at Kansas, driving #88-716 from 39th to a 7th place finish.
It was raced once more in 2012 in the season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway featuring a special preview of the next season’s National Guard paint scheme. With Dale Jr. back in the seat, he qualified 16th and brought it home tenth.
Over the winter it was re-bodied as a Gen-6 Chevrolet SS before being taken to Fontana, California in March, where Earnhardt started 15th and just barely missed out on a win finishing in second place in the National Guard SS. Then the chassis was back at Kansas for the third time in a row, again in National Guard colors, qualifying 23rd and finishing in 16th.
In the Sprint All Star Race, Dale Jr. started 15th and finished 7th. One year after winning the race, Earnhardt experienced troubles at Michigan and was relegated to a 37th place finish after starting 12th in the one-off National Guard Superman “Soldier of Steel” movie car.
Two months later it was back to Michigan, this time in a National Guard Youth Foundation scheme, but with a similar result. After starting seventh, Earnhardt again encountered trouble and finished 36th.
Chassis #88-716 put on a good show in its last points race at Texas Motor Speedway in November 2013. Dale Jr. started in seventh position in the special AMP Gold 7-Eleven scheme and gave teammate Jimmie Johnson a serious run for his money. He ultimately finished just behind Johnson in second place. In 2014, the car was used one last time in the Sprint All Star Race, where Dale began the night in sixth and ended it in fourth with his season-long throwback National Guard livery.