Tha Sports Junkies 101

Johnson’s Throwback Earnhardt, Pearson Tribute Revealed


Jimmie Johnson’s longtime sponsor, Lowe’s Home Improvement, has been a fixture in the sport for a long time in various sponsor roles with different events, tracks, and drivers. His Darlington throwback design honors two drivers that many fans don’t typically associate with Lowe’s: David Pearson and Dale Earnhardt.

So what’s the connection between the two?

In 1979, Dale Earnhardt was a 28 year old rookie in what was then the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Earnhardt drove a yellow and blue number 2 Oldsmobile for team owner Rod Osterlund. Near the halfway point of a race at Pocono, Earnhardt was involved in a crash that would cause him to miss the next 4 races. Osterlund brought Pearson on board to drive the car until Earnhardt could return.

For the first race with Pearson, Lowe’s would sponsor the car at Talladega Superspeedway. Pearson wheeled the car to a runner up finish. In his final start for the team before Earnhardt’s return, David was victorious. He led 74 laps en route to the win in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, his 9th career win at the 1.366 mile oval.

Adding to the significance of the scheme for Johnson is the fact that he passed Earnhardt on the all time wins list earlier this season.

The Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington airs on September 4th at 6pm on NBC.