Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 11/18/14

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 20: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, stands next to his car in the garage prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2009 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – In front of a frenzied crowd at Walmart’s Race Time event Thursday night, JR Motorsports team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and driver Cole Whitt unveiled the No. 88 “Join the Dew Crew” Chevrolet that Whitt will drive in the May 20th NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway.

The unveiling was part of a one-race partnership announcement between JR Motorsports and PepsiCo that will drive awareness of Dew Crew, an online Facebook community that gives fans the opportunity to get more involved with Dale Jr. and Diet Mountain Dew, while having a voice and making key decisions for the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team.  Fans can become a member of the Dew Crew free of charge at www.DewCrew.com.

A first-year driver for JR Motorsports, Whitt will pilot the No. 88 “Join the Dew Crew” Chevrolet in the Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 at Iowa.  He is currently fifth in the Nationwide Series point standings eight races into his rookie season.

“This is a great opportunity for Cole and JR Motorsports,” said Earnhardt Jr.  “PepsiCo has been a great partner of mine at Hendrick Motorsports, and the Diet Mountain Dew brand is extremely popular with the fans.  There are already a lot of Dew Crew members, but our goal is to get more.”

Thursday night’s event was the second of three appearances Earnhardt Jr. will make at Walmart’s Race Time “retailtainment” events this year on behalf of Diet Mountain Dew.  This was the second year in a row NASCAR’s nine-time Most Popular Driver visited the Hartsville, S.C. Walmart store, located just 13 miles from where he and Whitt will race this weekend at Darlington Raceway.

“Anyone who has followed racing knows the Dew Crew is legendary, going back to Darrell Waltrip’s team when he was winning all those races in the No. 11 Mountain Dew car,” said Whitt.  “Now the Dew Crew includes not just Dale Jr.’s pit crew but everyone, and I’m excited to carry the Dew Crew on my car during the Iowa race.  It should be a good time.”

Fans that visit and join the Dew Crew Facebook app will have instant access to exclusive content, including videos, photos, vignettes about the Dew Crew’s history in motorsports, trivia, and up-to-the-minute updates of Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard team for Hendrick Motorsports.  Fans also will have the ability to vote on decisions directly affecting the No. 88 race team.

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