JR Motorsports confirmed today it has renewed with a familiar partner for 2022. Unilever, one of the world’s leading suppliers of food, refreshments, home and personal care products, will enter its 14th year of partnership with the organization next season. With the announcement comes the news that NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the No. 88 Hellmann’s Fridge Hunters Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Martinsville Speedway (April 8, 2022).
The two-time series champion will continue as a brand ambassador and spokesperson while Unilever’s additional off-track efforts will focus on awareness campaigns and charitable initiatives. In addition to Earnhardt Jr.’s race, the contract renewal includes primary branding on the No. 7 team with Justin Allgaier for six NXS races in 2022.
“I love short tracks. When it comes down to it, short track racing is what I love to do,” said Earnhardt Jr., who broke the announcement during this week’s The Dale Jr. Downloadpodcast. “Races at Martinsville are always a blast, so I’m really excited about this opportunity. Unilever has been a great partner, and I’m thankful to them for allowing me to go race at Martinsville. I’m going to get in there in the thick of it and have some fun.”
As one of Hellmann’s newest initiatives, Fridge Hunters is a campaign encouraging consumers to look inside their fridge to make a meal with food they would otherwise throw away. It is estimated that 40 percent of all food waste in the U.S. happens at home. Fridge Hunters is an extension of the Make Taste Not Waste awareness campaign and part of a larger commitment by Unilever to help achieve the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030.
“JRM is a trusted and collaborative partner, and we are excited that Dale Jr. will be returning next year in the Hellmann’s colors and driving continued awareness around how fridge hunting can help reduce food waste,” said Ben Crook, senior marketing director for Hellmann’s North America. “Hellmann’s recognizes a simple change can have a big impact and is proud to do its part in helping to reduce food waste. We hope the NASCAR community will join us in looking inside the fridge to make one meal each week from ingredients that normally get thrown away.”
Beginning today fans are able to vote on Earnhardt Jr.’s paint scheme for the anticipated event. By visiting hellmanns.jrmracing.com fans can select one of three No. 88 Hellmann’s Fridge Hunters-inspired paint schemes. The voting runs through Nov. 17, 2021 with the winning livery featured on track next season at Martinsville with Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel.
Dating back to 2009, Unilever is JRM’s longest-tenured partner and one of the longest-running active sponsors in the NXS. As it has done since the beginning, Unilever will use its racing partnership to market multiple consumer brands with team JRM.
Unilever offers products in multiple categories, including mayonnaise, dijonnaise, and white spoonable dressings products, ketchup, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and frozen confectionery desserts; personal care products, including men’s hair shampoo, men’s hair conditioner, men’s hair styling products, men’s body wash and men’s deodorant.
Earnhardt Jr. has raced at least one NXS race with Unilever every year since 2009. Earlier this year, he drove a special United for America paint scheme honoring the victims of 9/11 at Richmond Raceway on Sept. 11, 2021, the 20th Anniversary of the terror attacks. The Martinsville event will mark Earnhardt Jr.’s return to the No. 88 in NXS competition for the first time since 2018.
Details on schedule, track locations and featured brands for the races with Allgaier and the No. 7 team will be forthcoming.