One can forgive Dale Earnhardt Jr. if he brushes the wall on the opening lap of the Pocono 400.
NASCAR’s most popular driver will be driving a Philadelphia Eagles-themed car in the Monster Energy Cup Series race June 11 at Pocono Raceway.
Earnhardt’s sponsor, Axalta Coating Systems, and the National Football League team are partnered in a program call All-Pro Teachers, which recognizes outstanding sixth through 12th grade teachers who concentrate on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). To help promote the program, Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet will be decked out in Eagles team colors—midnight green, black and silver—and logo throughout the course of the weekend.
Thing is, Earnhardt is a diehard Washington Redskins fan—one of the Eagles’ NFC East Division rivals.
“We’re having a Philadelphia Eagles paint scheme for the Pocono race for Axalta and I’m really sad about that,” Earnhardt said on social media. “Being a Redskins fan, it was very hard to wrap my brain around that.”
Axalta All-Pro Teachers is in its third year. The program tries to show the importance of STEM education
Former or current principals, students, colleagues and the community can nominate teachers in school districts in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. Ten will be selected as an All-Pro Teacher and be recognized at a 2017 Eagles home game. Their schools will receive a $2,000 donation from Axalta for STEM programs or school supplies, prizes and tickets from the Eagles.
One of the 10 teachers will then be chosen Axalta All-Pro Teacher of the Year and receive a vacation for two, $5,000 for their school to use for STEM programs or school supplies.
“What I am happy about is being able to help promote All-Pro Teachers,” Earnhardt said. “It’s got a really cool angle to it, so that’s a good thing.”
What Earnhardt is most concerned about, though, is what Redskins fans will think.
“I hope that my Redskins pals and that fandom that I am a part of don’t disown me,” he said. “HTTR. Hail to the Redskins.”