Few things send a large group of NASCAR fans into a frenzy like referencing Dale Earnhardt Sr.

But Dale Earnhardt Jr. giving a shoutout to his father after finishing top-10 at Darlington Raceway? Now that’s a winning formula.

Earnhardt returned to NASCAR on Saturday to run his first race in nearly a year. It also was his first time in the NASCAR public eye since he and his family were involved in a fiery plane crash two weeks ago. The 44-year-old finished in sixth place (later moved to fifth after race-winner Denny Hamlin failed inspection) in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, an event that featured plenty of throwback paint schemes. Earnhardt was among those who ran vintage schemes, as his No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet paid homage to the car his father drove in 1975 in his first Cup Series race.

Much to the delight of the raucous crowd at Darlington, Earnhardt gave a shoutout to his dad after the strong performance.

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That’s a great NASCAR moment if we’ve ever seen one.

Earnhardt retired from full-time NASCAR racing following the 2017 season. He now has competed in two Xfinity Series races since then, and hopes to run at Homestead-Miami Speedway next season.

Thumbnail photo via Joshua S. Kelly/USA TODAY Sports Images