Dale Jr. said lining up the same sponsor 24 years later, with identical paint schemes, fonts and manufacturer for two cars are like all the planets aligning or the arrival of Haley's Comet that appears about every 75 years.
"This is such a special thing. I don't know if you will ever have all this line up like this again," said Dale Jr. who admitted he is partial to the No. 1 car - the car he drove in Japan.
"The No. 1 is the car. That's the car i drove. It almost takes my breath away."
He said all Earnhardt fans will enjoy watching the cars race in Darlington.
"This is an honor for me. I am very touched," said Dale Jr. "It's going to make a lot of Earnhardt fans very happy to see both cars out on the racetrack. (Trackhouse Racing) has been knocking out of the park on performance so I am sure they are going to be up front. for a lot of the fans to see on television."
Dale Jr. said he is a strong supporter of Throwback Weekend in Darlington.
"It is important that we stay linked to our history and it's important we acknowledge it and celebrate it. The fact that (Trackouse Racing) really does appreciate it means a lot to me."
Marks and Dale Jr. discussed the 1998 race that led to the legendary story of Earnhardt Jr. using new tires to pass his seven-time champion father in the final 10 laps. Father and son engaged in more than words after the race with Earnhardt Sr. throwing his shoe at his son in a dressing room.
"To be correct (Sunday in Darlington), Daniel is going to have to throw his shoe at Ross after the race in a rented modular home," laughed Dale Jr.
The race in Motegi was the final of three yearly non-points races held in Japan after the conclusion of the regular season. In 1996 and 1997 NASCAR held the race on the road course at the Suzuka Circuit before moving to the oval at Motegi. Rusty Wallace won in 1996 while Mike Skinner won in 1997 and 1998.
Then Xfinity Series Champion Dale Jr.’s debut at Motegi in 1998 came in the No. 1 car that Steve Park campaigned for Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 1998. Park had tested the car but an accident at Homestead-Miami Speedway that month meant Dale Jr. took to the track in Japan with no testing laps.
Marks appearance on the "Dale Jr. Download" airs tonight at 8 p.m.
The Download connects racing's past, present, and future with dynamic guests, candid commentary, and thoughtful conversation from Dale Jr. and co-host Mike Davis. New episodes of The Download drop every Tuesday. New episodes of the cut-down TV version drop Thursdays on NBC's streaming platform, Peacock.
The Trackhouse Racing schemes are in keeping with “The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR,” during which the industry honors the sport’s history. Nearly all the NASCAR Cup Series teams will sport throwback paint schemes in the Goodyear 400.