On the most recent episode of the Dale Jr Download, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. explained how Bubba Pollard’s deal to drive for his JR Motorsports Late Model Stock Car team in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway came about.

The explanation also shined a light on who he was going to have drive the car before Pollard stepped up with funding. Earnhardt says that he was going to pay out of pocket for NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver and 2016 series champion, Johnny Sauter to drive his car in the race at Martinsville Speedway.

Listen to the Dale Jr. Download here.

Earnhardt said that before Pollard came back to the team with a sponsor and funding to race the event, Sauter was set to drive the teams #98 car.

“We were trying to fill in our second car,” Earnhardt said. “We reached out to Bubba and were having conversations with him and he had decided he was going to go build his own. Or at least that’s the side of the story that I’ve heard. So we were going to put Bubba in the second car and that didn’t quite work out. So I called Johnny Sauter and me and Johnny had agreed for him to drive the car at Martinsville.”

Once Pollard came back to JR Motorsports to put the deal together, Sauter was out of the ride.

“I was going to pay for it out of my pocket and so that was going to be amazing,” Earnhardt explained. “Then Bubba came back and said I’ve got a partner and some sponsorship and I’d love to do the deal. So I called Johnny and said ‘hey Johnny if I do the thing with Bubba, I won’t have to pay for it out of my pocket’. He goes ‘I understand that’ but I did tell Johnny that I wanted to run him next year if he was interested.”

Earnhardt said he wants to make it happen next year.

“So for those fans who were excited about that really becoming a reality, I want to make it happen next year. Johnny’s still on board. I think it’d be amazing to have Johnny Sauter drive a Late Model Stock Car at Martinsville. He’s great at Martinsville and he’s a hell of a race car driver. It’d be cool.”

Earnhardt also sang the praises of Pollard saying he’s nearly reached legendary status in short track racing.

“Bubba raced there last year and had a great race,” Earnhardt stated. “Ended up finishing poorly like a lot of people did but still performed well. He’s amazing short track racer in his own right just winning races all over the place the last several years. This guy is almost reaching legendary status as a competitor while he’s competing so to have his story even minutely linked to ours is very cool.”

Pollard will compete as a teammate to JR Motorsports standout Josh Berry, who led most of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 last year before getting taken out late in the race while battling for the lead.

Pollard will be at Martinsville Speedway on Thursday evening testing his #98 JR Motorsports Late Model Stock Car along with an estimated 75 more drivers as they prepare for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 which takes place on Saturday, October 5th.

RACE22.com will have RACEDAY LIVE updates of everything that happens during the test on Thursday as well as on race weekend beginning on Friday, October 4th with tech, practice and qualifying and continuing through the checkered flag on Saturday night.

Cover photo Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images.