Saturday, April 29, 2017

Happy Birthday to "The Intimidator"

Happy Birthday to "The Intimidator"
Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s 1915 hero card featured his three children Kerry, Kelly, and Ralph Dale Jr.
Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (April 29, 1951 – February 18, 2001) was an American race car driver and team owner, best known for his involvement in stock car racing for NASCAR. Earnhardt began his career in 1975 when he drove in the 1975 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as part of the Winston Cup Series (later the Sprint Cup Series).

Earnhardt won a total of 76 races over the course of his career, including one Daytona 500 victory in 1998. He earned seven NASCAR Winston Cup Championships and his aggressive driving style earned him the nickname "The Intimidator."

He also carried the title of “Dad.”

In 1995, Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s hero card featured his three children Kerry (then 25), Kelly (then 22), and Ralph Dale Jr. (then 20). The Earnhardt children are the third generation of racers and were just beginning their racing career. Like their father, Dale Sr. and their grandfather, Ralph racing was in their blood.

Today would have been Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. sixty-sixth birthday. Happy Birthday to "The Intimidator."

Related Posts:

  1. In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (4)
  2. Preview of Toyota’s Spring Race Weekend at Richmond International Raceway
  3. Anything But 'Average' at Richmond
  4. In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (3)
  5. Navy F-18’s to Perform Flyover for TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway


In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (4)

In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement

Photos and Quotes (Part 4 of 4)

In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"It was a very emotional conversation...but when we came out of that deal,
we were excited about what's next." -- Rick Hendrick
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I kind of want this season to drag a little just so we can
get everything we can out of it." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"My heart loves being in the car, I love driving and I enjoy
it as much as I ever have." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I still have two XFINITY races to run in 2018 so even after this season
you have not seen the last of me on the race track." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
revealing his has a few races on the books next year
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I'm going to be on the track Richmond with my foot on the floor
and this press conference will be a distant memory." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"Coming out of the gate and winning two XFINITY championships, blew me away."
-- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his early success
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I wanted to leave some kind of mark that somebody would know I was here."
-- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on being a part of Hendrick Motorsports
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I want to be a part of the future of this sport for many,
many years to come." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I do love winning races but it isn’t the one thing I enjoy the most.
The one thing I enjoy the most about racing is my relationships
with the team." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I accomplished way more than I ever dreamed. Way more.
So I'm good." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on an overall look at his career
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"He wouldn't tell me to my face, but he would probably tell Rick (Hendrick)
that he was really proud of me." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on
what his dad, Dale Earnhardt, would think of his career
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I knew your dad very well, and he would be proud of the man
that you are and all that you've done." -- Rick Hendrick on
what Dale Earnhardt would think of his son's career

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  1. Preview of Toyota’s Spring Race Weekend at Richmond International Raceway
  2. Anything But 'Average' at Richmond
  3. In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (3)
  4. Navy F-18’s to Perform Flyover for TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway
  5. In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (2)


Friday, April 28, 2017

Preview of Toyota’s Spring Race Weekend at Richmond International Raceway

Preview of Toyota’s Spring Race Weekend at Richmond International Raceway

Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Final Day Race in Richmond will be the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race 

To help navigate the upcoming weekend, RIR has put together a list of what to expect throughout this weekend in Richmond.
To help navigate the upcoming weekend, RIR has put together a list
of what to expect throughout this weekend in Richmond.

The spring race week at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) is officially here. From the Toyota PitPass with ferris wheel and Toyota Thrill Ride in the Midway to the return of red stripes to the track walls to Dale Earnhardt Jr’s final day race in Richmond to Track Takeover driven by AAA to the Checkered Flag 5K & Kids Fun Run and more, Richmond’s Toyota spring race weekend is packed. To help navigate the upcoming weekend, we’ve put together a list of what to expect throughout this weekend in Richmond.

Toyota will be the go-to place for fans in the Midway with the Toyota PitPass with rides on the ferris wheel, return of the Toyota Thrill Ride experience, and tours of Toyota cars on display. At the Toyota Owners Hub, owners of Toyota, Lexus or Scion can show their car keys for entry to relax with entertainment, food, and games. Toyota driver appearances will occur throughout the weekend including Matt Tifft, Gray Gaulding, Daniel Suarez, and Michael Waltrip. For appearances and times, visit rir.com.

The red stripes are back. Fans will see a new addition to the track walls at Richmond this weekend as we have brought back a racing tradition. Red racing stripes are a fan favorite and a staple in the sport. The last time red stripes covered the track walls were in 1988, when Richmond was still a half-mile configuration.

Fans will also see a new Richmond wall badge when they fill the grandstands this weekend. NASCAR Hall of Famer and Motor Racing Network broadcaster Rusty Wallace helped unveil the new look for the track last week. The new wall badge pairs nicely with the red stripes and ushers in a new era for Richmond.

With the news of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s retirement at the end of the season, the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday will be his final day race at Richmond. Earnhardt is a three-time Cup race winner in Richmond with victories in the Crown Royal 400 in 2006, Chevy American Revolution 400 in 2004, and Pontiac Excitement 400 in 2000. Earnhardt has also won four NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Richmond with his most recent victory coming in last spring’s ToyotaCare 250. This weekend will be race fans last opportunity to watch Earnhardt race during the day at Richmond.



The new additions to the track walls is just one of the many things fans will see when they attend Track Takeover driven by AAA. All TOYOTA OWNERS 400 ticketholders are invited to walk Richmond’s historic track from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, April 30. Fans will experience music, live entertainment, interactive displays, special appearance by AAA driver Austin Dillon, and they can even sign the Start/Finish line. This family-friendly event is the perfect place for fans to create memories of their own out on the track.

Kids 12 & younger can get their Sharpies ready for the Kids Autograph Session on Sunday, April 30 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Virginia529 Kids Zone. Drivers Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Gray Gaulding will be signing autographs and taking pictures with NASCAR’s littlest fans. Wristbands are required for this event, and will be distributed at the Virginia529 Midway Display beginning at 8:30 a.m. A limited number of wristbands are available.

2016 NASCAR Cup Rookie of the Year Chase Elliott’s Chase U college program is coming to Richmond. Chase U offers current college students a unique race day experience at an affordable price. For $24, college students with a valid ID get a ticket to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race and access to the exclusive pre-race party from 9 a.m. to noon with Chase Elliott. Students will be treated to live music from Mason Brown & The Shiners, food and beverages, tailgate games, and a race day appearance by Chase Elliott at 11:25am. Learn more at rir.com/chaseu.

The April weekend kicks off on Thursday, April 27 with the Checkered Flag 5K and Kids Fun Run. Participants have the chance to run where NASCAR legends have ran. Runners will also have the opportunity to cross the Start/Finish line. The course will give participants a different view of the track. For more information on the Checkered Flag 5K and Kids Fun Run, please visit rir.com/5k.

To support racing around the Commonwealth, Richmond has partnered with local tracks to launch RacingVirginia.com. The site centralizes info regarding all the racing action that happens in Virginia. With original content from writers like Joe Moore and Randy Hallman paired with general info about each track, the Racing Virginia website is a resource for all racing fans in the state.

These are just a few of the things happening during the Toyota spring race weekend. For updates and more information, please visit rir.com.



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  1. Anything But 'Average' at Richmond
  2. In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (3)
  3. Navy F-18’s to Perform Flyover for TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway
  4. In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (2)
  5. Checkered Flag 5K and Kids Fun Run at Richmond International Raceway


Anything But 'Average' at Richmond

Anything But 'Average' at Richmond When looking at the tracks where Kyle Busch excels in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition, there are many ways to size up the situation. After all, Busch has won at all but two of the 23 tracks that comprise NASCAR’s top series.

Among all those wins at all those tracks, one stop on the circuit seems to be a cut above the rest for the M&M’S driver when looking at the overalls statistics – Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, site of Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400.

A quick look at the stat sheet at Richmond for Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), can easily make the case he is most consistent at the .75-mile short track in Virginia’s capital city. Along with four series wins there, Busch has amassed 15 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s in 23 career starts at Richmond.

Additionally, the Las Vegas native has an average finishing position of 7.0 at Richmond, tops among active drivers. Next best is Kevin Harvick, whose average finish there is 8.2. Busch has completed all but one of the 9,223 laps available to him in his 23 Richmond starts. Of those laps completed, Busch has run in the top-15 for 8,139 laps, or 88.2 percent, which is second-most among active drivers.

Sunday afternoon, Busch and the M&M’S team look to get back to victory lane, where Busch ended up after four consecutive spring-race wins from 2009 to 2012, besting Richard Petty’s previous record of three Richmond spring-race wins in a row from 1971 to 1973. Last April, Busch almost brought home his fifth Richmond win, but teammate Carl Edwards bumped and slipped past the defending Cup Series champion on the last lap. With those impressive statistics and records to back him up, it’s little wonder that a visit to the “Capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia” is one of Busch’s favorite stops on the NASCAR tour.

So, as the series heads back to Richmond for the first time this season, Busch and the M&M’S team look to bring home their fifth career win there. Whether or not they make it back to victory lane, history has shown they’ll be anything but average, and they’ll be the driver and team everyone will be on the lookout for. 


Anything But 'Average' at Richmond - Kyle Busch


KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M'S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

What does it take to get around Richmond?

“Richmond is getting a little trickier, it seems like, just with the asphalt kind of getting older and the way the cars are. The consensus at Richmond is, of course, just trying to get your car to turn, but also having really good forward bite. You have to be able to get off the corners at Richmond. You have to have good brakes, as well, and be able to turn the center. All of it correlates. Everything you want as a racecar driver, you’ve got to have most all of it and, if you don’t, then you better hope you have more forward bite than the rest of them. That’s sort of the equation of Richmond. It’s a fun place to race. It’s really cool. As a driver, you wish it could widen out and give you more options of being able to run around in different grooves, but it hasn’t shown us that the last couple of years. We’re hoping to get our M&M’S Camry back to form there. We were very good last spring, but we’d like to get another victory there, for sure.”

What is it about Richmond that suits your driving style?

“I love Richmond. It’s one of my favorite racetracks and one of my best racetracks. I love being able to go there and, of course, we put on some pretty good races there. We won four spring races in a row and I would have loved to have made it five or more. It’s a neat racetrack and it’s certainly an excitement track and there is a lot of action that happens there.”

Why is Joe Gibbs Racing so strong at Richmond?

“I think a lot of it comes from Denny (Hamlin), being that it’s his home track. I’ve been good there in Hendrick and JGR cars. But Denny and I really feed off each other an awful lot at Richmond. We use each other a ton there, just to be sure we can beat the rest of the competition, of course. We do like similar setups there, unlike some other places we run. Richmond is one of those places where we both know what it takes to get around and we’re both similar to one another in that we both run well. Matt (Kenseth) has only added to our information there and, with Carl (Edwards) on board the last couple of years, he was a guy who was very good over the years there, as well.”

Can you compare Bristol and Richmond?

“There’s really no comparison between racetracks, honestly, because Charlotte, Texas, Atlanta – they all look the same from overhead, but they all drive not even close to the same. Richmond and Bristol are more than oil and water, more than day and night. This place is an attack-type race track yet, when you attack, you can get yourself in trouble. Richmond is a very methodical racetrack and you have to be very – you’re very on edge there all the time, especially corner entry, getting into the corners. You’re always loose there and you have to be able to be loose there in order to carry the speed through the middle and have good drive off. This place isn’t quite like that. With the day race now versus night at Richmond in the fall, I think it’s kind of the same play as any race. Sometimes nighttime just feeds itself with not as much grip and makes it to where the bottom is the preferred lane and daytime allows the racetrack to widen out and be hotter where, on a cooler racetrack, you’re looking for where the rubber is for at least a little while until the whole track rubbers in and then you have to go back to the bottom, anyway. It’s just a matter of trying to put on the best show for the fans. They’re the ones that pay their hard-earned money to watch us race and we want to make sure we do our best. I think that’s a lot of the consideration to how many day races there are compared to night races, but still I think you need to have your fair share of night races, for sure.”

Do you enjoy the atmosphere at Richmond?

“I think the coolest thing about Richmond is the atmosphere they have there with all the fans really getting into it. People love coming there and supporting that racetrack. It’s been around for a long time. It’s a fast racetrack. It’s only a three-quarter-mile oval but it has really high speeds that makes it fun for us drivers and makes excitement that’s fun for a fan. Martinsville is a short track and it’s slow, but Richmond is pretty quick.”




Team Release

Related Posts:

  1. In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (3)
  2. Navy F-18’s to Perform Flyover for TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway
  3. In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (2)
  4. Checkered Flag 5K and Kids Fun Run at Richmond International Raceway
  5. In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (1)


In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (3)

In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement

Photos and Quotes (Part 3 of 4)

In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I feel healthy and I'm having a really good time driving these cars.
I'm excited about the races I have left." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"This was going to come at some point. Everybody gets to a point in their career
where they are going to retire." -- Rick Hendrick
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"Going through what we went through last year was a challenge.
I was pretty sick at one point,  didn't think I was going to get to race."
-- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the road to returning to race in 2017
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"This season has been a blessing to me. A gift." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I saw, even at an early age before I was a driver, that growing up in that
man's shadow was going to be difficult." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on
growing up around his racing legend father, Dale Earnhardt
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I've been treated so well by the industry and by the fans
everywhere we go." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"When he said he wanted to talk to me, I had this inkling that it might be
pretty serious." -- Rick Hendrick on the discussion of retirement with Dale Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I'm at peace with the decision. I’m very comfortable with it. I’m more concerned
with the fallout of it." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I enjoy the race team with have JR Motorsports and the fact that we
have graduated so many people. … Our connection to HMS
is critical to our success." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"When I really want to know the facts, I'll sit down with Dale.
-- Rick Hendrick on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s eye for young talent
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I really don’t know what to expect." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
regarding the farewell tour he is set to embark on

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  5. Oh No Jr. Nation - Tell Me it is Not So.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Navy F-18’s to Perform Flyover for TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway

Navy F-18’s to Perform Flyover for TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway Fourteen-Year-Old Sophia Nadder to Perform National Anthem

United States Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 83 will make the Flyover for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race on Sunday, April 30.
United States Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 83 will make the Flyover for the
TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race on April 30

The pre-race ceremony is the memorable time just before the roar of the engines that sets the tone for the race. The moment when the flyover matches perfectly with the ending of the National Anthem can take any fan’s breath away.

Richmond International Raceway (RIR) announces its pre-race ceremonies for the Toyota spring race weekend. Pre-race is highlighted by the United States Navy F-18’s performing the flyover. United States Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 83 will make the Flyover for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race on Sunday, April 30. The VFA-83 Rampagers are based out of Virginia Beach, Va., and fly F/A-18C Hornets.

“We are honored to have United States Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 83 perform the flyover prior to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “The flyover is an important part of race day, and one that many fans look forward to. I know the roar of the F/A-18C Hornets will bring the fans to their feet.”

Fourteen-year-old Sophia Nadder from Midlothian, Va., will perform the National Anthem prior to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400. Nadder is no stranger to the pre-race stage. She first performed at Richmond in the fall of 2013, when she was just 11 years old. Nadder recently celebrated her 100th performance of the National Anthem last summer.

“Sophia is an incredible talent, and she will honor our country with her singing of the National Anthem on Sunday,” continued Bickmeier. “She has become a part of the Richmond family with her inspiring performances over recent years.”

Sophia Nadder singing the National Anthem for the Washington
Nationals vs the Arizona Diamondbacks (June 27, 2013)

Additional elements of pre-race ceremonies for Sunday’s TOYOTA OWNERS 400 include:
  • the FasTrax skydiving team
  • God Bless America performed by Sergeant First Class Stephanie Doehr representing Fort Lee and the 392D Army Band
  • Pledge of Allegiance by Electronics Technician Nuclear First Class Jonathan Caddell
  • the Color Guard will be presented by the Army Logistics University
  • the invocation by Pastor Joe Ellison, Jr., Senior Pastor of City Park Church in Richmond, Va.

On Saturday, April 29, fans will see:
  • the Bandit Flight Team perform the flyover during pre-race ceremonies for the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race
  • Miss Arena Racing USA Kristen Dennis will be performing the National Anthem
  • the Fort Lee Color Guard presents our nation’s colors
  • the invocation will be given by Chaplain Claude Crisp, Senior Fort Lee Chaplain
  • the Pledge Allegiance by Major Mike Palkovics of the Henrico Police Department

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In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement (2)

In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement

Photos and Quotes (Part 2 of 4)

In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, just to name two of probably a dozen guys
I’m excited about. All those guys have great attitudes and great
personalities." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the young talent in NASCAR
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"No one in the garage could be better to mentor these
young guys than Dale." -- Rick Hendrick
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"This is a new batch of guys that are going to do things a new way
and bring some more energy to the sport." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
A"During my rehab I was given time to understand what was
important to me, the incredible support system I have with
my wife, team & doctors." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I've never woke up since I talked to Rick and had a change of heart."
-- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the days since making his decision when he
first informed Rick Hendrick of his plans on March 29
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I’m very sad, because I know it’s definitely disappointing for a lot of people to
wake up to that news this morning." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
on the conflicting emotions his retirement brings
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"We have a lot of urgency to go out there and try to make some things
happen this year." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the mindset of the
No. 88 team for the remainder of the year
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"We are very close. I appreciate the sacrifices he and his family have made for
our team." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. on his relationship with crew chief Greg Ives
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"You have helped me mature and grow well beyond the racetrack." - Dale Jr.
on his time and relationships at Hendrick Motorsports
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"I felt like a member of my family came and told me this is what I decided to do."
-- Rick Hendrick on discussing the decision with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In Their Words: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rick Hendrick on Retirement #NASCAR
"At a very young age, all I wanted to do was make a living
driving cars." -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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