Dale Earnhardt Jr. so excited about first All-Star win he forgot check

jutter@charlotteobserver.comMay 16, 2014 

— Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the first rookie to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, but he apparently missed out on one very important part of the celebration in 2000.

“It was one of the funnest Victory Lanes I can remember, just a lot of raw emotion,” Earnhardt said Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I don’t think I ever saw (the check).

“I was driving for Daddy back then, and he got a hold of that one, but I really didn’t care about it.”

Earnhardt said the opportunity to race and pass his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., in the final 10 laps to pick up the win was as important as anything.

“We were thinking bigger than $500,000,” Earnhardt said.

Another Miss Sprint Cup: Sprint unveiled this weekend the newest member of the 2014 Miss Sprint Cup lineup, Julianna White of Haddon Township, N.J.

White, a former Miss New Jersey USA, graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2011 with a degree in communication studies. She was a reporter for the college’s news station and heavily involved in the theater program.

Since graduating, White has worked in Philadelphia at QVC, one of the nation’s top home shopping networks, as one of its in-house models.

Old-timers reunion: Former Cup series champions Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett and Rex White are among a group of drivers and other motorsports figures scheduled to attend an old-timers reunion and vintage car show on Sunday at Memory Lane Museum in Mooresville.

Others expected to take part among a group of more than a dozen are former Charlotte Motor Speedway winners Buddy Baker, Ernie Irvan and Marvin Panch. The museum opens at 10 a.m., with the reunion starting at 1 p.m. The drivers will sign autographs and pose for photos. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under. Information: 704-662-3673.

Jeb Burton gets a ride: Truck series regular Jeb Burton will make his second start in the Nationwide Series next weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Biagi-DenBeste Racing.

Burton, the 21-year-old son of former Cup driver Ward Burton, finished fifth in the 2013 Truck series standings. He finished eighth at Kentucky last September in his only previous Nationwide start.

Welcome to twitter: Friday afternoon, three-time Cup series champion Tony Stewart became the latest NASCAR driver to join Twitter. There has been an account reserved for Stewart for some time, but until Friday, the account had never sent a tweet.

Stewart posted a message at 4:27 p.m.: “Ok here it is. I’m doing my part 2 combat global warming because now that I’m officially tweeting, hell is freezing over!”

Petty to appear on CMT: Seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty and Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola will appear on CMT’s “Hot 20 Countdown” at 11 a.m. Saturday as part of a segment honoring military veterans through “Operation Inspiration.”

Sgt. Ray Nuckoles III and his wife, Amanda, will receive a special surprise from Petty and Almirola. The show will rerun at 11 a.m. Sunday.

New sponsor at Bristol: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway announced Friday that Hickory-based ZLOOP e-recycling centers will be the presenting sponsor of the track’s Aug. 20 Truck series race.

Utter: 704-358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter

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