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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | June 4, 2001
DOVER, Del. - Jeff Gordon was like a man on a carousel, going round and round seemingly without a care. He led all but 19 laps of the MBNA Platinum 400 yesterday, building a lead that stretched over more than a half-mile before beating Steve Park to the finish line by .828 of a second. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third for his best finish since running second in the Daytona 500 on the day his father, Dale Earnhardt, was killed there. And Ricky Craven, who has been given a second Winston Cup career by owner Cal Wells, finished fourth.
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June 18, 2012
Living up to his name George Diaz Orlando Sentinel This isn't a question of Junior getting better. He is already there. It's now a question of whether he can continue to fulfill his potential as the most consistent driver on the Cup circuit. Earnhardt is smokin' this season, with six top fives and 12 top 10s. It was only a matter of time before he won a race. He is dialed in with crew chief Steve Letarte. Multiple victories are easily within the realm of possibility.
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By SANDRA MCKEE and SANDRA MCKEE,SUN STAFF | February 11, 1999
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is practicing for two big races here this week, but national television ads have been forcing him and the public to look much farther down the road.It is Day 109 in the countdown to "E-Day", the day (May 30) he's scheduled to make his Winston Cup debut in the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.Every passing day creates more pressure. It is a sponsor's gimmick. The ads have been on national television for three weeks, but they are but a small part of the load being carried by the 24-year-old.
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By George Diaz, Tribune Newspapers | February 15, 2012
Every driver is motivated. Every one believes he has a shot. Everybody is excited. That's all hunky-dory. The 2012 NASCAR season has yet to start and the optimistic rumble from the garages always precedes the realistic rumble on the track, when the usual suspects rise to the top and the pretenders finish 28th or worse every week. It's not hard to predict which guys will be chasing NASCAR championships in 2012: Defending champion Tony Stewart has huge momentum after a thunderous finish in 2011.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | February 14, 2002
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Richard Childress walks through the garage alone. He never really thought it would be like this - never spent any time considering how he and his race team would operate without his longtime friend and driver, Dale Earnhardt. Oh, the two of them had talked about it a few years back when they were on a hunting trip in New Mexico and Childress had "wrecked his horse" and cracked his head while falling off the side of a mountain. They had told each other at the time that if anything happened to one, the other was to continue with the business.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer | February 20, 1994
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt is the Man in Black, The Intimidator. He is NASCAR's six-time champion.In a sport where death can be the price paid for participation, men like Earnhardt often seem bigger than life.And here at Daytona International Speedway, where Earnhardt will contend again for his first Daytona 500 victory today, he has worked hard at living up to the image.Publicly, the champion smiles, signs autographs, shakes hands and seems to get a genuine kick out of everything from installing a seat in his IROC car to winning Thursday's 125-mile qualifying race.
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May 12, 2007
Good morning--Dale Earnhardt Jr.--You will be richly rewarded for cutting the family ties.
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By RAY FRAGER | September 23, 2008
9:40 p.m. [Encore] Checking the cast list in this Will Ferrell NASCAR movie, you see lots of people playing themselves - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip, Jamie McMurray, Wally Dallenbach, Elvis Costello. (Elvis Costello?) But you don't see Tony Stewart. Could it be that the producers were afraid Stewart might sock Ferrell (right)in the mouth?
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February 8, 1991
Ken Rosenthal and Sandra McKee of The Evening Sun recently received awards for their sports coverage.Rosenthal was named the Maryland Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.McKee received four awards from the Eastern Motorsports Press Association for stories written in 1990. She placed third with a column on Richard Petty, and she received honorable mention for stories on Derrick Cope's victory in the Daytona 500, Bobby Allison's recovery from a near-fatal accident and for a personality profile on Dale Earnhardt.
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By Sandra McKee | February 15, 1998
Drivers to watch: Chevy drivers Sterling Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Terry Labonte and Jeff Gordon; Pontiac drivers Bobby Labonte, John Andretti and Ernie Irvan. And Ford drivers Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin.Best bets: Dale Earnhardt or Terry Labonte will break his 20-year Daytona 500 winless streak.Dark horses: Keep an eye out for Michael Waltrip, in his 13th full season without one Winston Cup win. He is looking strong in his Wood Brothers Ford; And 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope, driving for a first-year team owned by Chuck Rider, has been impressing with strong practice sessions.
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By George Diaz, Tribune Newspapers | October 12, 2011
NFL players are getting dinged every week with concussions. Sidney Crosby , the best player in the NHL, hasn't played since January because of a concussion. Yet it's interesting to note that no one in NASCAR is missing significant time after getting his head banged around. And one can easily argue that NASCAR is the most dangerous professional sport, unless you want to throw in bullfighting. Credit a quiet revolution over the years. NASCAR reacted quickly and boldly after the death of icon Dale Earnhardt in 2001, and the sport has been better for it because of all the safety measures that have been implemented.
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By George Diaz, Tribune newpapers | August 31, 2011
Certainly there have been worse transactions in the history of sports. Take your pick: The Red Sox selling Babe Ruth so they could finance a Broadway musical. The Baltimore Colts forcibly dumping pouty Sanford rookie QB John Elway for Mark Hermann and a couple of offensive linemen. The Dodgers trading promising Pedro Martinez for second baseman Delino DeShields. But somewhere down the line, in the zip-zip world of stock car racing, comes this one: Dale Earnhardt Jr. for Kyle Busch.
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By George Diaz, Tribune newspapers | May 18, 2011
Dale Earnhardt Jr. made a startling admission while promoting the new HD video screen at Charlotte Motor Speedway in conjunction with Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race, saying: "I don't feel a win is close. " This is why Earnhardt is always on the amateur therapist's couch, prompting probing questions. I figured — along with a bunch of other folks — that Earnhardt was close to breaking his winless streak of 104 races. He has been among the most consistent drivers on the Cup circuit this season.
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By George Diaz | April 6, 2011
I have a feeling about this. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is going to make some noise this season. Not the usual "if he didn't have his daddy's last name he'd be working at Pep Boys" rumble that he has heard for years. This is more like a quiet thunder, all pointing to the likelihood of Earnhardt becoming relevant in more than just a personality contest. A second-place finish at Martinsville solidified Earnhardt's push toward that relevancy. He has three top-10 finishes this season and is eighth in the points standings.
SPORTS
September 15, 2010
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was among four drivers participating Monday in a tire test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The significant fact is all four drivers are not involved in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. It has been another long, lonesome struggle for Earnhardt this season. He finished 34th last weekend at Richmond. "That was one of my worst performances," he said after the race. "We were trying something new and it just didn't work out. We'll keep working at it. I don't think it's something we're going to give up on. We ran a rear spring package we've never run before, front spindles we've never run before; just trying to find something to help us get better.
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By Tania Ganguli On auto racing | March 24, 2010
Dale Earnhardt Jr. screamed into his radio at Bristol like he often does, but the tone of his shouts this time around was different from a year ago. He wasn't screaming out of frustration that the rest of his teammates at Hendrick Motorsports were so far ahead. He wasn't frustrated by his car's inability to keep up. No, those things no longer apply. Instead Earnhardt screamed profanities into his radio because a speeding penalty stymied an otherwise strong day for his team.
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By Sandra McKee | February 16, 1997
LineupPos., Car, No., Driver, Hometown, Car, Qualifying time31, Mike Skinner , Susanville, Calif., Chevrolet, 189.8132. 41, Steve Grissom, Gadsden, Ala., Chevrolet, 188.31888, Dale Jarrett, Hickory, N.C., Ford4. 3, Dale Earnhardt, Kannapolis, N.C., Chevrolet5. 28, Ernie Irvan, Modesto, Calif., Ford6. 24, Jeff Gordon, Pittsboro, Ind., Chevrolet7. 23, Jimmy Spencer, Berwick, Pa., Ford8. 94, Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford9. 4, Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Chevrolet10. 33, Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo., ChevroletvTC 11. 6, Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark., Ford12.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | February 10, 1999
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Just because Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the defending Busch Grand National champion doesn't mean he has a pre-ordained right to the pole for the NAPA Auto Parts 300 Saturday.That became clear, when Ken Schrader (189.865 mph) and Randy LaJoie (189.661) earned the front-row starting positions, and Earnhardt (187.891) had to be satisfied with 16th -- and was."This is a victory for us," Earnhardt said. "We've been struggling all week. I was hoping to get in the top 25, so we could begin working on our race setup instead of fooling with it for second-round qualifying."
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By RAY FRAGER | September 23, 2008
9:40 p.m. [Encore] Checking the cast list in this Will Ferrell NASCAR movie, you see lots of people playing themselves - Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip, Jamie McMurray, Wally Dallenbach, Elvis Costello. (Elvis Costello?) But you don't see Tony Stewart. Could it be that the producers were afraid Stewart might sock Ferrell (right)in the mouth?
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By Bill Ordine and Bill Ordine,SUN REPORTER | June 13, 2007
For Earnhardt fans, today's expected announcement that Dale Jr. will drive for Hendrick Motor- sports next year is the worst of all worlds. And those Earnhardt fans aren't necessarily the ones who root for Junior's red No. 8 Chevy, but rather the folks who still hold his father's black No. 3 close in their hearts. Hendrick Motorsports counts among its stable of drivers defending Nextel Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, the villain to many - if not the vast majority - of the diehard Earnhardt faithful in the weekly NASCAR soap opera.
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