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CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has always been in the spotlight when he races

at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 42-year-old veteran from nearby

Kannapolis, North Carolina, first raced at the speedway when he was

a teenager.

Earnhardt’s success since, which includes 26 Monster Energy

NASCAR Cup Series victories, two NASCAR XFINITY Series titles and 14

NMPA Most Popular Driver awards, has made him one of the most iconic

drivers in the sport’s illustrious history.

He’ll make his final Charlotte Motor Speedway start as a full-time

driver in the Oct. 8 Bank of America 500. As a salute to the longtime fan

favorite, here are four memorable moments from Earnhardt’s career to

date at Charlotte:

DALE’S DEBUT

It was billed as “Countdown to E Day,” a salute to Earnhardt’s first

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start in the 1999 Coca-Cola 600. The

son of seven-time series champion Dale Earnhardt debuted in NASCAR’s

premier series 24 years after his famous father, who drove an Ed Negre-

owned No. 8 Dodge to 22nd place in the 1975 Coca-Cola 600.

Driving a No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolet, Earnhardt kicked

off his Cup Series career with a 16th-place finish after qualifying an

impressive eighth.

STAR OF STARS

No rookie had ever won NASCAR’s Monster Energy All-Star Race

when a fresh-faced Earnhardt took the green flag for his first All-Star

start on May 20, 2000.

One hour and 70 laps later, Earnhardt was in the history books as

the first rookie to win the All-Star Race after a stirring drive to the front

in the closing laps.

“That win here in the All-Star Race was, and still is, the favorite

moment of my career –being in Victory Lane with my dad,” Earnhardt

told FOX Sports in May.

NO. 8 ON THE CAR, NO. 1 ON THE CHARTS

No driver forgets their first victory. Nor do they forget the first time

they top the chart in qualifying, which Earnhardt did only five days after

he won the All-Star Race in 2000.

Earnhardt blistered Charlotte’s asphalt in turning a record

29.027-second, 186.034-mph lap that sent the rocking crowd to its feet

and the red No. 8 to P1.

THREE’S A CROWD

The 2012 Monster Energy Open featured a cast of stars including

Earnhardt, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.

Earnhardt started third but asserted his dominance from the drop of

the green. He led all 40 laps on his way to a victory that made him only

the third driver, along with Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, to win all four

of NASCAR’s special events (Clash, Duel, All-Star Race, Open).

DALE’S MEMORABLE

MOMENTS

By Aaron Burns