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Guard Soldiers, Earnhardt join up at NASCAR event

Hours before his seventh-place start and a fourth-place finish in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway June 9, Dale Earnhardt Jr. looked fresh and rested as he visited National Guard members at an infield area.

Earnhardt, dressed in a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, took 15 minutes out of his busy race day for an exclusive interview with The On Guard, the National Guard’s official newspaper, and to sign a few autographs and hang out with 18 new enlistees in the Pennsylvania Army Guard.

Then he climbed into the blue and white No. 88 National Guard Chevy Impala to endure the heat of competition under the watchful eyes of thousands of his military and civilian fans.

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Earnhardt gears up to drive Guard-sponsored cars

As he drives its sponsored race cars at NASCAR’s top auto racing competitions this year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. hopes to learn more about the National Guard.

“It’s going to be a year-long introduction of myself to the Guard (and) how I can be an asset to them,” Earnhardt said here Jan. 23.

With the 2008 NASCAR auto racing season less than a month from its first competitive laps, Earnhardt said he has hopes for a successful racing season with a new lineup of team members and sponsors, including the National Guard.