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Kirk Ferentz
Turning 39, Dale Earnhardt Jr. to make 500th NASCAR Cup start
Turning 39, Dale Earnhardt Jr. to make 500th NASCAR Cup start

Dale Earnhardt Jr. turns 39 on Thursday and two days later, the immensely popular driver will make his 500th career start in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. The milestone start will be at Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the same track where Earnhardt made his first Cup start in 1999 at the age of 24. Back then he drove a No. 8 Chevrolet owned by his father, the legendary seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, who was killed two years later in a crash at the Daytona 500. Now Dale Jr., as everyone calls him, drives the No. 88 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, where he's had less success than many expected when he joined the powerful NASCAR team in 2008. ...

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