DEI honors Dale Earnhardt’s memory once again on Friday
This annual event is held on Big E’s birthday each year, and is meant for fans of the NASCAR legend – who is possibly the greatest driver of all time and definitely the most beloved – to get a chance to remember his career and honor his accomplishments.
A new painting of Earnhardt will be unveiled at the event this year, and there will be anunveiling of the 2011 "Intimidator" Camaros – one of which will raffled off in a fundraiser.
Music will come from "Eddy Francis & Freight Train", and there will be an encore showing of the 2003 Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert Film. Autograph Sessions will feature oldest son Kerry Earnhardt and daughter Taylor Earnhardt.
The event runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday. Admission is free, and for more info, visit daleearnhardtinc.com.
Unique hobby for Lally
Some drivers, including Clint Bowyer took the off-weekend as a chance to go to the beach and soak in some sun.
Meanwhile, #71 TRG Motorsports driver Andy Lally was busy sweating in another way – as he fought in a mixed martial arts event in Georgia on April 23.
The COPA America Submission Grappling Championship features no punching or kicking, and instead competitors are scored on throws, takedowns, sweeps, reversals, knee on chest, mount, pass guard, rear mount and advantages for near points or near submissions.
Lally said that a lot of training was needed before he took part in the event.
"I train at Creighton MMA in Georgia," Lally said.
"I've got some incredible instructors that I train with every day when I am home. I've been training at an MMA gym for a while with my primary focus being Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It's a great cardio workout and it's something I've been interested in for a long time. I'm a big fan of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and competitive fighting. Aside from expanding my training, maybe I can find some time in the off season to give it a try on an amateur level for fun. For now, tournaments like these are what I'll look forward to. A bunch of guys I train with will be there as well, so it should be a fun day. Kevin has been good with me for all the years we've been together as far as understanding that I get bored easily and can't just jog on a treadmill to stay fit. I have lots of little goals in life and although I know my primary focus is NASCAR, I still feel like there are things that I will kick myself if I don't try. There is always a risk for injury in a lot of things I do, but I will try to be smart and stay out of trouble. I want to be a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt some day and competing helps continue to drive me to be better."
Brian Keselowski returns
After some time off for emergency gallbladder surgery, Rochester Hills native Brian Keselowski will be back at Richmond and beyond trying to qualify his tiny team into the races.
It’s been a rough year for the team ever since its emotional entry into the Daytona 500, but Brian hopes to get back on the right track now that his medical issues have been resolved.
Plans so far are for Keselowski to drive Richmond, Darlington and Dover … and I wish him luck, because I know what success at NASCAR's top level would mean to him.
Tommy Baldwin trying to compete
Dave Blaney had a great Talladega run, and that was validation for the improved efforts by Tommy Baldwin Racing this season. Formerly a regular start-and-park team, TBR has run all but one race this year and will continue to do so as long as sponsorship allows.
It would be nice to see the team find proper funding, and they can be the model on which other start-and-parks build as they grow into teams that can actually afford to race fully each weekend. It will not be easy, but I would like to see it happen.
Blaney says: “We are going to go to all of them, no doubt. It's just when you get there, can you swing racing hard all day. That's the question. We have [raced hard] every race this year and hopefully can keep that going."
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