Earnhardt Back At Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. – After testing his NASCAR Craftsman Truck last month at Talladega Superspeedway, Kerry Earnhardt returned to the 2.5-mile superspeedway to get some time behind the wheel of the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet preparation for the fast-approaching Daytona 500. While the season opener is the true focus of the next two days of testing, they're also gaining a little more information for May 1, when Earnhardt will drive the machine in the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race.

"The home group here is like family now. I come down and hang out and visit while I wait on the guys to get the car ready. I love Talladega; it's pretty cool and it's one of the most fun tracks to race on," Earnhardt said. "We're just working on Daytona stuff right now. We found bits and pieces at different times that helped the car at Daytona, and we just went back to the shop and put it all together in one package. Now, we're trying all of that out here."

Toyota Racing Development booked the two-day test for its NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams, and allowed Earnhardt to share track time with truck drivers Johnny Benson, Bill Lester and Mike Skinner of Bill Davis Racing's No. 23, 22 and 5 teams, as well as Robert Huffman of Darrell Waltrip Racing's No. 12 team. Earnhardt said he still hopes to run a full season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in the Billy Ballew-owned No. 15 Chevrolet powered by Dale Earnhardt, Inc. engines.

And on the subject of sponsors, Earnhardt's eyes light up when he talks about his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series sponsor Bass Pro Shops' plans for an Alabama location in nearby Leeds. An avid hunter and outdoors enthusiast, his eagerness to check out the finished store is readily apparent.

"I just can't wait. We went down for the groundbreaking and I can’t wait for them to get it open and see the whole thing. They couldn't have picked a more beautiful location. Just driving down there for the ceremony was impressive...all the wildlife country," Earnhardt said.

He also can't wait for all the racing that lies ahead of him this year, between his plans to run superspeedway races for RCR and his first season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He'll be one to keep tabs on as the season progresses, but better yet - catch him in person here on NASCAR's Most Competitive Track in the May 1 Aaron's 499.

The 2005 Aaron's Dream Weekend includes Winn-Dixie Qualifying Day Presented by Pepsi for the NASCAR Busch Series on April 28, The Birmingham News/Birmingham Post-Herald Qualifying Day for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series on April 29, the Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Busch Series race on April 30 and the Aaron's 499 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on May 1. Tickets to these events are available by calling the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office at 1-877-Go2-DEGA (1-877-462-3342) Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. CDT, or by visiting us online. More information on reserving a spot in Talladega's overnight parks and reserved infield area is also available online or by calling the Ticket Office. For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). You may also purchase tickets in person at Talladega Superspeedway’s Ticket Office from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. CDT, Monday through Friday.

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