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Earnhardt siblings plan Alabama racing, entertainment park
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published September 13, 2006
MOBILE, Ala. - Plans for a motorsports and entertainment park on the Alabama coast were announced Tuesday by an investor group led by Dale Earnhardt Jr. along with sister Kelley Earnhardt Elledge and brother Kerry Earnhardt in their first professional collaboration.
"Our family business is racing, and it's been our business for three generations," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. "Kelley, Kerry and I want to continue the family business with hopes that the next generation of Earnhardts will want to be involved in the sport."
The project, which will be located either in the area of the University of Mobile in Mobile County or one of two sites in neighboring Baldwin County, will cover about 2,300 acres. It will include a 75,000-seat oval speedway, a road course, a drag strip and a dirt track, as well as entertainment venues.
Kerry Earnhardt is also providing input on a freshwater lake for possible national fishing events at the site, which is to be named "Alabama Motorsports Park: A Dale Earnhardt Jr. Speedway." The project is to be completed in the fall of 2009.
"Growing up, the racetrack was our playground on the weekends," Earnhardt Jr. said, "so all of us look forward to being involved on the ground level of this project and being a part of the design team."
GRUBB SUSPENDED: NASCAR suspended Kevin Grubb indefinitely because he refused to submit to a random drug test after the Busch Series race at Richmond International Speedway last week.
Grubb was suspended in March 2004 for failing a drug test but agreed as part of his reinstatement this June to random testing. But when officials approached him after Friday night's race, he twice refused to submit a sample, spokesman Jim Hunter said.
Although Grubb wrecked on the first lap of the race and finished last, Hunter said the test was random and NASCAR was not accusing him of being under the influence of any illegal substances.
Grubb has made five starts in the Busch Series and four in the Truck Series this season.
IT'S BATGIRL!: Danica Patrick's new car got a grand introduction. She took it on a short ride through Chicago streets before officially unveiling the No. 7 she will drive for Andretti Green Racing next season.
"It's black, it's sort of sleek, it looks fast," Patrick said.
And it resembles a batmobile.
Patrick rode to stardom in 2005 when she finished fourth at the Indianapolis 500 and was the IRL rookie of the year, but this year was difficult. Teammate Paul Dana died after a crash before the season opener, she experienced mechanical problems, and her Rahal Letterman Racing team switched chassis in midseason. Her new car is a Dallara chassis with a Honda engine.