NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, received a ceremonial key to the town of Mooresville on Friday on behalf of JR Motorsports, the racing shop they co-own in Talbert Pointe Business Park.
“All these years, I never thought we’d be getting a key to the city,” Dale Jr. said after he and his sister received the award from Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins and town commissioners.
Earnhardt Jr. brought his 5-month-old Irish setter, Gus, to the ceremony at JR Motorsports.
The town presented the key in part for JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliott winning the 2014 Nationwide Series title. At 18, Elliott became the youngest champion ever of a NASCAR national series.
The town also recognized JR Motorsports for having grown from just a couple of employees to more than 100.
During the ceremony, town commissioner Bobby Compton told Dale Jr. that he remembers him always being on time each morning at Mooresville High School, from which Dale Jr. graduated in 1992.
Compton, who still lives behind the school, smiled recalling how Dale Jr.’s Chevy S-10 pickup was always dirty.