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Fans to celebrate the late Dale Earnhardt’s birthday Friday

Dale Earnhardt and his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. watch a race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 1, 2001. The elder Earnhardt died in a crash at Daytona 17 days later.
Dale Earnhardt and his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. watch a race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 1, 2001. The elder Earnhardt died in a crash at Daytona 17 days later. AP

Fans of the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt will gather in Mooresville on his birthday Friday to celebrate his life and legacy.

The seven-time Winston Cup champion died Feb. 18, 2001, in a final-lap wreck at the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Each April 29, fans flock to Dale Earnhardt Inc. on N.C. 3 (1675 Dale Earnhardt Highway) for Dale Earnhardt Day.

A highlight of this year’s commemoration will be the first public viewing of a custom statue of Earnhardt by artist Jason Fizer of Roanoke, Va. The sculpture will be shown in private seatings throughout the day. Tickets are free but are first-come, first-serve.

Various Earnhardt items will be displayed, and DEI’s Grand Showroom will open to the public.

Fans also can enjoy custom birthday cupcakes in honor of “The Intimidator’s” birthday.

The Dale Earnhardt Foundation will accept good used or new books for its book drive project to benefit the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope in Charlotte.

The event is scheduled for 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Admission is free, and plenty of parking is available.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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