‘Stroker Ace was born to race’: Dale Earnhardt Jr. mourns Burt Reynolds

Actor Burt Reynolds has died at 82 years old, according to his agent.

Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. paid tribute to Reynolds in a tweet shortly after news of the actor’s death came out.

“Stroker Ace was born to race,” Earnhardt tweeted. “Much respect to you Burt Reynolds. R.I.P.”

Earnhardt was referring to Reynolds’ lead role in “Stroker Ace,” a 1983 NASCAR racing movie filmed in North Carolina and Georgia.

Others in the NASCAR world also paid tribute to Reynolds.

Richard Petty Motorsports tweeted a photo of “The King” chatting with Reynolds: “You’ll be missed. R.I.P Bandit,” read the tweet.

Reynolds starred as the character “Bandit” in the 1977 hit film “Smokey and the Bandit.”

“Burt was as much of a showman as anyone in Hollywood,” Richard Petty Motorsports said in a separate tweet. “He had his own signature look, style and charisma. He made himself standout, and the times I met him, he was as nice as a person you could meet and talk to. He will be missed by many.” - RP”

Atlanta Motor Speedway hosted Reynolds last year for a 40th anniversary celebration of the movie.

The speedway tweeted a photo of Reynolds waving to the crowd at the track.

“Rest in peace Burt Reynolds... A movie icon and dear friend of the track,” the speedway tweeted.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak