Bass Pro Shops to sponsor Austin Dillon at Talladega, Daytona

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Bass Pro Shops will help commemorate the return of the No. 3 to the Sprint Cup Series by sponsoring Austin Dillon at Talladega and Daytona this season.

The nation’s No. 1 outdoor retail leader first began its association with Richard Childress Racing and the No. 3 Cup car in 1998 as an associate sponsor of the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet immortalized by seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt.

Bass Pro first partnered with Dillon in 2010 in the Truck Series, and was his sponsor when he won the title the next season. The company was with Dillon in the Nationwide Series, and will now sponsor the two races in Sprint Cup with the No. 3.

Bass Pro currently sponsors Ty Dillon in the Nationwide Series.

HUNGER GAMES: Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored two points in his high school basketball career. But the reason he didn’t quit is he liked the opportunity to get away from his military school campus and eat pizza.

Earnhardt attended Oak Ridge Military Academy near Greensboro, N.C. He played on the JV team, where he was the shortest person on the roster.

“I only played because you got to leave campus for the road games,” he said. “Being able to leave even for a day in military school was an amazing vacation just to be able to leave for a few hours because you would go after the game you would get pizza or whatever.”

Earnhardt scored one basket.

“I threw it up with my eyes closed,” he said. “The only way I knew it went in is because Kelley (Earnhardt-Miller, sister) and everybody that was there, the 10 or 12 people that were there, were screaming when it went in. So I knew it went in, but I never
saw it.”

Earnhardt knew he was destined to continue a family tradition as a race car driver, so he never took basketball seriously.

TOUGH TRANSITION: AJ Allmendinger tried to rebuild his racing career following a drug suspension in 2012 by racing sports cars, stock cars and IndyCars last year. He said it’s difficult to make the adjustment.

“I spent a lot of time during the month of May last year trying to learn how to be in traffic. And heck, I even went into the race still wishing I had more practice. So, that’s a big challenge,” he said.


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