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Junior confident heading into Daytona

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) Dale Earnhardt Jr. traded in his T-shirt, jeans and sneakers for a head-to-toe pilot uniform, climbed up the portable stairs and slipped into the cockpit of the iconic Goodyear Blimp.

He kept his head down and turned away from a 65-year-old military veteran who thought he was onboard for a once-in-a-lifetime ride. Retired Marine Corps sergeant major Paul Siverson settled into his seat near Earnhardt - unbeknownst that his "first, second and third favorite NASCAR driver" was at the controls of the 246-foot helium-filled airship.

When Earnhardt turned and said hello, Siverson jumped in delight .

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NASCAR Schedule
Monster Energy CupCan-Am Duel 1Feb. 234:19 PT5:19 MT6:19 CT7:19 ET19:19 ET0:19 GMT8:19 北京时间5:19 MST7:19 EST4:19 UAE (+1)6:19 CT1:19 CETNaN:� BRT TV: FS1
XFINITYPowershares QQQ 300Feb. 2512:49 PT1:49 MT2:49 CT3:49 ET15:49 ET20:49 GMT4:49 北京时间1:49 MST3:49 EST0:49 UAE (+1)2:49 CT21:49 CETNaN:� BRT TV: FS1
Camping World TruckNextEra Energy Resources 250Feb. 244:52 PT5:52 MT6:52 CT7:52 ET19:52 ET0:52 GMT8:52 北京时间5:52 MST7:52 EST4:52 UAE (+1)6:52 CT1:52 CETNaN:� BRT TV: FS1
NASCAR Leaders: Points
RankDriverPointsWins
1 C.Elliott 10 1
1 D.Hamlin 10 1
3 C.Bowyer 9 0
3 J.McMurray 9 0
5 K.Busch 8 0
5 K.Harvick 8 0
7 A.Allmendinger 7 0
7 B.Keselowski 7 0
9 A.Dillon 6 0
9 M.Kenseth 6 0
11 T.Bayne 5 0
11 D.Earnhardt Jr. 5 0
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