Dale Earnhardt Jr. a hit with Fossil Ridge High School race fans

Posted Monday, Nov. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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When Cynthia Stabler got a note in second period that she was going to meet Dale Earnhardt Jr., she burst into tears.

“I’m a big fan,” Cynthia said. “Ever since I was 6 and I started watching NACAR with my mom and dad, Dale’s been my favorite driver.”

On Oct. 31, just a few days before he would take the track at the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Earnhardt visited Fossil Ridge High School to meet with students and school staff.

Cynthia, a Ridge sophomore, was one of about 100 students who got the chance to have their picture taken with Earnhardt, voted NASCAR’s most popular driver for ten years in a row, and get his autograph.

Students had to submit a request with possible questions for Earnhardt to counselors. Those with the best questions were selected to attend the “meet and greet.”

Freshman Katy Horn had him sign her white “National Guard/Dale Earnhardt Jr.” jacket and asked him to put on her No. 88 hat so she could tell everyone that “Dale Jr.” wore her hat.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Katy said. “He’s great and seems like a cool guy.”

Fossil Ridge Principal David Hadley said the visit gave students “a rare and unique opportunity” to see someone who had achieved his dreams.

“It’s neat for them to see somebody who is in the public spotlight who is so down to earth and willing to meet with them,” Hadley said.

Earnhardt also talked with students from the yearbook and Ridge TV staffs.

Ryan Halford, a yearbook staffer and freshman, asked Earnhardt if he used anything he learned in school in his work.

“We use math every day,” Earnhardt said. “Everything about our sport is measurements.”

He said that racing teams use geometry, equations of speed and engineering to get peak performances from their cars.

At a school pep rally, he told students that there was a reason to work hard in school.

“Everything you do has a direct relation to what is going to happen to you the rest of your life,” Earnhardt said. “The harder you try, the better off you will be. Give your best effort.”

Sandra Engelland, 817-431-2231 Twitter: @SandraEngelland

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