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DALE EARNHARDT INC. TEAMS HONOR LISA "LEFT-EYE" LOPES
THIS WEEKEND AT RICHMOND'S PONTIAC EXCITEMENT 400

Dale Earnhardt Inc. will honor the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, of the popular R&B group TLC, this weekend at Richmond's Pontiac Excitement 400 by carrying special stripes on all three of the company's Winston Cup Chevrolets, including the No. 8 Budweiser car of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lopes, 30, was killed instantly in a traffic accident in Honduras on April 25. Within days, morgue photos of Lopes were circulated on the internet, striking a nerve within the Earnhardt organization.

Teresa Earnhardt, wife of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt, was drawn into extensive courtroom battles protecting the privacy of her family and memory of her late husband following his death in February of 2001. Several news organizations and a website unsuccessfully tried to obtain autopsy photos of Earnhardt following his fatal accident.

"We want to express our deepest sympathy to her family, friends and fans. She has a huge following here at our shop," said Steve Crisp, Director of Media Relations for the Mooresville, NC-based company.

"We all wanted to do something to honor her and express our feelings to her family, friends and fans. Losing a loved one is difficult beyond description. Her family should be allowed to get through their loss without additional torment, especially something as painful as autopsy or morgue photos. We've all been through it here at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and we know how tormenting it can be. As an expression of our feelings, we've added stripes below the left headlight of each of our cars," Crisp added.

As a trademark, Lopes, an Atlanta, GA native, often performed with a single black stripe under her left eye. The Dale Earnhardt Inc. Chevrolets, driven by Steve Park, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip will each carry a similar stripe under the left headlight. In addition, over the wall pit crew members on all three teams will wear black stripes under their left eye in Saturday night's event.

Teresa Earnhardt, CEO of Dale Earnhardt Inc. is urging viewers of Saturday's Fox-televised event to appreciate the stripe each of her cars carry.

"When I first heard the news that such highly personal and private photos of Lisa Lopes were posted online, my thoughts and sympathies immediately went to her family. I wrote them personally to express my condolences because I know what pain they must be going through. The stripes on the cars are something we can do to remember her and call attention to the fact that her loved ones should be protected from this invasion of privacy," said Earnhardt.

"Families in Florida are protected, but unfortunately in this case, Lisa, her family, friends and fans aren't afforded that basic respect, although they unquestionably should be. The actions of the website are a sad and constant reminder that we are in an age where the internet has the harmful ability to instantly spread personal information without regard for privacy or dignity. For all of the good that the internet does, it can also do lifetime damage in the hands of irresponsible people. We're dedicating everything that we accomplish in Richmond this weekend to Lisa and those who love her."

Thanks to Jade for this information!

www.Budweiser.com
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