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Earnhardt Jr. plans to race this weekend

Friday, July 23, 2004

The Associated Press

LOUDON, N.H. -- There's no keeping Dale Earnhardt Jr. away from the track.

Less than a week after being burned in a wreck, he'll be back at New Hampshire International Speedway, where he will race to try to hold onto second place in the Nextel Cup standings.

With NASCAR off last weekend, Earnhardt decided to drive in an American Le Mans event last Sunday in Sonoma, Calif.

He was initially dazed after crashing during the warmup and barely managed to escape the fireball that turned his Corvette into a scorched pile of junk.

Earnhardt sustained second-degree burns to his legs, face and neck. He spent Sunday night in a Sacramento hospital and was released Monday.

Martin Truex Jr. will be standing by Sunday to drive in case Earnhardt needs relief.

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