Local News

Race for Earnhardt Memorabilia is On

Posted February 18, 2001

— Fans of any sport collect tokens, t-shirts -- any memorabilia that shows their support.NASCARfans are some of the most intense when it comes to showing their loyalty.

That loyalty was especially true the day after the death of Dale Earnhardt.

From the moment Cary's Dialed in Racing opened Monday, business was brisk.

Mini cars, bottles, mugs and shot glasses -- anything having to do with Earnhardt sold off store shelves.

"The fans have responded by coming out in droves. We've probably done more business in three hours than we have in two weeks," says store owner Keith Shearin.

It was not just Dale Earnhardt fans who came looking for black, No. 3 items. In most instances, it was racing fans just looking to add to their collections.

As almost 76,000 Dale Earnhardt items sell on eBay, the demand for memorabilia has become big business for a Raleigh company.

The 50 employees at Allwall.com are filling orders from the company's Web site for Earnhardt posters, art and photos. Thousands of items, priced from $5 to more than $100, are flying out by overnight mail.

"It hasn't stopped, hasn't slowed down a bit since Sunday night," said Allwall.com co-founder Joshua Chodniewicz. The 6-year-old business has not seen business like this since Michael Jordan retired.

Money aside, Chodniewicz understands the genuine pain that fans feel.

"He became part of your life," he said. "You enjoy what he does, and you live his races with him as he races."

Some Web sites have sold out of their Earnhardt merchandise; others refuse to sell, out of respect for the Earnhardt family.


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