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Earnhardt Jr. to Make Winston Cup Debut in May

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his much-anticipated Winston Cup debut May 30 in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Budweiser, the company that will sponsor Little E's move to NASCAR's top series, made the announcement Tuesday night during a visit to Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s new Mooresville race shop by the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour.

Earnhardt, 24, the defending Busch Grand National Series champion, is scheduled to run the entire Busch Series again in 1999, as well as five Winston Cup events before running for rookie of the year in the top series in 2000.

The son of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt will also run the Jiffy Lube 300 on July 11 at Loudon, N.H., the Pepsi 400 on Aug. 22 at Brooklyn, Mich., the Winston 500 on Oct. 17 at Talladega, Ala., and the NAPA 500 on Nov. 21 at Hampton, Ga.

Earnhardt's team also unveiled the new red and black No. 8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo he will drive in his first Winston Cup race.

``This number is real special to me, and I know it is to my father,'' Earnhardt Jr. said. ``My grandfather (Ralph Earnhardt) drove the No. 8 for many races and my dad had that number early in his career. This is very exciting for me.''

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