Dale Earnhardt Junior took his very last All-Star car for a spin on Thursday, doing some quick donuts before the media got to see his Chevy in the "Flashpoint" paint scheme.
"It's much funner to do it that way," he said. Instead of just cruising around."
NASCAR's most popular driver 14 years running seems relaxed just weeks after announcing he'd leave cup racing full time after the season.
"The finality of it hasn't hit home yet," said Earnhardt, "but I guess it probably won't for several more months."
Including Saturday's All-Star race, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 28th and another race in Octoberm, Junior's got plenty of chances at a checkered flag his hometown track.
"So I have a lot of great memories here from watching races. I ran my first race here," he said. "It's definitely a track that means a lot to me. My family's got a lot of involvement in the race industry in this area. Very close to this facility to a lot of reasons."
And no doubt when Junior takes the track here Saturday he'll think about his All-Star win in 2000 -- and seeing his dad Dale Earnhardt Sr., in Victory Lane.
"Just seeing him. Coming up and giving us a hug. Taking pictures and photos," said Earnhardt Jr.," I have all that stuff in my memory. It was good stuff. It was a great night.