Dale Earnhardt Jr.: NASCAR driver and … love counselor?

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INDIANAPOLIS – During Saturday’s pre-Brickyard 400 press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. admitted he is well aware he’ll turn 40 later this year (October 10).

“I’m going to turn 40 next year, or this year actually, so I think I’ve got so much going on that I’d rather not pile that on my plate,” Earnhardt said when asked if he’d consider running the ‘double,’ the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600.

But earlier in the week, Junior showed he may have a post-NASCAR future as an advice counselor for the lovelorn.

When a fan wrote him on Twitter and asked if he had “any advice for getting dumped,” Junior cut right to the chase (and we’re not talking about the Chase for the Sprint Cup):

“1. Focus on the 1 thing about them that annoyed u the most. 2. Party with friends.”

When another fan asked if he had any breakup advice, Earnhardt responded, “Do it in person. # HighRoad.”

In the same tweet, Earnhardt also admitted “I ran an advice booth at the mall once.”

 

Well, there you go. He has all the necessary credentials to become NASCAR’s version of Dear Abby. We can just see it now:

“Dear Dale, what do you do about a husband who is your biggest fan and ignores me?”

@DaleJr: “Become a fan of mine, too. Problem solved. The family that follows me together, stays together.”

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Lewis Hamilton aims to match Michael Schumacher’s F1 win record

Lewis Hamilton Schumacher record
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SOCHI, Russia — Lewis Hamilton has set many Formula One marks over the years, but few are as significant as the Michael Schumacher record he can match Sunday at the Russian Grand Prix.

Victory for Hamilton at the Sochi Olympic Park would see him draw level with Schumacher at 91 career victories, more than any other driver in the 70-year history of F1.

It also would increase Hamilton’s commanding 55-point lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas in the championship standings, putting him closer to a seventh world championship, matching another Schumacher record.

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History is on the side of Hamilton, who won Sept. 13 at Mugello. He’s won four of the six Russian races so far, and all six were won by Mercedes drivers. His closest challenger is likely to be Bottas, who beat Hamilton in the 2017 edition of the Russian Grand Prix.

Elsewhere in the championship hunt, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen’s season has gone up in smoke since his Aug. 9 victory at Silverstone. An overheating engine forced the Dutch driver out of the Sept. 6 race at Monza and then a similar problem struck just before the start at Mugello. Verstappen was far slower off the line than the cars around him and was struck by Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo.

That leaves Verstappen 80 points off Hamilton in the standings and a 25-point deficit to Bottas.

If Hamilton does win to tie Schumachher at Sochi, more fans will see it in person than any other race in a 2020 season mostly run before empty grandstands because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Organizers say the race weekend is sold out but haven’t given final ticket sales figures.

Race promoter Alexei Titov previously told Russian state TV that the stands would be at 50 percent of their capacity, which equates to around 30,000 spectators.

That’s far more than the previous season high of 3,000 fans for the most recent race, the Tuscan Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit.

Unlike at the last two races in Italy, there will be a full entertainment program on offer for fans with concerts featuring some of Russia’s most popular musicians.

Russian organizers say they’re taking precautions to keep fans safe and will have medical staff posted at checkpoints around the venue, and that spectators will have their temperature measured on entry.