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August 09, 2007

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Reveals His Inner Elvis During Elvis Week 'Music & Movies' Event at Graceland

Daleearnhardtjratmartinsvillespeedw NASCAR's four-time Most Popular Driver and lifelong Elvis fan, Dale Earnhardt Jr., will rev up the 30th Anniversary Elvis Week celebration by hosting the first night of the "Elvis Music & Movies" series on the front lawn of Graceland on Monday, August 13, 2007.

"Elvis Music & Movies" marks the first ever Elvis Week entertainment event inside the gates of Presley's famed home in Memphis. The 30th Anniversary Elvis Week, anticipated to be the largest Elvis event ever, runs August 11-19.

"My grandmother used to watch me when I was little, and she always listened to Elvis, so I grew up an Elvis fan," Earnhardt said. "This will be my second visit to Graceland, and I'm looking forward to helping celebrate Elvis' legacy with thousands of his biggest fans."

Earnhardt will be joined on stage by NHRA driver Brandon Bernstein. The King of Beers will support the annual celebration with a commemorative Elvis paint scheme for the Budweiser Top Fuel dragster, driven by Bernstein, to run during the NHRA MAC Tools U.S. Nationals, August 29-September 3 in Indianapolis. In addition, Budweiser will honor Elvis' passion for horses with a visit by the Budweiser Clydesdales, which will be stabled in Graceland's horse barn and pastures for public viewing August 14-18.

Elvis_week Earnhardt will discuss racing, his love of Elvis music, introduce his favorite songs, and interact with the evening's entertainers, Andy Childs and the rockabilly trio, The Dempseys. Following the live performances, Earnhardt will introduce the Elvis movie Viva Las Vegas, which has been restored and digitally remastered as part of a new release of Elvis movies from Warner Bros.

"Elvis had a true appreciation for fine automobiles and a love of racing, so it is truly exciting to count someone like Dale Jr. as one of his fans," stated Paul Jankowski, chief marketing officer for EPE. "That also makes it fitting that Dale Jr. is here to help us kick off our 'Music & Movies' series with Viva Las Vegas, in which Elvis stars as a race car driver."

Tuesday's "Music & Movies" lineup features vocal groups that worked with Elvis -- The Imperials, former members of The Stamps Quartet, and The Sweet Inspirations -- all performing live in concert on Graceland's front lawn. Their performances will be followed by a screening of Warner Bros.' new concert film release, Elvis: That's the Way It Is, Special Edition, which has also been restored and digitally remastered and features 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio.

Driving the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet, Dale Jr. finished fifth in the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He has earned 17 career victories, 70 top-five and 113 top-10 finishes in his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career through May 2007, including a coveted victory in the 2004 Daytona 500. In his only race in Memphis, Dale Jr. finished second in the Sam's Town 250 on Oct. 31, 1999 at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Bernstein began his professional NHRA driving career in 2003 behind the wheel of the 7,000-horsepower Budweiser/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster. Bernstein had the most successful career launch of any Top Fuel and Funny Car driver in NHRA history, winning five of his first 13 starts. He scored a career high four victories and three runner-up finishes in 2006. Bernstein has earned 14 career victories, including back-to-back wins in April.

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