Dale Jr.’s last ride in Sparta

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Truck Series Buckle Up 225 went on Thursday night…just a little later than originally planned at Kentucky Speedway.  Chris Bell winning the first of 3 races of teh weekend.

The hope is to run the Xfinity series tonight with Saturday being the big one in the Quaker State 400 (and it’ll remain that through 2022 after the announcement of the partnership renewal on Friday).

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. is running for the last time in Sparta…on a second repave.  Junior says the track will be great one day once it widens out.  The administration is taking more notes fro the drivers this weekend.  The track will drag the center lane with tires as recommended by the drivers.

Junior’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital is also getting a gift from the Speedway.  A nice jukebox so the kids you see in the video can feel just like the driver who reaches victory lane Saturday.

As for Junior’s farewell thoughts on his “Appreci88ion” retirement tour?

Hear from him in the video.

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Alex Risen joined the ABC 36 News team in October of 2011 as ABC 36’s Weekend Sports Anchor/ Sports Reporter. Alex can also be seen Friday nights co-anchoring the Highschool Highlight Reel. Alex started out in the broadcast business while still in college at the University of Kentucky, heading up the school’s daily student news network as the Sports Director. He made his commercial televsion debut in May of 2011 while at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky as co-host of a weekly, half-hour high school sports program previewing area schools’ games on Friday nights and as a morning sports anchor. Alex has also spent time as an intern at ESPN in the Statistics and Analysis department, as a production assistant for NBC Sports horse racing and Sunday Night Football productions, and as an intern for WLKY in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Alex graduated from Saint Xavier High School in 2007 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 where he graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program. He’s excited to be covering his passion in his home state and make Central Kentucky his home for years to come. Alex can be reached at ARisen@wtvq.com