Dale Earnhardt, Jr visits fans at Hartsville Wal-Mart

Become a fan of WPDE Sports on Facebook to receive local sports from the Florence/Myrtle Beach area on your Facebook page

Dale Earnhardt, Junior got his Darlington race weekend started early with a Thursday night appearance at the Hartsville Wal-Mart. Hundreds of fans were lined up hours in advance for a chance to see a question and answer session with the driver of the #88 Amp Chevy. Currently, 4th in NASCAR Sprint Cup points, it's a homecoming of sorts for Junior who began his driving career at Florence and Myrtle Beach Speedways.

I really like this area, Earnhardt, Junior said on a stage outside of the Hartsville Wal-Mart. A lot of people don TMt know it, but a long, long time ago I used to race in Florence on Friday nights. We used to race there every Friday night then we TMd go home, swap cars out and then go to the beach (MB Speedway) and race. It feels like me to when we go to Darlington to race it feels like a regular Saturday night in Myrtle Beach to me.

Book excerpt: Dale, Jr - making a name of his own (a look at Junior's racing career at Myrtle Beach Speedway)

Dale, Jr is making his 17th start at the Track Too Tough to tame and has enjoyed some success with three top 5 finishes and seven top 10 efforts:

Dale Jr statistics at Darlington Raceway

But, last year, Earnhardt, Jr said that the Lady in Black will be the catalyst to his retirement one day.

"I'll probably come here when I'm 45, run a race and say, 'The hell with it.'", Earnhardt, Junior said following a mishap in practice in 2010. Read the entire entry by's David Newton here: Earnhardt, Jr and Darlington Raceway are like oil and water