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Earnhardt takes world's largest HDTV for a test drive with virtual lap

CONCORD, N.C.  – Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the world’s largest high definition television for a spin earlier today at Charlotte Motor Speedway by taking virtual laps around the legendary 1.5-mile track using an iRacing simulation.

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Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, invited Earnhardt, an avid video gamer, to show off his skills on the giant HDTV.

For its operational debut, Smith and Earnhardt used an oversized remote to power on the 200 foot-wide, 80 foot-tall HDTV, created by Panasonic, to reveal a highlight video of past racing action at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Charlotte sets the standard for the rest of the tracks,” said Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet. “They always do things first and do things the biggest and look, here we are today with another first from them. Charlotte holds a special place in a lot of drivers’ hearts, mine included and the big TV makes this place even more special.

“The 600 is one of the best events we have all year long,” he added. “Now fans can get a ticket to the race and have the experience of the live event with the comfort of their own TV at home with this big TV.”

“This giant Panasonic HDTV will be a game changer for our fans on race day,” Smith said. “It will give them a whole new way to experience a NASCAR event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.”

Today’s event signaled the completion of the Panasonic HDTV project, which took up to 57 workers a day, working more than 11,000 man hours, more than four months to construct. The 332-and-a-half-ton structure is the largest HDTV in the world. The 158 panels that make up the face of the television’s screen will be illuminated by nine million LED lamps during select events at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The public debut of the world’s largest HDTV will take place May 21 under the lights during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The screen is centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in clear 720P high-definition visuals.

Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world’s largest HDTV start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the 600-mile event on May 29.

Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

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