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CONCORD, N.C. -- Saturday evening in Arizona, Dale Earnhardt Jr. helped raise money for a cause close to his heart -- Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Two cars with ties to Earnhardt were auctioned off at Barrett-Jackson. One was a No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS that was raced at Phoenix, Richmond and Bristol. The other was a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS designed by Earnhardt.

All proceeds from both sales benefited Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Before the auction began, Nationwide presented Earnhardt and his wife, Amy, with a very special wedding present.

At the auction, Earnhardt made sure to take time to visit with fans and sign autographs.

Then the driver of the No. 88 Chevy met his special guest for the evening's festivities -- Nationwide Children's Hospital patient champion Maddie.

Earnhardt even gave Maddie a ride onto the auction stage.

In the end, the goal was to raise a lot of money for the hospital -- and that goal was certainly met. A $400,000 check was presented to Nationwide Children's Hospital at the end of the evening.