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Dale Earnhardt Jr. signs with Sony for Hendrick ride

Dale Earnhardt Jr. signs with Sony for Hendrick ride

Dale Earnhardt Jr. signs with Sony for Hendrick ride
June 21, 2007

OAKVILLE, Calif. (AP) -Junior is setting down the Bud and picking up the remote.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended the uncertainty Thursday about what corporate logo would be on the hood of his new ride with Hendrick Motorsports by announcing his partnership with Sony Electronics.

``I'm a big electronics fan. I'm a big computer guy. It's products I can dig,'' Earnhardt told reporters at a winery in the heart of California's Napa Valley. He will be competing on Sunday in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in nearby Sonoma.

Earnhardt would not comment on whether his longtime sponsor Budweiser would play any part next season when he leaves the team founded by his late father to join racetrack rivals Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick.

He said a possible alliance with sporting goods manufacturer Adidas was ``on the wish list.''

Earnhardt's move to Hendrick is expected to clean up his sometimes scruffy image to match that of his teammates, although he appeared at Thursday's news conference in a scraggy beard, an untucked dress shirt and worn jeans - with Puma athletic shoes.

Earnhardt, who convinced his sister to loan him the money to buy a computer when he was a teenager, said his father never believed the Internet would be a success.

``That's one place he was wrong and I was right. I took a lot of typing classes in high school,'' he said.

Neither Earnhardt nor Stuart Redsun, Sony's vice president of corporate marketing, would discuss the financial arrangement or the length of the deal.

``We're very happy at Sony to have Dale Junior involved for some time,'' Redsun said.

Earnhardt said he got a new digital camera out of the deal.

``The cash is great, but the product is good, too,'' he said.

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