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Dale Earnhardt Jr. interested but not involved in Panthers purchase

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dale Earnhardt Jr., retired as a full-time driver in NASCAR’s top series, has an interest in being a minority owner of the Carolina Panthers.

The sports’ 15-time most popular driver told The Associated Press that he recently called Marcus Smith, the president and chief operating officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc., about potential involvement in purchasing the Panthers.

The subject came up when Earnhardt was asked whether he was involved with a group headed by Charlotte businessman Felix Sabates, a minority owner with Chip Ganassi Racing, to buy the team from Jerry Richardson.