KANNAPOLIS, NC--Current Piedmont Boll
Weevils owner and chairman Larry Hedrick announced yesterday (Nov. 21) that seven-time
NASCAR Winston Cup champion and Kannapolis native Dale Earnhardt has joined the baseball
club's ownership group. Hedrick and Earnhardt will join Charlotte businessman and speedway
owner O. Bruton Smith to comprise Carolina Baseball, Inc., as previously announced on
September 13, pending final approval from Minor League Baseball and review from the
Commissioner's Office of Major League Baseball.
In honor of Earnhardt's involvement with his hometown club, Smith and Hedrick also
announced that the team has changed its name to the "Kannapolis Intimidators."
Earnhardt, Smith and Hedrick will be at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium in Kannapolis next
week for a press conference and unveiling of the baseball club's new logo. They will be
joined at the press conference by racing's premiere artist, Sam Bass, the creator and
designer of the new logo.
"My entire family and I have been huge baseball fans all our lives,"
Earnhardt said, "And the city of Kannapolis and the whole region is very important to
all of us. To be able to join Bruton and Larry and contribute a little bit to my hometown
by being part of this baseball team is exciting for me. I'm looking forward to getting out
to the ballpark next week and making it official."
Earnhardt has won NASCAR Winston Cup Championships in 1980, '86, '87, '90, '91, '93,
and '94. He finished second in this year's title chase to Bobby Labonte. The
second-generation driver has recorded 76 career NASCAR Winston Cup victories, his most
recent coming at Talladega Superspeedway on October 15, 2000.
The ownership trio of Earnhardt, Smith and Hedrick completes a unique trifecta of
racing interests - driver, speedway owner and race team owner - and unites the circuits of
professional auto racing with professional baseball for the first time. Earnhardt's
ownership involvement, like Carolina Baseball's, is subject to approval by the South
Atlantic League, Minor League Baseball and review by the Commissioner's Office.