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Sport How DiBenedetto earned Dale Jr.’s All-Star Race vote

00:30  20 may  2017
00:30  20 may  2017 Source:   ftw.usatoday.com

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— Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@ DaleJr ) May 19, 2017. While explaining why winning the All - Star fan vote would mean to much to him, DiBenedetto shared some of his personal story and gratitude for the votes he’ s already received.

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How 1 NASCAR driver earned Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s All-Star Race vote© File photo How 1 NASCAR driver earned Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s All-Star Race vote

There are several different ways NASCAR drivers can qualify for the All-Star Race on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But if you haven't won a race recently and you've never been a Cup Series champ, one way in is to win the fan vote to round out the field of 20 drivers.

Enter Matt DiBenedetto. Usually a jokester, the third-year Cup driver has been campaigning for fans' votes pretty hard, and in a serious but touching video, he argued one last time for why he deserves your vote.

He even came off as so genuine that he actually convinced Dale Earnhardt Jr. - who's already qualified for the race - to vote for him too.

While explaining why winning the All-Star fan vote would mean to much to him, DiBenedetto shared some of his personal story and gratitude for the votes he's already received.

"Honestly, it would mean as much or more than anything that's probably happened in my whole career because that's so neat to have all the fans behind me. I mean, I've had to work so hard the old school way to get here. My father fixes appliances for a living, I'm a first-generation racer, we're not millionaires. I've thought my career was over 40 times - honestly, that's not even a joke. I've been kicked down, beat down, it's been a whirlwind and a crazy, emotional roller coaster to get here, but I'm fortunate to have gotten here this way. I'm glad I've had to do it this way because it makes me appreciate it so much more. …

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All of DiBenedetto ’ s starts in the premier series were with BK Racing , where he has earned one top-10 finish. “This is going to happen,’’ said Brett Griffin on the podcast “Door Bumper Clear on Dale Earnhardt Jr .’ s Dirty Mo Radio.

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"I want to be that guy - that face of NASCAR. That guy that's looked upon as being the most respectful to all of his fans, who interacts with all of his fans, goes out of his way for all his fans. I want to be like that Dale Jr. popularity, but not for the same reasons - I'm a first-generation guy - but more for just being so outgoing with my fans."

As of Wednesday, DiBenedetto was in the top 10, according to NASCAR.com, and the winner will be announced Saturday before the race.

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