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Racer's pedigree helping Habitat for Humanity

Jun. 14, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Every business or charity wants a big name attached to their cause.

When that name is "Earnhardt," it's a no-brainer.

Bobby Dale Earnhardt, grandson of the late NASCAR racing legend Dale Earnhardt, was in Huntington Wednesday accepting a certificate from the Huntington WV Area Habitat for Humanity for the work he's done for the organization around the state and the recognition he's brought to the charity's cause.

Earnhardt currently resides in Charleston and is racing in the ARCA Truck Series Saturday in the Midland Trail 150 at Ona Speedway.

The presentation took place 1829 9th Ave., the site of Huntington Habitat's 83rd home to be built to provide housing for those who can't afford a home. The house is expected to be complete in mid-July, when it will become the home of Gloria Greene.

"This is something I love to do in giving back to the community," Earnhardt said. "I've always loved Habitat for Humanity and always wanted to be a part of it and help them out. I never really had a chance until I moved up here and got connected with the Charleston Habitat, and started going around and helping out with some houses.

"It's a chance to lend my family name to the organization, but it's also a chance for me to get out and do some actual work."

David Michael, president and chief executive officer of the Huntington Habitat chapter, said Earnhardt does a lot for the organization just by showing up.

"Bobby Dale has a heart for the mission of habitat and providing affordable housing for low income families," Michael said. "It's an awareness opportunity to draw attention to the desperate need for affordable housing not only in our city and not only in West Virginia. There are 1.6 billion people around the world that live in sub-standard housing, and Habitat's mission is to eliminate sub-standard housing around the world.

"We're working to do that in our community and this partnership (with Earnhardt) will hopefully bring more folks to the table to further achieve our mission."

Also in attendance Wednesday were Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, Habitat for Humanity West Virginia director of development Lynn Corrie, local board member Buddy Fry and Ona Speedway promoter Dave Hughes.

As for Saturday's race, Earnhardt's name brings with it a certain amount of pressure.

"I look forward to racing every time I can get in a car," he said. "Expectations are high, they're always going to be high with my last name. That's kind of the down side to it.

"But I look to be my own person, and if I do good, I do good, if I don't, I don't, it's just another day at the track. Yeah, my granddad was great, and hopefully I can follow in his footsteps. I believe I've got the drive that he had, I guess we'll find out."