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NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Matt Kenseth: Pay up on bet

January 12, 2012 |  5:19 pm

Drivers took their first test laps Thursday in preparation for the Daytona 500 next month, but NASCAR's silly season wasn't quite yet over.

In between practice laps, Dale Earnhardt Jr. joked with reporters at Daytona International Speedway that after fellow Sprint Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth showed up at his '70s-themed New Year's Eve party with a beard, Earnhardt bet him $2,500 that Kenseth could not keep the facial hair until this week's test sessions.

"We actually sent a few texts back and forth to confirm the bet, and he shaved his beard," Earnhardt said. "I told him to go to the bank, but maybe he forgot. I want my $2,500."

When Kenseth met with reporters later Thursday, the bet was the first question.

Kenseth said he thought he could keep the beard long enough to win the wager, only to find out this week "you've got to do a photo here and you've got to do this interview and do a photo shoot there. So I guess I lost."

Added Kenseth, the 2003 Cup champion: "I'll try to scrounge [the money] up somewhere, I guess."


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-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Dale Earnhard Jr. talks to the media Thursday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images