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ESPN Picks Up Dale Earnhardt Jr. Reality Show

Gearing up for the 2008 National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing season, ESPN picked up five episodes of Dale Jr.- Shifting Gears.

The show will follow Earnhardt as he changes teams and joins Hendrick Motorsports, and it will include everything from behind-the-scenes business meetings and new press-conference footage to the design process for the paint schemes for the new No. 88 car.

The show actually started out as a behind-the-scenes project: “We were working on a new DVD about my life, and the guys kept getting more and more footage, so they decided to put a whole TV show together to document the biggest career decision I’ve ever made,” Earnhardt Jr. said in announcing the show. “The past year of my life has been a roller coaster, and it’s pretty cool that we’re giving everyone an inside look at how everything came together.”

ESPN will air the first three episodes of the series leading up to the Daytona 500, beginning with the first episode, set to debut Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

The last two episodes, each one hour long, will be timed to debut with the Brickyard 400 in July, ESPN’s first live NASCAR event of the season.