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Dale Earnhardt Jr clarifies his role in a potential Panther's buying group

Several names have popped up ever since Jerry Richardson announced he would sell the Carolina Panthers of the NFL.

But of all the names mentioned, there's one that's sure to grab the attention of NASCAR fans.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt is enjoying his early days of retirement but has said he'd be interested in being part of a group that buys the team, according to

Earnhardt recently told the Associated Press that he'd reached out to Speedway Motorsports Inc. president and CEO Marcus Smith about potentially being involved in a Panthers deal.

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The conversation came about when Earnhardt inquired whether Smith was part of a group headed by Felix Sabates, a minority owner of Chip Ganassi Racing who is also mulling a bid for the Panthers.

Sabates recently disclosed that his group includes two NASCAR drivers, but Earnhardt says he's not one of them.

"(Felix) did not ask me to be involved," Earnhardt said as reported by the AP. "I did call Marcus and I said, 'Hey, Marcus, if you guys are in the middle of it and you think it's a good business deal, I definitely have some interest.' But I am not one of the guys that Felix is talking about."

"I wouldn't have the kind of money where I would move the needle too much, but it would be something to have a lot of pride in, and a good Charlotte NFL team is good for the city of Charlotte," added Earnhardt.

While many know Dale Jr. is a huge Washington Redskins fan, there's no need to worry that wouldn't change.