CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Dale Earnhardt's family bid farewell to the fallen driver in a private ceremony one day before the NASCAR community planned to say its goodbyes.
Earnhardt was laid to rest in his hometown of Kannapolis on Wednesday, with only immediate family members attending the private ceremony. The exact location of the site was not disclosed at the family's request.
On Thursday, the rest of the NASCAR community pays its final respects to the seven-time Winston Cup champion at a memorial service in Charlotte.
Earnhardt, 49, was killed Sunday on the last turn of the last lap in the Daytona 500. He slammed into the concrete wall after making contact with Sterling Marlin at the head of a tight pack of five cars fighting for position.
While his family said goodbye, his team at Richard Childress Racing was planning to enter his car in Sunday's Dura-Lube 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.
Kevin Harvick, a Busch Grand National driver for RCR, will take over Earnhardt's car for the rest of the season, a team source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The 25-year-old Harvick, the Busch Series' Rookie of the Year last season, will drive Earnhardt's Chevrolet and use his crew. Kevin Hamlin, Earnhardt's crew chief, will head Harvick's team.
The car will not use the No. 3 or the black-and-silver scheme that was Earnhardt's trademark. Details of the number and colors Harvick will use were still being worked out, the team source said.
Harvick was scheduled to move up to Winston Cup racing next season as the third car in Childress' garage. Mike Skinner also drives a Cup car for RCR.
Also, Motorsports Designs in High Point worked with Childress to design a decal honoring Earnhardt, said company president John McKenzie.
The round decal will be black with a No. 3 in the center, McKenzie said. The top of it will say "In Memory Of" and Dale Earnhardt's name, which will be a copy of his signature, will be in the middle of the 3. The bottom will say 1951-2001.
The decal will be used only by the two RCR cars and the three cars owned by Dale Earnhardt Inc, McKenzie said. Daytona winner Michael Waltrip, Steve Park and Dale Earnhardt Jr. drive the three DEI cars.
A second decal, with the same information but in a different shape, will be made available to all the other Winston Cup teams.
NASCAR said it would not require the Winston Cup teams to do anything to honor Earnhardt.
"We are in the discussion stage of trying to put something together as a tribute that is consistent with what DEI and RCR would want," spokeswoman Danielle Humphrey said.
Others have their own ideas.
Driver Ward Burton suggested painting the pace car black and adding the No. 3 to it. Tommy Baldwin, his crew chief, said he liked the idea of leaving the first stall in the garage empty all season. The first stall traditionally goes to the reigning Winston Cup champion.
Baldwin also urged NASCAR to retire the No. 3.
Elsewhere in North Carolina on Wednesday, the minister who prayed with Earnhardt right before the Daytona 500 spoke about the driver's last words to him.
The Rev. Max Helton stood at the side of Earnhardt's car and led a prayer, as he had done on most race day Sundays for the past 13 years.
"We held hands through his window," said Helton, a Presbyterian minister and founder of Motor Racing Outreach.
"He says, 'Just pray that I'll be wise in putting the car at the right place at the right time ... and be able to drive with wisdom.' And we did pray about that. And we did pray for safety."
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