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Earnhardt, Sprint team up for safe driving

Video: Dale Earnhardt Jr. ad campaign " Vote Now. Vote Often. Sprint Fan Vote

Sprint Drive First could describe Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s points lead after the first five races as NASCAR Most Popular Driver enjoys a strong start to 2013 at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season's first off-weekend.

But Sprint Drive First? is a mobile application which helps drivers avoid the distraction of texting while driving.

Earnhardt teamed up with Sprint for a 30-second ad to promote the app, which can block and send automatic replies to text messages while you drive. Scott Vincent, a director for three years on comedian Dave Chapelle's "The Chapelle Show," directs the spot, which was shot at Charlotte Motor Speedway in mid-March. It will begin airing during the race weekend at Martinsville Speedway

The overarching message is that driving isn't the problem, and texting isn't the problem; "and" is the problem -- as in texting "and" driving -- and we all can live without the "and." To help remove the temptation to drive and text at the same time, the Sprint Drive First app is offered as a solution.
The ad features Earnhardt Jr. with two members of his crew in the garage at a track. One of them says, "Hey Dale, I got your text that said you couldn't text." Then the other says, "Wait. What? Why would he text that he couldn't text?" Earnhardt replies: "I was driving."  The exchange ignites a discussion about how and why a text is sent when the person who sends the text doesn't actually send it -- all of which refers to the Sprint Drive First app and how it sends reply text messages while someone is driving.
An additional video will be shown at the Sprint Unlimited Experience at tracks each weekend throughout the season where they can interact with Earnhardt by texting his number. The video features Earnhardt at a Sprint Unlimited Experience race simulator, where he talks about how driving in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes laser-like focus. He invites fans to try and distract him with a text as he gets into the simulator and sets his phone down at his side as the simulated race begins.

Throughout April, fans who sign up to receive information from Sprint at the Sprint Unlimited Experience or online at will receive a special poster of Earnhardt that includes Sprint Drive First information, and fans who sign the Focus on Driving pledge will receive a bumper magnet.

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Earnhardt on the set of the TV commercial shoot at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this month.

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Earnhardt's car on the set at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this month.



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