Dale Earnhardt Jr. has had an eventful week, and the brakes aren't being tapped yet. NASCAR's most popular driver became a first-time owner of two auto dealerships, and the Army National Guard extended its sponsorship of Earnhardt's No. 88 car through next season.

"I was real happy to have the Guard sign," Earnhardt said August 17 before practice at Michigan International Speedway, USA Today reported. "We've had a real positive relationship, and they've been excited about what we've been able to do. We have some great ideas coming up that we just started implementing this past week where we are going to visit high schools and talk to the kids and the parents, the principals and giving the Guard the opportunity to have more access at that level."

Only a month ago Congress passed military sponsorship of professional sports and teams by a close vote, allowing Earnhardt to keep the sponsorship. They contributed $26.5 million on Earnhardt this season, the source reported.

According to Sports Illustrated, Earnhardt has a revitalized passion for the sport of racing. For example, he used to dread the team debriefs after every practice, but since Steve Letarte became Earnhardt's crew chief, he is itching to contribute to briefing sessions. Not to mention, since acquiring Letarte, Earnhardt earned his first win in four seasons, coming in June.