Panthers’ Greg Olsen, Earnhardt Jr. pair up to raise money for children’s hospital

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Panthers tight end Greg Olsen are teaming up to raise money and support for Levine Children’s Hospital.

Fans can purchase a raffle ticket in hopes of winning the “Weekend with the 88s” contest, according to WSOC-TV.

Both stars are relatively new to No. 88. Olsen picked it up when he came to Carolina in 2011 and his former number, 82, was already taken. Earnhardt had to let go of his No. 8 car when he made the move to Hendrick in 2008.

“It’s kind of weird when you do change. Luckily for us we just doubled the eights. We really didn’t have to go too far out (of) the comfort zone for us,” Earnhardt Jr. said.

“It’s been kind of a fresh new number since I came to Carolina, and a lot of good things have happened since,” said Olsen.

Fans can purchase one of 8,888 raffle tickets for $18.88. The winner will receive quite the package.

On Friday the winner will receive a private tour of Jr. Motorsports, attend a meet and greet with Olsen and get a behind-the-scenes guided tour of Bank of America Stadium.

On Saturday, the winner will take a helicopter ride to Martinsville to meet Earnhardt Jr. and receive tickets and garage passes to the trucks race.

The winner heads back to Charlotte Sunday as a VIP at the Panthers game against the Seattle Seahawks.

“We’re offering them something you can’t buy. We’re offering something you can’t make a call and get. This weekend is exclusive, one of a kind and can’t be replicated,” Olsen said.

The cause is special to Olsen, whose son T.J. underwent two open heart surgeries as an infant at Levine Children’s Hospital.

“We couldn’t be happier and more thankful for the care they’ve given us. They’re the main reason we have our child almost two years later,” Olsen said.

“I can get behind that,” said Earnhardt Jr. “I can get excited about that and understand how this is so important to him. When you hear Greg, it gets you really fired up and you just want to do whatever you can to help,” Earnhardt Jr. said.

To learn more about the raffle or to purchase a ticket, click here.

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