Aaron Rodgers, Danica Patrick Snag Malibu Mansion for $28 Mil

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Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick have, as they say, taken their relationship to a new level, because they are now living together in a Malibu estate after plunking down $28 million -- all cash!

The beneficiaries of the $28 mil are Robbie Williams and his wife, Ayda Field. They bought the property in July 2019 for $20.25 mil, so nice profit.

MLS

As for the house ... it's pretty amazing. It's 4,636 square feet, with 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms along with a 2-bedroom guesthouse, and of course ... the obligatory swimming pool.

Our real estate sources say Aaron and Danica are no strangers to the house. They rented it over the summer and became the owners in November. The sale was very much on the down-low.

The estate is held in a trust, and it's impossible to know who's behind that trust. We do know, however, Aaron and Danica have been living in it together.

The house has quite the pedigree. It was previously owned by Netflix Content Chief Ted Sarandos and leased by Janet Jackson.

Get ready, Malibu -- Danica loves to traverse Pacific Coast Highway in the Bu. She once said, "I use my horn more in one day than most people do in their whole lives. If I can make people know they've done something wrong on the road, then I've helped them. And they won't be dumb again."

'Junior' Johnson NASCAR Legend Dead at 88

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Robert Glenn "Junior" Johnson -- one of NASCAR's first superstars -- has died, the racing organization announced on Friday. He was 88.

Johnson won the Daytona 500 in 1960 ... and had 50 career wins and 148 top-10 finishes. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers in 1998.

"From his early days running moonshine through the end of his life, Junior wholly embodied the NASCAR spirit," Chairman and CEO Jim France said in a statement.

"He was an inaugural NASCAR Hall of Famer, a nod to an extraordinary career as both a driver and team owner."

"Between his on-track accomplishments and his introduction of Winston to the sport, few have contributed to the success of NASCAR as Junior has."

Johnson was a successful team owner ... and his drivers accounted for 6 Winston Cup Championships and 139 race wins.

"The entire NASCAR family is saddened by the loss of a true giant of our sport, and we offer our deepest condolences to Junior’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

The "Wilkes County Wildman" retired from the sport in 1966 ... and was the most successful driver to never win a championship.

#RIP

Danica Patrick Mushy Birthday Message to A-Rodg 'Grateful the Universe Made You'

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Aaron Rodgers is turning 36 Monday -- and his girlfriend, Danica Patrick, just hit him with a super lovey-dovey note, thanking the universe for making him.

"Happy birthday to my best friend and favorite person in the world," Danica posted on IG ... "You are the one I want to tell my best and worst days to first."

Here's where things get spiritual ... followed by an L-bomb.

"I am so grateful the universe made you!!! The star dust started it all, but you have done nothing but make it better every year of your life."

"Thank you for being the loving, generous, thoughtful, patient, fun, funny, spontaneous, talented, smart, and uber attractive man, that I get to walk through life with."

"This journey we are on.... it’s a really really good one. I love you. Happiest of birthdays yet!!!!!!"

Danica and Aaron have been dating for around 2 years and things got serious quickly -- Aaron first publicly said he loved her in an Oct. 2018 interview.

The question everybody is asking ... when are they getting married?

That's the question Jenny McCarthy asked Danica on her SiriusXM show back in November -- and while DP admitted she WANTS to get engaged, she's not trying to rush it.

In other words, LET'S GO, AARON!

Kevin Harvick Praises NASCAR's Hailie Deegan 'I Think She's Gonna Do Great'

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HER FUTURE'S BRIGHT
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Racing phenom Hailie Deegan is the only woman to ever win a K&N Pro Series race ... but the 18-year-old is just getting started ... so says Kevin Harvick, who tells TMZ Sports she's got a bright future!!!

Deegan is a stud -- she's the daughter of motocross and racing star Brian Deegan and has been competing for YEARS, despite just turning 18 in July.

So, when we saw The Closer -- who has 49 wins under his belt -- about Deegan's chances with the big dogs, he says he has high expectations for Hailie ... as long as she's patient!!!

"I think she's gonna do great," Harvick said outside the NBA Store on Tuesday. "The biggest thing with Hailie is she doesn't need to rush."

"She's the only one in line right now that's got it."

We asked Harvick if Deegan's going to struggle to find her way in the male-dominated sport ... and he doesn't think that's an issue at all.

"I don't think so, I think Hailie's done it since she was a little kid."

Deegan's been generating buzz since she kick-started her career in 2016 ... and has already earned a huge fan base. But, Harvick clearly believes this is only the beginning.

Terminally Ill Teen Eric Erdman Designs Truck For NASCAR Driver ... 'It's Truly Phenomenal'

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GIVIN' HIM A VOICE
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NASCAR driver Angela Ruch will be competing in the most important race of her career next weekend ... and it all has to do with her awesome truck design and the story behind it!

The man who designed the wrap for her #44 truck is her nephew, 19-year-old Eric Erdman, who was diagnosed with advanced brain cancer in 2016.

The condition is terminal -- but Erdman has made the decision to use whatever time he has left to help children battling similar obstacles.

His story is incredible ... and he talks about his life experience in the video below.

Erdman created his own foundation, Give a Child a Voice, to help children dealing with tough medical conditions, bullying and abuse. Through his organization, Erdman has helped renovate several local gyms because he feels physical activity has helped him through the dark times.

Which brings us back to NASCAR Truck Series driver Angela Ruch ... who takes the track for the Ford EcoBoost 200 NASCAR Race in Miami on Nov. 15.

Ruch tells TMZ Sports she wants to do everything she can to help Erdman and his organization -- so she gave him carte blanche to design the wrap for her truck.

Erdman's goal is to raise $300k as part of his "Give a Child a Voice Fitness Center Give-A-Way" (click here for the GoFundMe page) ... and Ruch feels the exposure at the NASCAR race will go a long way.

TMZ Sports spoke with Eric about his aunt getting involved, and he couldn't be more grateful for the gesture.

TRULY PHENOMENAL
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"It's amazing. I'm shocked and I love her so much," Eric tells us.

"Don't tell my other aunts, but she might be my favorite just to tell you straight," he joked. "It's truly phenomenal what my Aunt Angela's doing, it's unbelievable. I'm speechless."

Doctors told Eric back in August he has 6 months to live ... but says his diagnosis won't keep him from helping as many people as possible.

"Some people may say 'Cancer, it's awful'. I get that. But, my life, cancer has been the best thing to ever happen to me."

Angela tells us she's honored to be able to use her platform to share his message -- saying, "For me, to be able to support Eric in any way, shape or form that I possibly can, I'm all about."

"I'm so thankful and honored that Eric would even look to me to begin this opportunity to even put his logo on the truck at Homestead. I'm so proud of that young man and words cannot describe the tone that he's setting for so many kids growing up."

Angela says she plans to continue to help Eric every step of the way ...even after the checkered flag is waved.

"I promised Eric, 'til the very end. This will be my number one goal in life to see this move forward."

NASCAR Pit Crew Member Suspended ... Over Crazy Logano-Hamlin Brawl

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PIT STOP PROBLEMS
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The guy who threw down NASCAR superstar Denny Hamlin during a brawl with Joey Logano on Sunday was just suspended 1 race by the league ... officials announced Monday.

If ya missed it ... Hamlin and Logano really got into it at Martinsville Speedway over the weekend -- carrying some on-track drama onto pit road.

The two stars were discussing their in-race driving ... when all of a sudden Logano gave a hard shove to Hamlin's shoulder.

That's when Denny went after Joey ... and all hell broke loose -- with both of the drivers' pit crews hopping into the melee.

But, before Denny could get his hands on Logano ... one of Joey's pit crewmember grabbed Denny by the neck and threw him to the ground!!!

Denny was pissed ... but the brawl was quickly calmed down by NASCAR officials.

On Monday, the league handed down punishment for the fight ... banning Logano's pit crew member -- tire technician Dave Nichols Jr. -- for one race for his role in grabbing Hamlin.

As for the rest of the guys involved in the fracas, seems NASCAR has let them all off with a warning.

It's a pretty big deal for Logano to be down a man next week ... there are only two races remaining in this round of the playoffs -- and Logano's fighting HARD for a spot in the next round.

NASCAR Hall of Fame Hundreds Of Birds Crash Into Building ... Kill Themselves

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Hundreds of birds launched themselves into the side of the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Tuesday night, killing themselves ... and the surreal scene was all caught on video.

A woman in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina filmed the chaos ... saying for OVER AN HOUR -- birds continued to kill themselves by running into the building's windows.

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According to the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue ... 310 birds total were found at the scene -- with 97 dead on arrival and another nine needing to be euthanized once they got to the shelter.

NASCAR's Bubba Wallace Throws Drink In Face Of Sick Driver ... 'Bitch!!!'

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NASCAR star Bubba Wallace looked like a jerk Sunday ... dousing a sick driver with a drink and calling him a "bitch" -- and it's all 'cause he thinks the dude intentionally wrecked him.

Here's the deal ... during Sunday's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, Wallace ran into several issues with fellow driver Alex Bowman.

On Lap 1, Bowman hit Wallace ... and 25-year-old Wallace was so PISSED over the incident -- he allegedly flipped off Bowman for the next few laps of the race.

Then, on Lap 42 ... Bowman hit Wallace AGAIN -- this time spinning him out in a turn and causing his car to crash into a wall.

Wallace was CLEARLY heated over the move ... 'cause after the race, he sought out Bowman -- who was being tended to by NASCAR docs for dehydration -- and threw his drink in his face!!

NASCAR's Mike Stefanik Dies In Plane Crash

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NASCAR champion Mike Stefanik -- a 9-time touring series winner -- died in a plane crash near Rhode Island on Sunday. He was 61.

Stefanik was flying a single-engine, single-seat Aerolite 103 -- which took off from the Riconn Airport in Coventry, Rhode Island -- when something went wrong.

Officials say the plane was attempting to return to the airport when it crashed in the woods near the runway, killing the pilot.

U-FLY-IT

NASCAR chairman Jim France issued a statement remembering the former stock car racer ...

"Mike Stefanik was one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, but even more so, he was a true representative of our sport," France said.

"His tough, competitive nature and excellence on the race track won him the respect and admiration of fans and competitors alike."

"His career stretched more than 30 years, bridging the generations between Jerry Cook and Richie Evans to our current drivers."

"He recorded achievements in this sport that are likely untouchable, and his legacy as a champion will endure. We will keep his wife Julie and his family and friends in our prayers."

Stefanik was named Busch Series Most Popular Driver in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2004.

Most people know Stefanik for crushing the Whelen Modified Tour Circuit from 1989 to 2006, when he won 7 different times!

Stefanik made NASCAR history in 1997 and '98 when he won dual titles by winning both the Modified and K&N Pro Series East divisions.

In other words, the guy was a legend and he'll be missed.

RIP

NASCAR's Kurt Busch On Jessi Combs' Death ... 'She Was Pushing the Limits'

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A HUGE LOSS
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NASCAR superstar Kurt Busch says the death of racing star Jessi Combs was a "terrible accident" -- but at least she went "pushing the limits."

36-year-old Combs was a star in the racing world -- and died on August 27 while attempting to break the women's land-speed record she set back in 2016.

Combs was behind the wheel of a "jet car" in the Alvord Desert in Oregon trying to break the 600-mph barrier when something went wrong and she died. Officials aren't saying much about the incident other than "there was a fire involved."

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Now, some of the biggest stars in racing are paying respects to Combs ... including Busch, who spoke to us briefly outside of "Good Morning America" in NY.

"It was a terrible accident, man," Busch said ... "We'll find out all the details later on but she was pushing the limits, man."

We asked if Busch respected that she was trying to break her own record -- "absolutely."

Jessi -- who appeared on shows like "Mythbusters" and "Overhaulin'" -- was surrounded by family and friends at the time of her passing, according to an official statement.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Officials Credit Pilots For Saving Driver & Family

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Officials are crediting the heroic actions of the pilots on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s private jet for evacuating the NASCAR legend and his family from his burning plane during the crash, this according to new documents.

After the plane crash landed in Elizabethton, Tennessee on August 15 ... it caught fire and began to burn.

THE CRASH SITE
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But, while the flames raged, "the flight crew [which only consisted of the pilot and co-pilot] secured the engines and assisted the passengers with the evacuation," according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB has been investigating the crash and while they have not specifically released the cause ... they do note that the landing gear on the plane collapsed at some point during the crash landing.

Officials say everything about the flight appeared to be routine until the landing ... when, for some reason, the plane bounced twice on the runway ... before crashing with only 1,000 feet of runway left.

The plane ultimately settled on the edge of a nearby highway where the flight crew evacuated Dale Jr., his wife, their 1-year-old daughter and the family dog.

Dale says he suffered back injuries in the wreck but expects to be fine. The rest of the family and the two pilots are all reportedly doing fine.

As part of the investigation, officials recovered the plane's black box -- but it was damaged in the fire ... so it's been sent to a lab for examination.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 'My Back's Bruised Up Real Bad' ... After Plane Crash

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he's still VERY sore after surviving a plane crash just 7 days ago -- but he's already getting himself ready to RACE again next week.

"My lower back is bruised up real bad," the 44-year-old NASCAR legend told a fan on Twitter.

"Lots of swelling and I just need that to go down and the pain to chill out."

Of course, Dale, his wife, his 1-year-old daughter, his dog and two pilots were involved in a terrifying wreck last Thursday when their plane crash landed in Elizabethton, Tennessee.

THE CRASH SITE
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Dale and his family's injuries were initially described as bumps and bruises ... but now Earnhardt's revealing he's actually pretty banged up.

The good news ... Dale says he's gunning to get healthy enough to race in the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW200 at the Darlington Raceway on August 31, which features the biggest stars of NASCAR's XFINITY Series.

"I been treating the area [lower back] every day solely to get well to race," Dale says.

"I have a plan B but hope not to use it."

It's still unclear what caused Earnhardt's plane to go down last week ... but in a press conference, National Transportation Safety Board officials said the scene was scary, adding Earnhardt's plane bounced TWICE on the runway before it skidded to a stop.

Officials are expected to reveal a cause of the crash in the upcoming days.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR Thanks Plane Crash First Responders ... Free Tickets!!!

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NASCAR dropped an awesome "thanks for saving our legend" gift over the weekend ... donating tickets to the first responders at Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s plane crash -- and seems they loved the gesture!

44-year-old Junior was involved in a fiery plane wreck last week, where he, his wife, his daughter and two pilots miraculously survived when their aircraft went down in Elizabethton, Tennessee.

THE CRASH SITE
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Everyone involved in the accident thanked the town's first responders for making sure they all got out OKAY ... and as a present, NASCAR gave them tix to Saturday night's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

"We had a great time with our first responder family at the BMS night race!" The Carter County Sheriff's Office said.

"A big thank you to NASCAR for giving us and all the agencies that responded to Dale Jr.'s plane crash free tickets!"

Dale also chimed in with a thank-you message of his own -- breaking his silence on the crash -- writing Monday, "We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots and our dog Gus."

"I am thankful for the quick response of my pilots, local law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospital staff."

So far, the cause of the accident has yet to be revealed ... but National Transportation Safety Board officials said last week they anticipate having a preliminary report out soon.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Plane Bounced Twice On Runway Before Crash ... Officials Say

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THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. is SERIOUSLY lucky to be alive today ... National Transportation Safety Board officials just announced his plane bounced TWICE on the runway before it eventually crash landed.

Junior, his wife, his 1-year-old daughter and the two pilots on the plane all miraculously survived after their aircraft crashed in Elizabethton, Tennessee on Thursday.

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NTSB officials updated media members on some of the details of the accident ... revealing the whole thing was caught on surveillance video -- and it sounded scary as hell.

The lead NTSB investigator, Ralph Hicks, said he could see the plane hit the runway two times before the right landing gear on the aircraft collapsed on the runway.

Hicks said the plane -- a Cessna Citation Latitude 680 -- skidded down the runway, through a chainlink fence and into a ditch before it came to a stop near the local highway.

Hicks said all five passengers -- and Dale's dog -- were able to get off the plane in a matter of minutes ... before massive flames engulfed the aircraft.

Hicks said the flight was only a 20-minute one from a nearby city in North Carolina.

NTSB officials have yet to determine a cause for the crash ... saying it could take about week before their investigation concludes.

Dale Jr. -- who works as a race announcer for NBC -- is taking the weekend off after the crash. He's expected to try to return to his broadcasting job next week in Darlington.

For their part, the Earnhardts released a statement on Friday through Dale's sister, Kelley, saying, "Dale, Amy, Isla and our two pilots are doing well."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. In Fiery Plane Crash Released From Hospital

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5:50 AM PT -- 8/16 -- NBC Sports released a statement saying they spoke with Dale and his team after the incident and are in "agreement that he should take this weekend off to be with his family." They're hoping to see him back in the booth next month at Darlington.

4:16 PM PT -- A source close to the situation tells TMZ Sports ... Dale and his family have all been discharged from the hospital and are expected to be okay.

3:12 PM PT -- WCYB in Bristol has obtained footage of Dale Jr. being treated by EMS at the scene of the crash.

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2:05 PM PT -- The FAA tells TMZ Sports ... the airplane rolled off the end of the runway at 12:40 PM PT. We're told an investigation is currently underway and the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to determine a cause of the crash.

1:58 PM PT -- Dale Jr.'s sister, Kelley, just released a statement ... confirming Dale, his wife and daughter -- as well as 2 pilots -- were involved in the crash.

"Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation. We have no further information at this time. Thank you for your understanding."

THE CRASH SITE
Scott Reis

NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. was a passenger on an airplane that caught fire after crashing in Tennessee ... and officials tell TMZ Sports he was transported to a nearby hospital.

The plane -- registered under Earnhardt's JR Motorsports -- crashed at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Carter County just minutes ago. No word on what caused the crash.

Officials tell us Dale Jr. made it off of the plane alive ... but his current status is still unknown. We're told there were other passengers on the plane, but officials do not have a complete passenger list yet.

Reportedly, Earnhardt's wife, Amy, and 1-year-old daughter, Isla, were both on the plane as well. Officials would not confirm that with us, nor share their health status.

FYI -- the aircraft is a 10-seat, twin-engine Cessna Citation Latitude ... and the pictures show the plane was a fiery wreck at the end of the runway at the small airport.

We've reached out to Dale Jr.'s rep for comment ... and all they would say is “we are aware of the situation, and will put out a statement later.”

Originally Published -- 1:41 PM PT

Tony Stewart Punches Fan In Face In Race Track Fight ... Caught On Video

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DON'T MESS WITH TONY
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NASCAR legend Tony Stewart straight-up socked a heckler in the jaw at a racetrack Friday night ... and the entire incident was caught on camera.

48-year-old Stewart -- a 3-time NASCAR Cup Series champ -- was driving in a sprint car race in Jackson, Minnesota when he claims his engine blew out on him after just one lap.

A ton of fans flocked to the track to see the race star drive that night -- the Jackson Motorplex even advertised it as "Tony Stewart Night" -- so Tony stuck around afterward to sign some autographs.

That's when a heckler came up to Stewart -- and according to one eye witness, Brandon Woehl -- began cussing out Smoke for "quitting" only one lap into the race.

"F*ck you, Tony," the heckler allegedly said ... "You piece of sh*t. You come here and basically race for one lap and quit, you piece of sh*t."

That's when Woehl says Tony responded, firing back, "I blew my engine, you f*cking asshole. Do you want to pay for it?"

The two traded a few more barbs ... with Stewart deciding to unleash a single-barrel salute to the heckler with his left hand.

In the video, you can hear the heckler's response, because he screams back at Stewart, "Hey, Tony, I got two of them" while flipping him off with BOTH hands.

Stewart immediately lost his cool and went after the guy ... and in the video, you can hear Tony's left fist collide with the heckler's face!!!

Woehl claims Tony said after the punch, "F*ck, I broke my hand."

Woehl also says members of Tony's camp took him away from scene almost immediately after the incident ... while the heckler was ushered away by event security.

Cops tell TMZ Sports they were NOT called to the scene ... and, instead, they say the matter was handled internally by race track officials. They say no formal complaints against the driver have been filed.

We've reached out to Tony's camp multiple times, but so far, no official comment.

Stewart -- who retired from NASCAR following the 2016 season -- now spends a ton of time racing in small events throughout the country. He's also the co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing.

Tony is set to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2020.