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ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A NASCAR fan got a surprise mailing from the past decade delivered to his doorstep.

It happened Monday, when Clay Teague went to check his mail, only to find a mystery from 18 years ago.

“I see my handwriting on the outside of the envelope,” Teague said. “But when I open the letter, it’s a Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR card with his signature on it.”

For this St. Charles County resident, the clues started coming together on the mysterious letter from 2002.

A collector of cards and coins, this numismatist can be found at his day job at Scotsman Coin and Jewelry.

But an inquiry from 18 years before—to NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.—somehow got lost along the way.

“Way back in 2002, I sent this card to his garage with an envelope so he could sign it,” Teague said. “Apparently, 18 years later, Dale had a chance to sign it and put an extra 18 cents postage because the stamp went up in those 18 years.”

Over the years, this collector has sent envelopes and cards to athletes but had forgotten all the addresses he had mailed.

Teague will be watching Sunday, February 16 when two-time Daytona 500 champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. will waive the green flag for the 62nd running of the great American race on Fox.

And he’ll be watching his mailbox in case another NASCAR card shows up from his past self to his future self in the years ahead.

So what advice would future Teague give himself for 18 years from now?

“Well, I guess hang out at the same address,” Teague said. “If it’s 18 years from now, you may not get this card.”