Dale Earnhardt

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Dale Earnhardt

Born

4/29/1951, Kannapolis,NC

Died

2/18/2001

Birth Name

Ralph Dale Earnhardt

Gender

Male

Also Known As

Ironhead, Big E, The Dominator, The Intimadator, The Man in Black
9.6
out of 10
User Rating
18 votes

Biography

EDIT
American race-car champion and favorite of the fans known as "the Intimidator" due to being a relentless, hard-charging driver who never let up. Earnhardt is the first driver in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series history who ever won the Rookie title of the year one year and the…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • One of Dale's biggest rivals was his good friend, Rusty Wallace.

    • Dale appeared in the Brooks and Dunn music video for Honky Tonk Truth.

    • Dale was named NASCAR's Most Popular Driver in 2001. This was the only time he ever received this award.

    • Dale married Latane Key in 1968, when he was only 17 years old. They had one son, Kerry, in 1969. They divorced in 1970.

      Dale married for the second time in 1971. He married Brenda Gee, who gave birth to a daughter, Kelley, in 1972, and a son, Dale Jr., in 1974. After the birth of their children they divorced.

      Dale married Teresa Houston in 1982. They were still married at the time of his death. They had daughter, Taylor Nicole on December 20, 1988.

    • In 1997 Dale Earnhardt just came short at Daytona and ended up in 2nd place. In 1998, he added the last jewel to his crown and won the Daytona 500 for the first time in his career.

    • Currently, no other Nextel Cup racecar has used the Dale's famous number 3, but NASCAR will not officially retire it. There is hope that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will use his it towards the end of his career, and possibly even using the familiar black paint scheme.

    • In his final race going into Turn 4, Dale was nudged by the bumper of Sterling Martin's car. It appeared Dale had it saved but the car took off up the track. As it went up towards the wall, it hit Ken Schrader which veered his car into a direct head on hit and severed the seat belt. His son Dale Jr. was only about 100 feet in front of him when it happened.

    • Dale drove the #3 car for most of his career, he started driving it in the early eighties.

    • In 1997 Dale would finish the season 5th in the final standings, but was obviously disappointed by their lack of results.

    • In 1993 Dale once again came close to a win at the Daytona 500, dominating throughout, before finishing 2nd to Dale Jarrett on a last-lap pass.

    • In 1998 Dale was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Driver's of all time.

    • Dale was inducted into the "Motorsports Hall of Fame" in 2006.

    • Dale's first win was in 1979 at Bristol in the Southeastern 500.

    • Dale's last win was the 2000 Winston 500 in Talladega.

    • In 1992 Dale had won After back-to-back titles for the 2nd time in his career, Dale was determined to take advantage of the opportunity to make it 3 in a row, but again, it wasn't to be. Dale did not win his 3rd championship in a row.

    • The only other driver that tied Dale in championship was Richard Petty.

    • J.D. Stacy took over the team in 1981. Stacy had made millions in the oil business and was determined to put a ton of money into the racing business, he just didn't have the experience to make it work and Dale recognized it immediately. Dale and his new owner never hit it off well and the relationship was ended as soon as possible. Dale joined his future championship owner, Richard Childress to finish off the season after competing in only 4 races for Stacy.

    • The attraction of the racer's life attracted Dale to the sport although Ralph, his father, pushed him to stay in school and educate himself in hopes of avoiding the fate of being a simple blue collar worker.

    • Dale was always an aggressive no holds bar driver. He earned his nickname "The Intimidator" during the Winston All Star race at Charlotte, bullying Bill Elliot in the final segment before scoring his first of three career wins in the event.

    • The unusual act of notifying NASCAR and Teresa Earnhardt was made prior to releasing the records regarding Dale sought by members of the public and media.

    • Dale's death changed Florida's laws as to who and how public record medical examiner files, to include autopsy photographs would be released to members of the public.

    • Dale quit school at the age of 16 to pursue racing to support his wife and their first son, Kerry.

    • Dale started the 1979 season with car owner Rod Osterlund, who had put together a full time team for Dave Marcus with 1 win and several top 10 point finishes. The two hit it off with each other right away.

    • As a young man Dale spent his days mounting tires and welding. By night he worked on his cars.

    • Dale began racing Hobby-class cars in his teens.

    • Dale started racing stock cars before entering the big league of NASCAR.

    • As a young boy Dale watched his father "Ralph" race. From then on Dale knew he wanted to be a race car driver. Ralph died in 1973 when he was crushed by one of his cars he was working on.

    • Dale has a foundation named after him. It is the "Dale Earnhardt Foundation." Their mission is 'To Continue The Legend' through charitable grants that sustain Dale's lifelong Commitment to Education, Children and Environment/Wildlife Preservation.

    • Dale began racing professionally at 24 years old.

    • He is sixth on the all-time list of wins for NASCAR point races.

    • Dale won the seven NASCAR Championships, in '80, '86, '87, '90, '91, '93 and '94.

    • In 1980, Dale won his first Winston Cup title. He was the first driver to win a NASCAR title in their second year.

    • Dale was the Winston Cup Rookie of the Year, in 1979. That year he won four poles, one race (Bristol), had eleven Top 5 finishes, and seventeen Top 10 finishes. He finished his Rookie season seventh in points.

    • Dale won more races at Daytona(34), than any other driver, but didn't win the Daytona 500 until his twentieth try.

    • NC Route 136, which links Kannapolis and Mooresville, became NC Route 3 in 2005 to honor Dale.

    • Years Racing:26
      Total Races:676
      Total Wins:76
      Top 5's:281
      Top 10's:430
      Total Winnings:$26,120,647

  • Quotes

    • Jeff Gordon (On what Dale Earnhardt meant to the sport of racing): Oh, he meant so much. I mean, you know, I think our sport is what it is today because of Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty. But I mean, Dale, you know, he really took it to the next level, and I mean, he was such a fierce competitor, but he understood the business. He understood, you know, the fans and the sponsors and every aspect of the competition versus the entertainment side of it. And he enjoyed it, enjoyed being out on that race car, and you know, he just put on a heck of a show.

    • Dale Earnhardt: To win more championships and stay alive in this sport, it's very, very, hard and it's hard to understand how it works.

    • Dale Earnhardt: The atmosphere seems to change once the sun goes down and the race fans get to watch a good show.

    • Dale Earnhardt: My job is to drive that black No. 3.

    • Dale Earnhardt: If I was 30th in points and not making races and not being competitive in races, I could understand them saying I'm over-the-hill or I'm ready to quit or whatever.

    • Dale Earnhardt: I've got to win every race.

    • Dale Earnhardt: I've got to prove myself as a car owner with the (No. 1) car for Steve Park and the (No. 8) car for Dale, Jr.

    • Dale Earnhardt: I'm winning races, I'm competitive. I'm seventh in points, and they talk about (me) being over-the-hill.

    • Dale Earnhardt: I'm racing for the wins and racing up front and finishing in the top 10. It's puzzling to me how you can judge a driver on that.

    • Dale Earbhardt: I enjoy Saturday night racing.

    • Dale Earnhardt: I don't want to argue with my wife about her car - or my driving.

    • Dale Earnhardt: Growing up, I've enjoyed hunting with my father.

    • Dale Earnhardt: But I'm good to go through my contract with Childress, and my determination is to win races and try to win that other championship.

    • Dale Earnhardt: At Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet, we are proud to have the GM Goodwrench Service Plus sign at the entrance to our dealership and to carry it on the hood of our race car.

    • Dale Earnhardt: As a GM Goodwrench Service Plus dealer, I understand how good service makes a difference to our customers.

    • Dale Earnhardt: Finishing races is important, but racing is more important.

    • Dale Earnhardt: Maybe now that we have the same sponsor in Remington we can spend some time together outdoors

    • Dale Earnhardt: That strategy of racing for the top five and racing for the win is where everybody wants to be

    • Dale Earnhardt: To win more championships and stay alive in this sport, it's very, very, hard and it's hard to understand how it works

    • Dale Earnhardt: Two of my favorite things are my steering wheel and my Remington rifle.

    • Dale Earnhardt: When he was young, I told Dale Jr. that hunting and racing are a lot alike. Holding that steering wheel and holding that rifle both mean you better be responsible

    • Dale Earnhardt: You win some, lose some, and wreck some.

    • Dale Earnhardt: I woke up this morning, and I still don't believe I won the Daytona 500.

    • Dale Earnhardt: I turn 50 in three years, and I don't know whether I want to race past that or not.

    • Dale Earnhardt: The disappointments you go through, the chapters you write each year of the race, and to finally win this race it's just as big for Richard Childress and him and his family and his whole organization as it is for me.

    • Dale Earnhardt: It's just really hard to work and get better, building and planning for the future with the new Monte Carlo and keeping the race team intact and keeping them healthy

    • Dale Earnhardt: If I can win races and win championships, I feel like my future is going to be OK.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of the best NASCAR racers of all time.

    10
    R.I.P. "Gone too soon". GREAT!!!
  • Went way before his time!

    10
    Sure he was the man or racer that you loved to hate or hate to love. And that he really set the tone for NASCAR's popularity and that if it weren't for people like him. Or Darrell Waltrip and all of them. Then the sport might not had become popular as it has been today. Just think the man in black, put millions and millions on race car merchandise. He definately went way, way, before his time. And that he might had been racing had he not died back in the Daytona 500 2001 race. Gone but definately not forgotten at all!moreless
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