Dale Earnhardt
American racing driver
Dale Earnhardt
Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was an American race car driver and team owner, best known for his involvement in stock car racing for NASCAR. Born to race car driver Ralph Lee Earnhardt, Earnhardt began his career in 1975 when he drove in the 1975 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as part of the Winston Cup Series. Considered one of the best NASCAR drivers of all time, Earnhardt won a total of 76 races over the course of his career, including one Daytona 500 victory in 1998.
Biography
Dale Earnhardt's personal information overview.
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News
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What Are the Biggest Health Risks for NASCAR Drivers, Aside From Car Crashes?
Huffington Post Sports - almost 2 years
Aside from car crash injuries, what are the biggest health risks for race car drivers?: originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Answer by Lisa Borodkin, Covered NASCAR for LAist. I can only speak for NASCAR, but car crashes are not in fact a big health risk for NASCAR drivers. Due to all the increased safety measures since the fatal crash that killed Dale Earnhardt in 2001, there has not been a driver fatality in a NASCAR race since 2001. Crashes are one of the least hazardous aspects of the sport. NASCAR radically revamped its safety measures, introducing the kill switch, restrictor plate, SAFER barrier, HANS system and Car of Tomorrow. Driving the Car of Tomorrow in a race is many times exponentially safer than driving the average consumer automobile on any given public road. In the wrecks you see wh ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Jimmie Johnson captures sixth Sprint Cup title
Yahoo News - over 3 years
(Reuters) - Jimmie Johnson added another title to his dominant NASCAR career by clinching the Sprint Cup Series championship with a ninth-place finish at the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday. For Johnson, who only needed to finish 23rd or better at Homestead-Miami Speedway to win the Cup, it marked his sixth championship in eight years as he finished 19 points ahead of Matt Kenseth in the final standings. "I'm so happy to win this sixth championship," Johnson told reporters after winning his first series title since 2010. I'm at a loss for words." The victory puts Johnson in rare company as he joins Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt as the only drivers to win at least six NASCAR series championships.
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Yahoo News article
The latest from Talladega
Fox News - over 3 years
Dale Earnhardt Sr, earned his final NASCAR Sprint Cup...
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Fox News article
Bobby Dale Earnhardt Arrested - Race Car Driver Busted for DUI [Update] (TMZ.com)
Wesmirch.com - over 3 years
TMZ.com: Bobby Dale Earnhardt Arrested — Race Car Driver Busted for DUI [Update]  —  BUSTED FOR DUI [Update]  —  EXCLUSIVE DETAILS  —  8:07 AM PT — Cops tell TMZ ... “Mr. Earnhardt was pulled over for making a very wide left turn.  After talking with him, our officer noticed his eyes were glassy …
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Wesmirch.com article
Brad Keselowski: 'You Have To Put Another Person At Risk To Be Successful'
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
In nearly a decade of competing as a NASCAR driver, Brad Keselowski has developed a reputation as an outspoken, sometimes provocative presence (he recently said he would support an openly gay driver). The defending Sprint Cup champion is a self-professed lover of Army tanks, once live-tweeted during a Daytona 500 stoppage and infamously drank beer during a TV interview. And while his behavior may seem like that of someone with poor impulse control, Keselowski suggested that his off-kilter image is by design: He wants his audience to see him drinking beer or starring in SportsCenter commercials. "I think other drivers thought it was crazy, and I think the fans loved it," Keselowski told The Huffington Post of his tweeting episode. "You know you're doing things right when people think you're crazy." The nine-time winner, who drives for Penske Racing, also seems to have been quick to speak out (perhaps too quick) recently when he was highly critical of two of his team's ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
Kanaan Wins Indy 500, Finally
Huffington Post Sports - over 3 years
INDIANAPOLIS — Tony Kanaan had one more lap, one anticlimactic last lap under the yellow caution flag, to end 12 years of frustration in the Indianapolis 500. He flipped up his visor to wipe away tears as the crowd roared its approval, and then in Victory Lane gave his bride of two months a long kiss and poured the celebratory winner's milk over his head. Kanaan is Indy's hard-luck loser no more. He is its champion at last, fittingly with a dose of good luck for a change. "I have to say, the last lap was the longest lap of my life," Kanaan said. It was one of Indy's most popular victories. The losers were pleased with the outcome, evidenced by a scene similar to rivals lining up to congratulate Dale Earnhardt when he finally won the Daytona 500 on his 20th try. Dario Franchitti, whose crash brought out the race-ending caution, stood grinning by his crumpled car, two thumbs up as Kanaan passed under yellow. "When I saw who was leading, it cheered me up ...
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Huffington Post Sports article
CUP: Earnhardt – That Golden October
Fox News - almost 4 years
Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s last win was scored at Talladega 13 years ago…
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Fox News article
The 2012 Holiday Book List
Brookline Patch - over 4 years
When you give a child or a teen a book, you are creating a memory that will last a lifetime. What’s more, reading offers so many options. Are you trying to find a book for an early reader? Choose a picture book or a Great Beginner Read from the list below. Does your grandchild love nonfiction? Take a look at the Great Family Reads section. Has your niece read every book known to man? There are some brand new books on this list that she may not have seen yet. Do you struggle to find just the right book to entice your child to read? These selections are sure kid-pleasers that will meet any interest. The ReadKiddoRead holiday gift list has something for everyone: realistic fiction, science fiction, and nonfiction; animal stories, mythology and adventures; sad stories and stories that will make your kids laugh out loud.   So browse our list. We promise that each book is one that children and teens will want to read and then share with their friends. And then read again. These are kee ...
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Brookline Patch article
CUP: RCR Ends Wild Period On High Note
Fox News - over 4 years
Few auto racing teams have had the bizarre sort of rollercoaster ride Richard Childress Racing has experienced in the first half of November.A scorecard:• The Childress engine operation loses a big customer, Chip Ganassi, who decides to ride with Hendrick Motorsports power next season.• Truck driver Joey Coulter decides to move from RCR to Kyle Busch Motorsports next season.• Kevin Harvick, who has been the foundation of RCR’s Sprint Cup operation since the 2001 death of star Dale Earnhardt Sr., agrees to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, leaving him in a season-long lame-duck situation with RCR next year.• RCR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler crashes late in Saturday’s Phoenix race and gives himself only a slight shot at winning the series title this weekend at Phoenix.
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Fox News article
McIlroy takes over Intimidator tag
Calgary Sun - over 4 years
With all due respect to late NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt, there's a new kid in town.
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Calgary Sun article
Atlanta-based NAPA, Martin Truex Jr. Sign Multiyear Extension With Michael Waltrip Racing
SB Nation- Atlanta - over 4 years
In the midst of a career year and heading for his second appearance in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Martin Truex Jr. has inked a three-year extension to remain the driver of Michael Waltrip's No. 56 Toyota Camry. The 32-year-old native of Mayetta, NJ, is currently ranked fifth in the standings with 13 top-10 finishes. Truex has not finished worse than 11th in his past six races, and his second win seems imminent. In addition to re-signing Truex, Waltrip's team will have Atlanta-based NAPA Auto Parts on the car for all 36 points-paying races, plus the two exhibition races at Daytona and Charlotte. NAPA, which partnered with Waltrip in 2001 when he joined the late Dale Earnhardt's organization, joins Miller Lite (Brad Keselowski's No. 2 Dodge) and Lowe's Home Improvement (Jimmie Johnson) as the lone full-season sponsors. The No. 56 Toyota Truex will drive beginning next year was also unveiled. Bob Pockrass of the Sporting News tweeted this photo of the front of the car, whi ...
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SB Nation- Atlanta article
Silence, From de Chirico to Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Wall Street Journal - over 4 years
"Silence," a new exhibition at the Menil Collection in Houston on view through Oct. 21, looks at how many things the lack of sound has come to stand for.
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Wall Street Journal article
H2H: When will Earnhardt return to Victory Lane?
Yahoo News - over 4 years
It took four years and two days to end Dale Earnhardt Jr's 143-race winless streak, but it took fewer than 24 hours for the insatiable among us to start wondering when the next victory will arrive.
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Yahoo News article
Earnhardt Jr. ends his 143-race winless streak
Chicago Times - over 4 years
The son of the late Dale Earnhardt savored this win in uncanny fashion on Sunday.
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Chicago Times article
Earnhardt Jr. in Michigan, site of most recent win
Yahoo News - over 4 years
NASCAR Series driver Dale Earnhart Jr., center, talks with crew members after a practice session at Michigan International Speedway, Friday, June 15, 2012. Four years after his last win, Earnhardt is back at the site of that victory. (AP Photo/David Frechette)
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Yahoo News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Dale Earnhardt
    THIRTIES
  • 2001
    During the third lap of the 2011 Daytona 500 (a decade since Earnhardt's death), the commentators on FOX fell silent while fans raised three fingers in a similar fashion to the tributes throughout 2001.
    More Details Hide Details The north entrance to New Avondale City Center in Arizona will bear the name Dale Earnhardt Drive. Avondale is where Earnhardt won a Cup race in 1990. His helmet from the 1998 season is at the National Museum of American History in the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. Weedeater, a sludge metal band from North Carolina, paid tribute to Earnhardt on their 2003 album Sixteen Tons, with the song "No. 3". The song is played with audio clips from television broadcasts about Earnhardt mixed in the background. On February 28, 2016, after winning the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, during his victory lap, driver Jimmie Johnson held his hand out of his window, with three fingers extended in tribute to Earnhardt. This is also the track where Earnhardt claimed his sixth series title. which coincides with the track where Earnhardt won his sixth Winston Cup title. This was following Johnson's 76th Cup Series win, which tied the career mark of Earnhardt's.
    Earnhardt drove the No. 3 car for the majority of his career, spanning the early-1980s until his death in 2001.
    More Details Hide Details Although he had other sponsors during his career, his No. 3 is associated in fans' minds with his last sponsor GM Goodwrench and his last color scheme — a predominantly black car with bold red and silver trim. The black and red No. 3 continues to be one of the most famous logos in North American motor racing. A common misconception is that Richard Childress Racing "owns the rights" to the No. 3 in NASCAR competition (fueled by the fact that Kevin Harvick's car has a little No. 3 as an homage to Earnhardt and the usage of the No. 3 on the Camping World Series truck of Ty Dillon), but in fact no team owns the rights to this or any other number. However, according to established NASCAR procedures, RCR would have priority over other teams if and when the time came to reuse the number. RCR owns the stylized No. 3 logos used during Earnhardt's lifetime; however these rights may not prevent a future racing team from using a different No. 3 design (also, a new No. 3 team would most likely, in any case, need to create logos which fit with their sponsor's logos).
    Earnhardt's remains were interred in Kannapolis after a private funeral service on February 21, 2001.
    More Details Hide Details
    Dale Earnhardt, Inc. won five races in the 2001 season, beginning Steve Park's victory in the race at Rockingham just one week after Earnhardt's death.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt Jr. and Waltrip finished first and second in the series' return to Daytona in July for the Pepsi 400, a reverse of the finish in the Daytona 500. Earnhardt Jr. also won the fall races at Dover (first post 9/11 race) and Talladega and came to an eighth-place points finish.
    On the final lap of the 2001 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500, he beat Jeff Gordon by .006 seconds (the margin being .004 of a second closer than Earnhardt had won over Bobby Labonte at the same race a year ago) in an identical photo finish, and the images of Earnhardt's longtime gas man Danny "Chocolate" Myers crying after the victory, Harvick's tire-smoking burnout on the frontstretch with three fingers held aloft outside the driver's window; and the Fox television call by Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and Darrell Waltrip concluding with "Just like a year ago Earnhardt and Bobby Labonte, but he Harvick is gonna get him though Gordon got loose... it's Harvick!
    More Details Hide Details Harvick by inches!" are memorable to many NASCAR fans. The win was also considered cathartic for a sport whose epicenter had been ripped away. Harvick would win another race at the inaugural event at Chicagoland en route to a ninth-place finish in the final points, and won Rookie of the Year honors along with the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Championship.
    Childress' second-year Busch Series driver Kevin Harvick was named as Earnhardt's replacement, beginning with the 2001 Dura Lube 400 at North Carolina Speedway.
    More Details Hide Details Special pennants bearing the No.3 were distributed to everyone at the track to honor Earnhardt, and the Childress team wore blank uniforms out of respect, something which disappeared quickly and was soon replaced by the previous GM Goodwrench Service Plus uniforms. Harvick's car always displayed the Earnhardt stylized number 3 on the "B" posts (metal portion on each side of the car to the rear of the front windows) above the number 29 until the end of 2013, when he departed for Stewart-Haas Racing. Fans began honoring Earnhardt by holding three fingers aloft on the third lap of every race, a black screen of No. 3 in the beginning of NASCAR Thunder 2002 before the EA Sports logo, and the television coverage of NASCAR on Fox and NASCAR on NBC went silent for each third lap from Rockingham to the following year's race there in honor of Earnhardt. On-track incidents brought out the caution flag on the third lap. Three weeks after Earnhardt's death, Harvick, driving a car that had been prepared for Earnhardt, scored his first career Cup win at Atlanta.
    An autopsy conducted on February 19, 2001 concluded that Earnhardt died instantly of blunt force trauma to his head due to the accident.
    More Details Hide Details It also reported that Earnhardt sustained a fatal basilar skull fracture. Days later, on February 22, public funeral services were held at the Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. After Earnhardt's death, both a police investigation and a NASCAR-sanctioned investigation commenced; nearly every detail of the crash was made public. The allegations of seatbelt failure resulted in Bill Simpson's resignation from the company bearing his name, which manufactured the seatbelts used in Earnhardt's car and nearly every other NASCAR driver's car. NASCAR implemented rigorous safety improvements, such as mandating the HANS device, which Earnhardt refused to wear after finding it restrictive and uncomfortable. Several press conferences were held in the days following Earnhardt's death. After Marlin and his relatives received hate mail and death threats from angry fans, Waltrip and Earnhardt Jr. absolved him of any responsibility. Richard Childress made a public pledge that the number 3 would never again adorn the side of a black race car with a GM Goodwrench sponsorship. Childress, who holds the rights from NASCAR to the No.3, placed a moratorium on using it; the number returned for the 2014 season, driven by Childress's grandson Austin Dillon.
    During the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2001, Earnhardt was involved in a three-car accident on the final lap of the race, in which he collided with Ken Schrader after making small contact with Sterling Marlin and hit the outside wall head-on.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt and Schrader's cars both slid off the track's asphalt banking into the infield grass just inside of turn 4. Seconds later, his driver Michael Waltrip won the race, with his teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishing second. Earnhardt's death was officially pronounced at the Halifax Medical Center at 5:16 PM Eastern Standard Time (22:16 UTC). Nearly two hours later, NASCAR president Mike Helton announced Earnhardt's death. Earnhardt was 49 years old at the time of his death.
  • 2000
    In the 2000 season, Earnhardt had a resurgence, which was commonly attributed to neck surgery he underwent to correct a lingering injury from his 1996 Talladega crash.
    More Details Hide Details He scored what were considered the two most exciting wins of the year—winning by .010 seconds over Bobby Labonte at Atlanta, then gaining seventeen positions in the final four laps to win at Talladega, claiming his only No Bull million dollar bonus along with his record 10th win at the track. Earnhardt also had second-place runs at Richmond and Martinsville, tracks where he had struggled through the late 1990s. On the strength of those performances, Earnhardt was able to get to second in the standings. However, poor performances at the road course of Watkins Glen, where he wrecked coming out of the chicane, a wreck with Kenny Irwin Jr. while leading the spring race at Bristol, and mid-pack runs at intermediate tracks like Charlotte and Dover in a season dominated by the Ford Taurus in those tracks from Roush, Yates, and Penske, coupled with Labonte's extreme consistency, denied Earnhardt an eighth championship title.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1999
    Before the 1999 season, fans began discussing Earnhardt's age and speculating that with his son, Dale Jr., making his Winston Cup debut, Earnhardt might be contemplating retirement.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt swept both races for the year at Talladega, leading some to conclude that Earnhardt's talent had become limited to the restrictor plate tracks, which require a unique skill set and an exceptionally powerful racecar to win. But halfway through the year, Earnhardt began to show some of the old spark. In the August race at Michigan, Earnhardt led laps late in the race and nearly pulled off his first win on a non-restrictor-plate track since 1996. One week later, he provided NASCAR with one of its most controversial moments. At the Bristol night race, Earnhardt found himself in contention to win his first short track race since Martinsville in 1995. When a caution came out with 15 laps to go, leader Terry Labonte got hit from behind by the lapped car of Darrell Waltrip. His spin put Earnhardt in the lead with five cars between him and Labonte with 5 laps to go. Labonte had four fresh tires and Earnhardt was driving on old tires, which made Earnhardt's car considerably slower. Labonte caught Earnhardt and passed him coming to the white flag, but Earnhardt drove hard into turn two, bumping Labonte and spinning him around. Earnhardt went on to collect the win while spectators booed and made obscene gestures. "I didn't mean to turn him around, I just wanted to rattle his cage", Earnhardt said of the incident. Earnhardt finished seventh in the standings that year.
  • 1998
    1998 saw Earnhardt finally win the Daytona 500 in his 20th attempt after being shut out in his previous 19 attempts.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt began the season by winning his Twin 125-mile qualifier race for the ninth straight year, and the week before was the first to drive around the track under the newly installed lights, for coincidentally 20 times. On race day, he showed himself to be a contender early. Halfway through the race, however, it seemed that Jeff Gordon had the upper hand. But by lap 138, Earnhardt had taken the lead and thanks to a push by teammate Mike Skinner, he was able to maintain it. Earnhardt made it to the caution-checkered flag before Bobby Labonte. Afterwards, there was a large show of respect for Earnhardt, in which every crew member of every team lined pit road to shake his hand as he made his way to victory lane. Earnhardt then drove his No. 3 into the infield grass, starting a trend of post-race celebrations. He spun the car twice, throwing grass and leaving tire tracks in the shape of a No. 3 in the grass. Earnhardt then spoke about the victory, saying "I have had a lot of great fans and people behind me all through the years and I just can't thank them enough. The Daytona 500 is ours. We won it, we won it, we won it!" The rest of the season did not go as well and the 500 was his only victory that year. Despite that, he did almost pull off a Daytona sweep, where he was one of the dominant ones to win the first nighttime Pepsi 400, but a pit stop late in the race in which he caught a rogue tire like a hockey puck cost him the race win.
  • 1997
    In 1997, Earnhardt went winless for only the second time in his career.
    More Details Hide Details The only (non-points) win came during Speedweeks at Daytona in the Twin 125-mile qualifying race, his record eighth-straight win in the event. Once again in the hunt for the Daytona 500 with 10 laps to go, Earnhardt was taken out of contention by a late crash which sent his car upside down on the backstretch. Earnhardt hit the low point of his year when he blacked out early in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington in September, causing him to hit the wall. Afterward, he was disoriented and it took several laps before he could find his pit stall. When asked, Earnhardt complained of double vision which made it difficult to pit. Mike Dillon (Richard Childress's son-in-law) was brought in to relieve Earnhardt for the remainder of the race. Earnhardt was evaluated at a local hospital and cleared to race the very next week, but the cause of the blackout and double vision was never determined. Despite no wins, the RCR team finished the season fifth in the final standings.
  • 1996
    Earnhardt did not win again in 1996, but still finished fourth in the standings behind Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Jarrett.
    More Details Hide Details David Smith departed as crew chief of the No. 3 team and RCR at the end of the year for personal reasons, and was replaced by Larry McReynolds.
    1996 for Earnhardt started just like it had done in 1993—he dominated Speedweeks, only to finish second in the Daytona 500 to Dale Jarrett for the second time.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt won early in the year, scoring consecutive victories at Rockingham and Atlanta. In late-July in the DieHard 500 at Talladega, he was in the points lead and looking for his eighth season title, despite the departure of crew chief Andy Petree. Late in the race, Ernie Irvan lost control of his No. 28 Havoline-sponsored Ford Thunderbird, made contact with the No. 4 Kodak-sponsored Chevy Monte Carlo of Sterling Marlin, and igniting a frightening crash that saw Earnhardt's No. 3 Chevrolet hit the tri-oval wall nearly head-on at almost 200 mph. After hitting the wall, Earnhardt's car flipped and slid across the track, in front of race-traffic. His car was hit in the roof and windshield. This accident, as well as a similar accident that led to the death of Russell Phillips at Charlotte, led NASCAR to mandate the "Earnhardt Bar", a metal brace located in the center of the windshield that reinforces the roof in case of a similar crash. This bar is also required in NASCAR-owned United SportsCar Racing and its predecessors for road racing.
  • 1995
    He won five races in 1995, including his first road course victory at Sears Point.
    More Details Hide Details He also won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a win he called the biggest of his career. But in the end, Earnhardt lost the championship to Jeff Gordon by 34 points.
    Earnhardt started off the 1995 season by finishing second in the Daytona 500 to Sterling Marlin.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1994
    In 1994, Earnhardt achieved a feat that he himself had believed to be impossible—he scored his seventh Winston Cup championship, tying Richard Petty.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt was very consistent, scoring four wins, and after Ernie Irvan was sidelined due to a near-deadly crash at Michigan (the two were neck-and-neck at the top of the points up until the crash), won title by over 400 points over Mark Martin. Earnhardt sealed the deal at Rockingham by winning the race over Rick Mast. It would be his final NASCAR championship.
  • 1993
    On November 14, 1993, after the Hooters 500 (Atlanta), the last race of that season, the race winner Wallace and 1993 series champion Dale Earnhardt ran a Polish Victory Lap together while carrying #28 and #7 flags commemorating Davey Allison and Alan Kulwicki, both drivers died during the season, respectively.
    More Details Hide Details
    Hiring Petree turned out to be beneficial, as Earnhardt returned to the front in 1993.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt once again came close to a win at the Daytona 500, and dominated Speedweeks before finishing second to Dale Jarrett on a last-lap pass. Earnhardt scored six wins en route to his sixth Winston Cup title, including wins in the first prime-time Coca-Cola 600 and The Winston both at Charlotte, and the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Earnhardt beat Rusty Wallace for the championship by 80 points.
  • 1992
    Earnhardt's only win of the 1992 season came at Charlotte, in the Coca-Cola 600, ending a 13-race win streak by Ford teams.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt finished a career-low 12th in the points for the second time in his career, and the only time he had finished that low since joining RCR. Earnhardt still made the trip to the annual Awards Banquet with Rusty Wallace but did not have the best seat in the house. Wallace stated he and Earnhardt had to sit on the backs of their chairs to see and Earnhardt said "This sucks, I could have gone hunting". At the end of the year, longtime crew chief Kirk Shelmerdine left to become a driver. Andy Petree took over as crew chief.
  • 1991
    The 1991 season saw Earnhardt win his fifth Winston Cup championship.
    More Details Hide Details This season, he scored four wins, and won the championship by 195 points over Ricky Rudd. One of his wins that year came at North Wilkesboro, in a race where Harry Gant had a chance to set a single-season record by winning his fifth consecutive race, breaking a record held by Earnhardt. Late in the race, Gant lost his brakes, which gave Earnhardt the chance he needed to make the pass for the win and maintain his record.
  • 1990
    The 1990 season started for Earnhardt with victories in the Busch Clash and his heat of the Gatorade Twin 125's.
    More Details Hide Details Near the end of the Daytona 500, he had a dominant forty-second lead when the final caution flag came out with a handful of laps to go. When the green flag waved, Earnhardt was leading Derrike Cope. On the final lap, Earnhardt ran over a piece of metal, which was later revealed as a bell housing, in turn 4, cutting down a tire. Cope, in an upset, won the race while Earnhardt finished fifth after leading 155 of the 200 laps. The No. 3 Goodwrench-sponsored Chevy team took the flat tire which cost them the win and hung it on the shop wall as a reminder of how close they had come to winning the Daytona 500. Earnhardt went on to win nine races that season and won his fourth Winston Cup title, beating Mark Martin by 26 points. Earnhardt also became the first multiple winner of the annual all-star race, The Winston.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1989
    The following year, Earnhardt won five races, but a late spin out at North Wilkesboro arguably cost him the 1989 championship, as Rusty Wallace edged him out for it.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1988
    He won three races in 1988, finishing third in the points standings behind Bill Elliott in first and Rusty Wallace in second.
    More Details Hide Details
    The 1988 season saw Earnhardt racing with a new sponsor, GM Goodwrench, replacing Wrangler Jeans.
    More Details Hide Details During this season, Earnhardt garnered a second nickname—the "Man in Black"—owing to the black paint scheme in which the No. 3 car was painted in.
    She gave birth to their daughter Taylor Nicole Earnhardt in 1988.
    More Details Hide Details Taylor and her husband, Brandon Putnam, are professional rodeo performers.
  • 1987
    In the 1987 season, Earnhardt earned the nickname "The Intimidator" after spinning out Elliott in the final segment of "The Winston", a non-points event now known as the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
    More Details Hide Details During this race, Earnhardt was briefly forced into the infield grass, but kept control of his car and returned to the track without giving up his lead. The maneuver is now referred to as the "Pass in the Grass", even though Earnhardt did not pass anyone while he was off the track.
  • 1986
    The 1986 season saw Earnhardt win his second career Winston Cup Championship and the first owner's championship for RCR.
    More Details Hide Details He won five races and had ten Top 5's and sixteen Top 10's. Earnhardt successfully defended his championship the following year, going to victory lane eleven times and winning the championship by 489 points over Bill Elliott. In the process, Earnhardt set a NASCAR modern era record of four consecutive wins and won five of the first seven races.
  • 1984
    During the 1984 and 1985 seasons, Earnhardt went to victory lane six times, at Talladega, Atlanta, Richmond, Bristol (twice), and Martinsville, where he finished fourth and eighth in the season standings respectively.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1983
    After the 1983 season, Earnhardt returned to Richard Childress Racing, replacing Ricky Rudd in the No. 3.
    More Details Hide Details Rudd went to Bud Moore's No. 15, replacing Earnhardt. Wrangler sponsored both drivers at their respective teams.
    In 1983, Earnhardt rebounded and won his first of 12 Twin 125 Daytona 500 qualifying races.
    More Details Hide Details Earnhardt won at Nashville and at Talladega, finishing eighth in the points standings.
  • 1982
    During the 1982 season, Earnhardt struggled.
    More Details Hide Details Although he won at Darlington, he failed to finish 15 races, and completed the season 12th in points, the worst of his career. He also suffered a broken kneecap at Pocono Raceway when he flipped after contact with Tim Richmond.
    The following year, at Childress's suggestion, Earnhardt joined car owner Bud Moore for the 1982 and 1983 seasons driving the No. 15 Wrangler Jeans-sponsored Ford Thunderbird (the only full-time Ford ride in his career).
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    Earnhardt then married his third and last wife Teresa Houston (Tommy Houston's niece) in 1982.
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  • 1981
    In 1981, after Osterlund sold his team to J. D. Stacy, Earnhardt left for Richard Childress Racing, and finished the season seventh in the points standings but winless.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1979
    Earnhardt competed in eight more races until 1979.
    More Details Hide Details When he joined car owner Rod Osterlund Racing in a season that included a rookie class of future stars including Earnhardt, Harry Gant and Terry Labonte in his rookie season, Earnhardt won one race at Bristol, captured four poles, scored eleven Top 5's and seventeen Top 10's, and finished seventh in the points standings despite missing four races due to a broken collarbone, winning Rookie of the Year honors. During his sophomore season, Earnhardt, now with 20-year-old Doug Richert as his crew chief, began the season winning the Busch Clash. With wins at Atlanta, Bristol, Nashville, Martinsville, and Charlotte, Earnhardt won his first Winston Cup points championship. To this day, Earnhardt had been the first (and only) driver in all of NASCAR Winston Cup history to follow a Rookie of the Year title with a NASCAR Winston Cup Championship the next season. He was also the third driver in NASCAR history to win both the Rookie of the Year and Cup Series championship, following David Pearson (1960, 1966) and Richard Petty (1959, 1964). Only seven drivers have joined this exclusive club since: Rusty Wallace (1984, 1989), Alan Kulwicki (1986, 1992), Jeff Gordon (1993, 1995), Tony Stewart (1999, 2002), Matt Kenseth (2000, 2003), Kevin Harvick (2001, 2014), and Kyle Busch (2005, 2015).
  • 1975
    Earnhardt began his professional career in the Winston Cup in 1975, making his debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina in the longest race on the Cup circuit—the 1975 World 600.
    More Details Hide Details He drove the No. 8 Ed Niegre Dodge Charger and finished 22nd in that race, just one spot ahead of his future car owner, Richard Childress.
  • 1972
    In his marriage with Gee, Earnhardt had two more children: a daughter Kelley King Earnhardt in 1972 and a son Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 1974.
    More Details Hide Details Not long after Dale Jr. was born, Earnhardt and Gee divorced.
  • 1971
    In 1971, Earnhardt married his second wife Brenda Gee, the daughter of NASCAR car builder Robert Gee.
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  • OTHER
  • 1968
    In 1968, at the age of 17, Earnhardt married his first wife Latane Brown. With her, Earnhardt fathered his first son Kerry a year later. Dale and Latane divorced in 1970.
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  • 1956
    Earnhardt's father was then one of the best short-track drivers in North Carolina and won his first and only NASCAR Sportsman Championship in 1956 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in Greenville, South Carolina.
    More Details Hide Details Although Ralph did not want his son to pursue a career as a race car driver, Dale dropped out of school to pursue his dreams. Ralph was a hard teacher for Dale and after Ralph died of a heart attack at his home in 1973 at age 45, it took many years before Dale felt as though he had finally "proven" himself to his father. Earnhardt had four siblings: two brothers, Danny and Randy (died 2013); and two sisters, Cathy and Kaye.
  • 1951
    Earnhardt had German ancestry. He was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina on April 29, 1951 as the third child to Ralph Earnhardt and Martha Coleman.
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