|Dale Earnhardt Sr.|
|Thursday, 22 May 2008 19:13|
Nickname: The Intimidator
Date Born: April 29, 1951, Kannapolis, North Carolina
Date Died: February 18, 2001, Daytona
Age at Death: 49
Circumstances of Death: Car Crash during the 2001 Daytona 500
Notable because: Died on the last lap, turn 4 of his final race.
Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was an American race car driver, best known for his career driving stock cars in NASCAR top division. Earnhardt had four children, Kerry, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, Dale Jr., and Taylor Earnhardt. His widow, Teresa Earnhardt (whom he married in 1982) is the owner of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., the race team and merchandising corporation Earnhardt founded with her in February of 1980. Earnhardt is known for his success in the Winston Cup Series, now known as the Sprint Cup Series. He won seventy-six races (including his only Daytona 500 victory in 1998), and his seven championships are tied for most all-time with Richard Petty. His highly aggressive driving style made him a fan favorite and earned him the nicknames "Ironhead", "Mr. Restrictor Plate", "The Man in Black" and most famously, "The Intimidator." Earnhardt died in a last-lap crash during the 2001 Daytona 500, the fourth NASCAR driver to die in a nine month period that began with the death of Adam Petty in May 2000.
Due in large part to overwhelming fan outcry, NASCAR began an intensive focus on safety that has seen the organization begin to require the use of head-and-neck restraints such as the HANS device, oversee the installation of SAFER barriers at all oval tracks, set rigorous new rules for seat-belt and seat inspection, develop a roof-hatch escape system (used briefly, but later eliminated), and develop a next-generation race car built with extra driver safety in mind, dubbed the Car of Tomorrow.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2008 16:34|