April 29, 2008

Today In Automotive History

Dale Earnhardt, one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history, was born on this day in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Like Richard "The King" Petty, the only man with career credits comparable to Earnhardt's, Dale had racing in his blood. His father, Ralph, was an auto mechanic and champion driver of late-model stock cars. Dale Earnhardt knew from an early age he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a racecar driver and he eventually dropped out of high school to pursue racing.

In 1979 Earnhardt was named Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. The following year he won the first of his seven Winston Cup Series championships. Driving the black No.3 Chevrolet, perhaps the most recognizable stock car of all time, Earnhardt earned his nickname, "The Intimidator," as a result of his tough, uncompromising driving style. He become a legend in the sport and racked up a career total of 76 victories.

Earnhardt's life was cut short on February 18, 2001, when he was fatally injured in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500. Earnhardt, age 49, died instantly of head injuries. He left behind a wife, Teresa, four children, and legions of fans. Earnhardt's two sons are racecar drivers and his younger son, Dale Jr., has established himself as a star in the sport.

Hattip: History Channel

Posted by Quality Weenie at April 29, 2008 08:02 AM | TrackBack