Dale Earnhardt (1951 - 2001)...
The Intimidator is gone, but certainly not forgotten... Loved him or hated him, you just had to watch him! Although I am a Ricky Rudd fan, I still feel a tremendous sense of loss. NASCAR will go on, but it will never be the same without the black #3 Chevrolet working it's way through the field.
Some of Earnhardt's On-track Accomplishments and Career Milestones:
1975: Makes his Winston Cup debut in the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He started 33rd and finished 22nd in a Dodge owned by Ed Negre. He earned $2,245 and finished one spot ahead of his future boss, Richard Childress.
1979: Wins the Winston Cup Rookie of the Year title while driving for Rod Osterlund, the season that includes his first victory at Bristol.
1980: Wins five races en route to his first Winston Cup championship. He's the only driver to win a series championship after being Rookie of the Year.
1981: Struggles, failing to win a race or a pole. Osterlund sells the team in mid-season and Earnhardt quits. He drives for Childress the rest of the season.
1982: Joins Bud Moore's team. He wins at Darlington in April, but fractures a knee in a crash at Talladega. He doesn't miss a race.
1983: Wins two races before bolting back to a car owned by Childress, with whom he'd spend the rest of his racing career.
1984: Wins two races including one at Atlanta where newcomer Terry Schoonover is killed. "I'm sorry it happened, real sorry," Earnhardt said. "It's something you don't want to think about happening, and I try not to."
1985: Wins four races and finishes eighth in the season points race.
1986: Wins his second Winston Cup title with five victories.
1987: Wins a third series title with 11 victories.
1989: Finishess second in the series, losing to Rusty Wallace by 12 points.
1990: Earns a then-record $3 million in prize money while taking home a fourth Winston Cup title, 26 points ahead of Mark Martin.
1991: Takes a fifth series title.
1992: Fnishes 12th in the season's points race, tying his worst showing of his Winston Cup career.
1993: Wins a sixth Winston Cup championship.
1994: Ties Richard Petty's mark of seven Winston Cup titles.
1997: Earnhardt goes winless for the first time since 1981.
1998: Claims his only Daytona 500 victory, in his 20th attempt.
2000: Finishes second in the points race to Bobby Labonte. He wins his last race in October at Talladega, Ala., giving him 76 career victories.
2001: Earnhardt is killed in a crash during the last lap of the Daytona 500, while a car he owns, driven by Michael Waltrip, wins the race. In very non-typical Earnhardt fashion (he was a hardcharger), he did not charge to the front, but instead fell back in a valiant attempt to hold back the rest of pack, so that Waltrip and Dale Junior could secure the Top 2 positions. He achieved his goal, but lost his life, in a blur of smoking tires and crumpled sheetmetal.
We miss you, Dale...
May you take the ultimate checkered flag at the Pearly Gates...
This page was last updated on 12/04/14.