He was one of the most brilliant and successful stock car racing drivers in the world. Today I'm going to talk to you about a well-known NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt. His aggressive style earned him the nickname "The Intimidator." Dale was born on April 29, 1951 at Kannaoplis, North Carolina. Dale followed the path of his father, Ralph Earnhardt, who was also a racecar driver. He began racing at the age of 19 on dirt tracks and claimed his first NASCAR win in 1979.
That same year he also won "The Rookie of the Year Award." Dale won a a total of 76 races in his career and won the NASCAR Winston Cup season points championship seven times. Only one other driver has ever done the same and that was Richard Petty. Dale also won NASCAR'S American Driver of the Year award twice in 1987 and 1994. In 1980, Dale won his first Winston Cup title and broke the record for the most earnings in a single season. He won back-to-back Winston Cup championships in 1986-87, 1990-91, and 1993-94. After 20 attempts, Dale finally won the Dayton 500 in 1998.
Dale has won nearly every major event and title available to NASCAR Winston Cup drivers. Dale's last victory was the Winston 500 in Talladega, Alabama. In 1998 Dale Earnhardt and his father Ralph were honored as two of the 50 Greatest Drivers in NASCAR history. Dale's son Dale Jr.
joined his father on the Winston Cup circuit in 2000. In February 2001, both Dales started at the Daytona 500. Only Dale Jr. was to finish the race.
On the last turn of the last lap of the race Dale Sr. was involved with cars driven by Sterling Marlin and Ken Schrader and crashed into the wall. He was killed instantly. At the time of his death, Eran hardt had over forty one million in career earnings, another all time record.
His death moved the world like no other athlete's death ever had. Had Dale Earnhardt been wearing a harness called the Hans Device, he may still be racing today. This harness would have stopped Dale from snapping his head forward and back, causing him to break his neck. Since Dale's death, all NASCAR drivers are required to wear this harness so that they do not meet the same fate as Dale.