Today on February 18, 2022, marks 20 years since Dale Sr. passed away and every year NASCAR along with millions of others celebrate and honor his life, and today is no different.
Even tell today Dale Earnhardt Sr. is considered to be one of the greatest NASCAR drivers in National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) history. Dale Earnhardt Sr. passed away in a bad wreck on his last lap at the 43rd Daytona 500 International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, he was 49 years old at the time of his passing.
On the day of Dale Earnhardt Sr. crash, he was driving his famous black No. 3 Chevrolet and while fighting for third place he collided with Sterling Marlin and Ken Schrader, which caused Sr. to then crash head on into a retaining wall killing him instantly.
Official reported and video show that Dale Sr. was cut from his #3 car, placed on to a medical stretcher and taken to a local hospital in Daytona Beach, Fl, where he was declared deceased due to head trauma by medical professionals.
Earnhardt earned his nickname "The Intimidator" because of his aggressive driving style, his driving style earned him many victories too.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. sparked a change in NASCAR.
Four other NASCAR driver died within a nine-month period before Dale, Sr. passed. Dale's death prompted NASCAR officials to cancel racing and implement a series of effective safety regulations, this included NASCAR making it a rule for drivers to use head-and-neck restraints. It is said that not using head restraints and proper head gear contributed to Dale Earnhardt Sr. death.
Earnhardt comes from a family line of racers, not only was his son Dale JR a NASCAR driver, but his father was a race car driver as well. Dale Sr. father was born on April 29, 1951, in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Dale Sr's. father went on to become one of NASCAR’s most successful and respected competitors, winning himself 76 Winston Cup victories in his career, he also went on holds seven Cup championships, a feat achieved by just two other drivers in NASCAR, they are Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson.
The 2001 Daytona race where Earnhardt Sr. lost his life was won by Michael Waltrip, a racing teammate of Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI), with Dale Jr. taken second place in the race that day.