83 Facts About Dale Earnhardt


Dale Earnhardt is a member of the Earnhardt racing family.


Dale Earnhardt is regarded as one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history.


Dale Earnhardt won a total of 76 Winston Cup races over the course of his 26-year career, including four Winston 500s and the 1998 Daytona 500.


Dale Earnhardt is the only driver in NASCAR history to score at least one win in four different and consecutive decades.


Dale Earnhardt earned seven Winston Cup championships, a record held with Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson.


On February 18,2001, Dale Earnhardt died in a sudden last-lap crash during the Daytona 500 due to a basilar skull fracture.


Dale Earnhardt's death was regarded in the racing industry as being a crucial moment in improving safety in all aspects of car racing, especially NASCAR.


Dale Earnhardt has been inducted into numerous halls of fame, including the NASCAR Hall of Fame inaugural class in 2010.


Ralph Dale Earnhardt was born on April 29,1951, in the Charlotte suburb of Kannapolis, North Carolina, as the third child of Martha and Ralph Earnhardt.


Dale Earnhardt's father was one of the best short-track drivers in North Carolina at the time and won his first and only NASCAR Sportsman Championship in 1956 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in Greenville, South Carolina.


In 1963 at the age of 12, Dale Earnhardt secretly drove his father's car in one of his races and had a near victory against one of his father's closest competitors.


Dale Earnhardt had four siblings: two brothers, Danny and Randy ; and two sisters, Cathy and Kaye.


In 1968, at the age of 17, Dale Earnhardt married his first wife, Latane Brown.


In 1971, Dale Earnhardt married his second wife, Brenda Gee, the daughter of NASCAR car builder Robert Gee.


Dale Earnhardt then married his third wife, Teresa Houston, in 1982.


Dale Earnhardt gave birth to their daughter, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt, in 1988.


Dale Earnhardt had made his Grand National debut in 1974 in an unofficial invitational exhibition race at Metrolina Speedway, where with eight laps to go he got under Richard Childress and spun out when battling for third.


Dale Earnhardt drove the No 8 Ed Negre Dodge Charger and finished 22nd in that race, just one spot ahead of his future car owner, Richard Childress.


Dale Earnhardt is the only driver in NASCAR Cup history to follow a Rookie of the Year title with a NASCAR Winston Cup Championship the next season.


Dale Earnhardt was the third driver in NASCAR history to win both the Rookie of the Year and Winston Cup Series championship, following David Pearson and Richard Petty.


Dale Earnhardt finished out the year driving Pontiacs for Richard Childress Racing and managed to place seventh in the final points standings.


Dale Earnhardt departed RCR at the end of the season, citing a lack of chemistry.


Dale Earnhardt was a color commentator for the Busch Clash, while he drove on that same day.


Dale Earnhardt suffered a broken kneecap at Pocono Raceway when he flipped after contact with Tim Richmond.


In 1983, Dale Earnhardt rebounded and won his first of 12 Twin 125 Daytona 500 qualifying races.


Dale Earnhardt won at Nashville and at Talladega, finishing eighth in the points standings, despite failing to finish 13 of the 30 races.


Dale Earnhardt won five races and had 16 top-fives and 23 top-10s.


Dale Earnhardt successfully defended his championship the following year, going to victory lane 11 times and winning the championship by 489 points over Bill Elliott.


The maneuver is referred to as the "Pass in the Grass", even though Dale Earnhardt did not pass anyone while he was off the track.


The 1988 season saw Dale Earnhardt racing with a new sponsor, GM Goodwrench, after Wrangler Jeans dropped its sponsorship in 1987.


Dale Earnhardt won three races in 1988, finishing third in the points standings behind Bill Elliott in first and Rusty Wallace in second.


Cope, in an upset, won the race while Dale Earnhardt finished fifth after leading 155 of the 200 laps.


Dale Earnhardt won nine races that season and won his fourth Winston Cup title, beating Mark Martin by 26 points.


Dale Earnhardt became the first multiple winner of the annual all-star race, The Winston.


Dale Earnhardt finished a career-low 12th in the points for the second time in his career, with three last place finishes, and the only time he had finished that low since joining Richard Childress Racing.


Dale Earnhardt still made the trip to the annual Awards Banquet with Rusty Wallace but did not have the best seat in the house.


Dale Earnhardt came close to a win at the Daytona 500 and dominated Speedweeks before finishing second to Dale Jarrett on a last-lap pass.


Dale Earnhardt scored six wins en route to his sixth Winston Cup title, including wins in the first prime-time Coca-Cola 600 and The Winston, both at Charlotte, and the Pepsi 400 at Daytona.


Dale Earnhardt beat Rusty Wallace for the championship by 80 points.


Dale Earnhardt was very consistent, scoring four wins, and after Ernie Irvan was sidelined due to a near-deadly crash at Michigan, won the title by over 400 points over Mark Martin.


Dale Earnhardt sealed the deal at Rockingham by winning the race over Rick Mast.


Dale Earnhardt started off the 1995 season by finishing second in the Daytona 500 to Sterling Marlin.


Dale Earnhardt won five races in 1995, including his first road course victory at Sears Point.


Dale Earnhardt won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a win he called the biggest of his career.


Dale Earnhardt won early in the year, scoring consecutive victories at Rockingham and Atlanta.


Dale Earnhardt's car was hit in the roof and windshield.


T-shirts emblazoned with Dale Earnhardt's face were quickly printed up, brandishing the caption, "It Hurt So Good".


Dale Earnhardt led for most of the race and looked to have victory in hand, but fatigue took its toll and he ended up sixth behind race winner Geoff Bodine.


In 1997, Dale Earnhardt went winless for only the second time in his career.


Once again in the hunt for the Daytona 500 with 10 laps to go, Dale Earnhardt was taken out of contention by a late crash which sent his car upside down on the backstretch.


Dale Earnhardt was evaluated at a local hospital and cleared to race the next week, but the cause of the blackout and double vision was never determined.


On February 15,1998, Dale Earnhardt finally won the Daytona 500 in his 20th attempt after failing to win in his previous 19 attempts.


Dale Earnhardt began the season by winning his Twin 125-mile qualifier race for the ninth straight year, and the week before was the first to drive around the track under the newly installed lights, for coincidentally 20 laps.


Dale Earnhardt made it to the caution-checkered flag before Bobby Labonte.


Dale Earnhardt then drove his No 3 into the infield grass, starting a trend of post-race celebrations.


Dale Earnhardt spun the car twice, throwing grass and leaving tire tracks in the shape of a No 3 in the grass.


Dale Earnhardt slipped to 12th in the point standings halfway through the season, and Richard Childress decided to make a crew chief change, taking Mike Skinner's crew chief Kevin Hamlin and putting him with Earnhardt while giving Skinner Larry McReynolds.


Dale Earnhardt finished the 1998 season eighth in the final points standings, with 1 win, 5 top fives, and 13 top tens, with an average finish of 16.2.


Dale Earnhardt swept both races for the year at Talladega, leading some to conclude that his talent had become limited to the restrictor plate tracks, which require a unique skill set and an exceptionally powerful racecar to win.


At the Bristol night race, Dale Earnhardt found himself in contention to win his first short track race since Martinsville in 1995.


Dale Earnhardt's spin put Earnhardt in the lead with five cars between him and Labonte with five laps to go.


Labonte had four fresh tires, and Dale Earnhardt was driving on old tires, which made Dale Earnhardt's car considerably slower.


Labonte caught Dale Earnhardt and passed him coming to the white flag, but Dale Earnhardt drove hard into turn two, bumping Labonte and spinning him around.


Dale Earnhardt collected the win while spectators booed and made obscene gestures.


Dale Earnhardt finished seventh in the standings that year, with 3 wins, 7 top fives, and 21 top tens, with an average finish of 12.0.


Dale Earnhardt had second-place runs at Richmond and Martinsville, tracks where he had struggled through the late 1990s.


Dale Earnhardt finished 2000 with two wins, 13 top fives, 24 top tens, an average finish of 9.4, and was the only driver besides Labonte to finish the season with zero DNF's.


Dale Earnhardt collided with Ken Schrader after making small contact with Sterling Marlin and hit the outside wall head-on.


Dale Earnhardt had been blocking Schrader on the outside and Marlin on the inside at the time of the crash.


An autopsy conducted on February 19,2001, concluded that Dale Earnhardt sustained a fatal basilar skull fracture.


NASCAR implemented rigorous safety improvements, such as mandating the HANS device, which Dale Earnhardt refused to wear after finding it restrictive and uncomfortable.


Childress's second-year Busch Series driver Kevin Harvick was named as Dale Earnhardt's replacement, beginning with the 2001 Dura Lube 400 at North Carolina Speedway.


Fans began honoring Dale Earnhardt by holding three fingers aloft on the third lap of every race, a black screen of No 3 in the beginning of NASCAR Thunder 2002 before the EA Sports logo, and the television coverage of NASCAR on Fox and NASCAR on NBC went silent for each third lap from Rockingham to the following year's race there in honor of Dale Earnhardt, unless on-track incidents brought out the caution flag on the third lap.


Dale Earnhardt, Inc won five races in the 2001 season, beginning with Steve Park's victory in the race at Rockingham just one week after Earnhardt's death.


Dale Earnhardt's remains were interred at his estate in Mooresville, North Carolina after a private funeral service on February 21,2001.


Dale Earnhardt drove the No 3 car for the majority of his career, spanning the latter half of the 1981 season, and then again from 1984 until his death in 2001.


Dale Earnhardt raced a No 3 sponsored by Wrangler on July 2,2010, for Richard Childress Racing at Daytona.


Dale Earnhardt has several roads named after him, including a street in his hometown Kannapolis.


Dale Earnhardt Drive is the start of The Dale Journey Trail, a self-guided driving tour of landmarks in the lives of Earnhardt and his family.


Dale Earnhardt finished third after rain caused the race to be cut short.


The throwback No 3 car stood in the infield, in the approximate position Dale Earnhardt would have taken in the processional.


Avondale is where Earnhardt won a Cup race in 1990.


Dale Earnhardt is mentioned in a 2001 song composed by John Hiatt entitled The Tiki Bar Is Open, along with his legendary race number.