The world was left stunned and in disbelief when, on February 18, 2001, race car driver and legend Dale Earnhardt was killed as a result of injuries incurred in a three-car accident while heading into Turn 3 on his final lap at the Daytona 500. Over the course of Earnhardt’s illustrious career, which began at the Charolette Motor Speedway in North Carolina in 1975, he won 76 Winston Cup races as well as 7 NASCAR Winston Cup championships (a tie with Richard Petty). Known as the “Intimidator”, Earnhardt was well known for his bold and aggressive driving style. Earnhardt, also nicknamed ‘The Man in Black’, once commented on his signature style by saying, “I want to give more than 100% in every race. If you call that aggressive, then I reckon I am. This is not a sport for the faint of heart”. One of the most poignant tributes ever paid to Dale Earnhardt Sr. was delivered by long-time friend, racing promoter and former President and General Manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway Humpy Wheeler, commonly known as H.A Wheeler, when he said, “Here’s a kid who came from the bottom, worked hard for everything he got and had no airs about him”. Dale Earnhardt was honorably inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010.
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