25 Years Ago, Dale Earnhardt Received A Death Threat Due To His Driving Style At The 1987 Winston

When Dale Earnhardt died during the 2001 Daytona 500, an era of racing had ended.  It was the beginning of the end of the beating and banging era as a more calm and collected style of driving was ushered in.  One of the best moments of Earnhardt’s career came at the 1987 Winston and it ended with the FBI protecting Earnhardt for a few months.  Apparently NASCAR fans take dangerous driving very seriously as a man threatened to shoot the legend.

Dear Mr. France:

When NASCAR comes north to Poccono, Watkins Glen, and Dover I suggust you leave Dale Ernhart home. If he comes to race I advise him to 1) have some bodyguards, or 2) wear a bullet-proof vest. I will be at one track, probably all three with my 30.06. When I get a clear shot….

You [expletive deleted] people won’t do anything about his dirty driving, so someone else will have to. He has pushed his way around NASCAR tracks for too long. If that [expletive deleted] wants to drive like that, then let him drive a super modified on the dirt tracks. Then he would get pushed back, probably right off the track and into the field where he belongs. You keep talking about the integrity of the sport, and let him get away with all his[expletive deleted]

It’s to bad Elliot didn’t take him out. You [expletive deleted] had better get your [expletive deleted] together or you’re going to be short one driver. Tell Dale to watch his ass WHEREEVER he goes.

Ah, nothing like a poorly worded death threat.  The FBI followed Dale Earnhardt around for a couple of months until the threat was eventually dismissed.   However, it did nothing to change his driving style as Earnhardt still went on to win seven championships.

Riley Schmitt is a writer for Rant Sports.


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