Remembering Dale Earnhardt Sr. on Dale Earnhardt Day

By Joseph Wolkin

Not a single NASCAR fan doesn’t know of Dale Earnhardt Sr. On this day, April 29 of 2013, the man in black would’ve been 62-years old. Earnhardt is known as the driver of the No. 3 Goodwrench Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, but his life meant so much more than a black car with a few logos on it.

Never gets old reading and seeing all the comments on special days like today. Thanks to everyone celebrating Dad’s 62nd birthday

— Kerry Dale Earnhardt (@KerryDEarnhardt) April 29, 2013

Earnhardt was arguably the most aggressive NASCAR driver in the history of the sport. The moves he made on the track were just unthinkable. Look back at “the pass in the grass.” Even though it wasn’t a pass, he still held off Bill Elliott in the 1987 running of The Winston (now the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race). By the way, Earnhardt won that race while Elliott finished 14th.

His life off of the track was just as controversial. He married Brenda Lorraine, who was the daughter of a NASCAR car builder. She is the father of Earnhardt’s most successful son on NASCAR terms, Dale Earnhardt Jr. After their marriage failed, he married Teresa Earnhardt. Together, the two had a daughter, Taylor Earnhardt, who is now 23-years old and married.

Dale Earnhardt had a total of four children throughout his 50-years of life. Each of them lived in different ways. They all have taken different paths in life and as a result, carry on his legacy in numerous ways. Dale Jr. races on a weekly basis, which keeps his father’s name alive. Kerry Earnhardt has led his son, Jeffrey Earnhardt, to start his racing career, but in a different way that is similar to Dale Sr.’s. He’s started out with smaller teams that don’t have too much funding, attempting to prove he can race competitively with small teams before he moves his way up. Just this past weekend, his uncle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., gave him the opportunity to jump aboard the No. 5 NASCAR Nationwide Series car which is owned by the Hendrick Motorsports driver. It gave Jeffrey the opportunity that he’s been looking for and with a decent finish, may create more opportunities in the future, something Dale Sr. would’ve loved to see.

Dale’s career in NASCAR lasted 27-years. He had a total of 839 starts across several NASCAR circuits, including the NASCAR Winston Cup SeriesBusch Series and other minor NASCAR series. Totaling 99 career NASCAR wins, 97 of which were in NASCAR’s top two series, Earnhardt is ironically tied with his former rival, Darrell Waltrip, for the fourth most wins in NASCAR’s top-three series combined.

His story had been told before he passed away, after he passed away and will continue to do so for years to come. On this day, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, the team Earnhardt started a few years before he passed, in conjunction with the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, held a special event to remember the man that changed the sport in more ways than most could imagine. Next season, his legacy may continue as Childress’ grandson, Austin Dillon, moves up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, which is rumored that he’ll be bringing back Earnhardt’s No. 3 Chevrolet for the first time since Earnhardt’s death.

Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.

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