The “cat-who-ate-the-canary” look was pure vintage Dale Earnhardt,Sr. Earnhardt built a career on his reputation for bullying, and sometimes, just running over the competition.
Dale Earnhardt,Sr. was the definition of a dichotomy! On one hand he was every man, on the other hand he was Superman. He was a friend, he was a foe!
“Iron Head”, “The Intimidator“, and a few more names that most likely are not printable was assigned to him by his frustrated competitors. Dale, Sr. was above all a very fierce competitor in NASCAR.
“The Man In Black” struck fear in the hearts of his competitors. What you didn’t want to see late in the race was a mirror full of the black #3 car! Earnhardt would find a way, any way, to get by you and beat you to the start/finish line.
Earnhardt is tied with Richard Petty with the most championships, 7. His career Sprint cup wins were 76 with a grand total 97 victories including Busch/Nationwide Series races. He was the next face of NASCAR following Richard Petty. Dale was “the working man’s” race car driver! The NASCAR fans were equally divided- half of them loved him and half of them despised him! Either way was ok for Earnhardt!
Dale Earnhardt, Sr’s defining moment
Dale Earnhardt’s defining moment came in the fall race of 2000 at Talldega Superspeedway. It was, unfortunately his last hurrah in NASCAR. With just a handful of laps to go in the race, “The Intimidator” came from 19th place, slicing through the field with Kenny Wallace on his bumper pushing him, like a warm knife through butter! It was to be Dale Earnhardt,Sr.’s final victory!
In February 2001, just four months after this quite unbelievable show of driving skills, in a wreck on the last lap of the Daytona 500, NASCAR lost its “working man’s hero”! Dale Earnhardt, Sr. died at the young age of 49.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!