20 February, 2011

Daytona 500: 10th Anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's death: Remembering #3:

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REMEMBERED  FOREVER:  Dale Earnhardt 1951  -  2001
  1. Wherever you look around the Daytona 500 racetrack today (February 20th 2011), there are reminders of arguably the greatest race car driver of all-time: Dale Earnhardt.  It's almost as if he never left, as if he never died at the conclusion of the 2001 Dayton 500. Dale Earnhardt drove number 3 and so today, ten years later, on the third lap, fans will hold three fingers in the air and there will be a minutes' silence (apart from the car engines) to honour his memory. For someone known as "The Intimidator,"  it's amazing how many people embraced him and continue to embrace him as motor racing's "Great American Hero."   Today, Daytona is full of smiles but also sorrow. It's still hard to believe, but it was ten years ago today and the day will never be forgotten: the 2001 Daytona 500 and a dramatic finish was about to take place. Then suddenly, time stood still, everything stopped and the "music" died.
    Dale Earnhardt Senior

    "I've got it all, I'm a lucky man," - Dale Earnhardt speaking two days before he died at the 2001 Daytona 500

    "Dale had a knack for Daytona that nobody else had."   Dale Earnhardt (Number 3) died on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. "People ask us how can we go out and race today? (Which was at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on the day of Dale Earnhardt's funeral). We go out and race today because we know it's what Dale would have wanted us to do."   Those who knew Dale best said they were "proud" to call him a friend and that not a day goes by without someone asking: "What would Dale do,"  or  "What would Dale say? We try every day to honour Dale's memory."   
    NUMBER  ONE:  Dale  Earnhardt Junior
    One person who proudly honours Dale Earnhardt's memory everyday and on every track he steps is his son Dale Earnhardt Jnr. In his own way and in his own style, he's made a real name for himself. Today (February 20th 2011) marks Earnhardt Jnr's 400th career start. Dale Earnhardt Snr. and Jnr. are two of only 34 men to win the Daytona 500. "Today is about you Dale Jnr. We know you can get it done. Three months after his Dad died, Dale Jnr. won his next race. Can you believe, that this - the place where his Dad lost his life - is his favourite race track?" - say NASCAR commentators. One thing for sure is that Dale Earnhardt Snr. and Jnr. will both be remembered forever.

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