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Dale Earnhardt Biography

Birth Name:
Ralph Dale Earnhardt
Birth Place:
Kannapolis, North Carolina, United States
Former NASCAR driver

Fast Facts

  • Left a legacy matched by few athletes in any sport after a career as one of NASCAR's most polarizing figures from his 1975 debut until his 2001 death in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500
  • Drove to 76 Cup Series victories and a record-tying seven series championships (1980, '86, '87, '90, '91, '93, '94), becoming the first driver to capture the series title the year after winning NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors
  • Won the 1998 Daytona 500 after famously coming up short in NASCAR's premier race for years due to racing mishaps and bad luck
  • Crew members for every team lined up to congratulate Earnhardt on pit road after his long-sought victory
  • Honored by NASCAR with the removal of his No
  • 3, which only reappears under special circumstances
  • Among others paying tribute was baseball manager Ned Yost, a friend of Earnhardt's who wore No
  • 3 while managing in Milwaukee
  • Inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame (2002), the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (2006) and the NASCAR Hall of Fame as a member of the inaugural 2010 class
  • Remembered throughout North Carolina, but especially in his hometown of Kannapolis, home of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard as well as minor-league baseball's Intimidators (an Earnhardt nickname---team was formerly the Piedmont Boll Weevils)
  • Earnhardt co-owned the team but was never able to see them play