11:28 PM ET 03.04 |
I'm back again for my second article. I used to be a diehard NASCAR fan back in the day. There was nothing I like more than to watch a race with my father or my grandfather. I had the drivers that I pulled for like: Ward Burton, Sterling Marlin and Ricky Rudd. However, there was one reason that I tuned in every week, and that was to watch my childhood hero in action. My hero was the Man in Black, the Intimidator, or just simply Dale Earnhardt. I was young, but I still remember Dale's last championship back in 94, and I remember when he finally won the Daytona 500 which had been just out of reach for 20 years. My favorite memories of Dale Earnhardt came in the 2000 season, or the season before his death. He finished second in points at the age of 49. He won two races that season, and I was there for both of them. The March race in Atlanta was the best finish that I have witnessed in NASCAR. I had seats about midway up in front of the start/finish line, and Dale had the lead going into the last lap, but Bobby Labonte was closing in on him. The two cars crossed the start finish line in a finish that was too close to call, and it took a few minutes, but the crowd went wild when they heard that Dale had pulled it out. I was at the same race one year later just three weeks after the fatal crash, and chills went down my spine when Kevin Harvick, driving Dale's care had an identical finish with Jeff Gordon. At the Talladega race, Dale came from 15th
with three laps to move all the way to first with Kenny Wallace and Front Row Joe pushing him to his final victory.
Dale made NASCAR exciting. He wasn't afraid to move somebody out of the way to gain a position. The 1995 and 1999 night races at Bristol are perfect examples. On both occasions he crashed Terry Labonte at turn four of the final lap to get the win. He didn't want to crash Terry, but they are still the most shown races on ESPN Classic today.
To read the rest of this article, follow this link- http://www.informativesports.com/Racing/Articles/Dale_Earnhardt.htm
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