Nicknames~The Intimidator,Man In Black,Big E,Mr. Chevrolet
Born on April 29, 1951 was NASCAR'S Winston Cup seven-time Champion, Dale Earnhardt Sr., a.k.a. "The Intimidator". Dale has certainly earned this title as he is a seven time Winston Cup NASCAR Champion, winning the title in the years of 1986, '87, '90, '91 and '91. This father of four is certainly a tough act to follow and yet he has two sons who are trying to do just that. Both of Earnhardt's sons, Kerry and Dale Jr. (who is also affectionately called "Little E") are both following in their father's footsteps and have taken up careers in racing as well.
As with many racing families, Dale Sr. got his first introduction to the sport by watching his father, Ralph Earnhardt, race. Ralph was the winner of the 1956 NASCAR Sportsman Division title never had the opportunity to watch his son race, as he passed away in 1973. He was the victim of heart failure and it was while working on his race car that he suffered the fatal attack. Dale himself would not start his racing career until two years after the death of his father.
Dale Earnhardt started his racing career in 1975 and four years later, in 1979 he would win the Winston Cup Rookie of the year. His first NASCAR Championship come in 1980 of which was not to be his last. Besides the seven Championships, Dale also finished 2nd in the Winston Cup points in 1989 and 1995. His racing statistics are impressive but also impressive is the fact that by 1998, his career earnings tallied well over $300,000,000. These winnings at the time, would exceed the winnings of any other motorsports driver whether it be NASCAR, Indy or Sprint Cars. Certainly the earnings are astounding but equally so is that Dale Earnhardt, Sr. is the first driver in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series history who ever won the Rookie title of the year one year and the following year, went on to win his first Championship in the same series.
Earnhardt's first win was in April, 1979 at the Bristol, Tennessee track and though that win was special, I'm sure that no win meant more to him than when he won the Daytona 500 in February of 1998. After 20 years of trying and 20 years of falling just short, he had "finally" done it. Emotions ran high that day for everyone who was there and for those who were able to see the race televised. "Big E" had finally realized his dream, he had won the Daytona 500! Every member of every other crew had formed a line on the way to Victory Lane and waited there to congratulate the driver of the #3 car as he made his way to the Winner's Circle.
Dale is married to Teresa, his third wife and they reside in the state of North Carolina. When time allows, he enjoys spending tme on his farm and also loves the outdoors, hunting, fishing and watching the Atlanta Braves play. No matter where he races, you can be sure that "The Intimidator" has a following of fans who cheer him on every week - among those are his own children: Kerry, Kelly King, Dale Jr. and Taylor Nicole. Dale Earnhardt has certainly come a long way from driving the first car, though it still embarrasses him to admit it, it was a far cry from the well-known GM Goodwrench colors, as instead of being black - it was pink! It is without a doubt that his father Ralph would be very proud of his son and how far he has come.
Childress makes some emotional laps in Earnhardt salute 10-11-03
The #3 Cheverolet was back on the track for the first time since Dale Earnhardt's 2001 death when Richard Childress drove a replica of it during pre-race parade laps.Childress, the car owner for six of Earnhardt's seven Winston Cup titles, wiped away tears as he waited for the command to start his engine. He gave a thumbs-up sign before beginning the laps, which were part of Nascar's "Victory Lap" tribute to longtime series sponsor R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Flashbulbs popped and fans stood while flashing three fingers each time the car passed, and Childress closed the brief tribute with a long burnout along the front stretch.
The statue of Dale Earnhardt Sr. after it was unveiled in October 2002.