Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dale Earnhardt's Greatest Moment

Friday is the tenth anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt. That moment -- during the 2001 Daytona 500's final turn -- shocked the sports world, and it helped bring on some serious changes to improve safety in stock car racing.

The fact that Earnhardt's death spurred those types of changes is interesting when you think about the fact that Earnhardt said something had to change during the very race where he lost his life.

(This was something noted during an amazing Earnhardt documentary on SPEED Sunday night. If it re-runs this week, DVR it. Very well done.)

Instead of looking back to the 2001 race, here's a peek back three years earlier, to Earnhardt's greatest moment as a driver.

For the longest time, he couldn't win the Daytona 500, which is the pinnacle event in the sport. That was until 1998.

And when he won, the NASCAR world celebrated. Even competing pit crews went crazy and wanted to congratulate the sport's biggest name on his biggest win.

The celebration finally made its way to Victory Lane, and it didn't slow down there.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., has the pole for Sunday's Daytona 500. Expect the crowd to go crazy, especially if he's got the lead for more than just the race start.

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