Dale Earnhardt Tribute - Past News 2/18/2006 thru May 2005
NOTE: many old links here...may not work....
DEI to Open Doors in honor of Earnhardt's 54th Birthday TODAY: Dale Earnhardt Inc. will open the doors of its Mooresville, N.C. shop to fans on April 29, which would have marked the 54th birthday of founder Dale Earnhardt. The team's showroom will have a display on the 25-year history of DEI. A Jumbotron on the front lawn will show highlights of Earnhardt's career and coverage of Friday qualifying at Talladega.
Dale Earnhardt fans will have the opportunity to take home some great prizes and bid on "one of a kind" DEI racing memorabilia during Dale Earnhardt Day activities planned for April 29 at the corporate headquarters of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. The fourth annual event celebrates the birthday of legendary race driver and seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt. A raffle, silent auction and live auction will be held during the day, with all proceeds benefiting The Dale Earnhardt Foundation. Five raffle drawings will be held throughout the day and tickets may be purchased for $3 each or eight for $20. Prizes include a 1/6 scale remote control #3 race car and a pair of 100 channel trackside scanners. The raffle grand prize is a Dale Earnhardt, Jr. leather jacket, signed by Dale Jr.
For the collector, a number of special items will be on display and sale to the highest bidder in both a silent and live auction. The silent auction will feature six items, including sheet metal from DEI cars signed by the drivers and Teresa Earnhardt. Fans can also bid on a signed, limited edition Gibson electric guitar created for the 2003 Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert and a private "behind the scenes" tour of DEI for four, which also includes lunch in the Trophy Room, DEI's private dining room, among other items.(DEI PR)(4-18/29-2005) AND On Friday, April 22, Teresa Earnhardt joined Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and other politicians from Georgia in
proclamation of a very special day. The State of Georgia formally named each April 29 as Dale Earnhardt Day in recognition of seven-time NASCAR champion and American Icon, Dale Earnhardt. He was born on April 29, 1951. This is the sixth state to mark the occasion with a governmental proclamation. The States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida currently have similar proclamations.(DEI PR)(4-29-2005)
Interesting take on the #3: NASCAR's red-hot collectible industry could be fueling one of the hottest rumors on the sporting landscape. Richard Childress Racing might bring the #3 car back for a couple of races next season. It hasn't been driven in a cup race since Dale Earnhardt Sr., died on the final lap of the Daytona 500 in 2001. If the car returns, Dale Earnhardt Jr. could be behind the wheel. It is the stuff of which die-cast legends are made. Or is it? Because NASCAR has chosen not to retire numbers, speculation about the 3 has continued in the grandstands.(Knoxville News) NOTE: Childress has said in the past he has NO plans to run the #3 and Dale Jr. is signed with DEI thru 2007.(3-31-2005)
RCR Sues ESPN over the number '3': The stylized No. 3 symbolizing the legacy of Dale Earnhardt has been reproduced on jackets, on stickers with an angel's halo, on the walls of local restaurants, and on countless other products and memorials to the late racing legend. RCR Enterprises Inc., which owns the trademark rights to the stylized No. 3, says that one of those memorials went too far. RCR, of Welcome, is owned by Richard Childress. RCR filed a federal lawsuit this week against ESPN Inc., the all-sports cable-television network that recently produced a film about Earnhardt's life. The film and its related products use a stylized No. 3 similar to the trademark owned by RCR, according to the lawsuit. RCR is owned by Richard Childress.
"(ESPN's) use of a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark in connection with a motion picture, DVDs and books is a purposeful attempt to draw a connection between those products and RCR's Stylized 3 Mark," the lawsuit argues. "Defendant has used and is using a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark in commerce to advertise and promote itself and its products and services," the lawsuit continues. "Defendant has offered and is offering, in commerce, products and services for commercial sale or for commercial profit under a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark." Josh Krulewitz, a spokesman for ESPN at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn., said that the company did nothing illegal. "We did not make use of the plaintiff's trademark, and our use of the No. 3 was entirely legal," he said. In the lawsuit, RCR charges that ESPN is violating its trademark, is competing unfairly under federal law and is diluting the symbol used by Earnhardt when he was driving for RCR for 20 years. "The Stylized 3 Mark is distinctive and has become famous through extensive advertising, promotional expenditures, careful control and over 20 years of continuous use and commercial exposure," the lawsuit says. "Defendant's use of a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark has resulted in and will continue to result in a lessening of the capacity of the Stylized 3 Mark to identify and distinguish authorized products and services."
RCR is asking the court to order ESPN to stop using any stylized No. 3 that could resemble its own trademark, and to recall and destroy any products that include such a symbol. Company officials are also asking for damages, attorneys' fees and "three times all gains, profits and advantages derived by them from (ESPN's) infringement, dilution, unfair competition or unfair trade practices." They also want interest. The two symbols have some similarities and some differences. The No. 3 used by Earnhardt was a block number italicized to the left. The No. 3 used by ESPN in its marketing has rounder edges, and it leans to the right.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-19-2005)
Buy a Tree for Dale: If you’re looking for a truly unique gift for that special someone this holiday season, you can now give them their very own Sycamore or Tulip Poplar tree growing kit from Dale Earnhardt’s North Carolina farm, or you can plant trees in their honor in the Dale Earnhardt Forest. In April 2004, The Dale Earnhardt Foundation and American Forests announced a partnership under which the Foundation will provide American Forests with an initial grant in support of plans to establish the Dale Earnhardt Forest . The initial phase of this national project will be the planting of 77,000 trees to restore Charlotte-Mecklenburg County area forests damaged by storm, disease and development. The new trees will provide substantial environmental benefits such as cleaner air, erosion control and wildlife habitat. More info at the DEI Site.(I placed my order to do both and will plant my new tree/seeds on my property.(12-8-2004)
Earnhardt #16: Forbe's List - Dead Celebrities - The Top Earners For 2004, Dale Earnhardt is listed s #16 of 20 on the list. The excerpt - NASCAR's merchandise sales hit $2 billion in the last year, and in large part the sport has Dale Earnhardt Sr. to thank for that. Earnhardt is credited with having elevated racing from cult status to nationwide craze, and even in death he remains one of the sport's three most popular drivers, along with son Dale Jr. His estate's income, though significant, hasn't had the same staying power. Still, the teams that bear the name of the seven-time Winston Cup champion remain winners on the track; last year the three teams racing for Dale Earnhardt Inc. had over $15 million in winnings.(Forbes)(10-27-2004)
#3 Could be used again: Car owner Richard Childress says there could be a day when a #3 car returns to NASCAR's top series, but it's not likely to happen soon. Childress retains the rights to the number -- made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt -- but has not used it in a Cup race since Earnhardt's death in the 2001 Daytona 500. "I don't think the stylized 3 should ever be brought back to racing unless it was a special, special event for an Earnhardt or a family member or something, but I don't see it coming back full time,'' Childress said. What about somebody using a #3 that is styled differently than what adorned Earnhardt's cars? "I would hope everyone would respect that and not want to do that," Childress said.(News and Record)(5-29-2004)
Dale Earnhardt Foundation Partners with American Forests: The Dale Earnhardt Foundation and American Forests announced a partnership under which the Foundation will provide American Forests with an initial planning grant in support of its plans to plant 77,000 trees to restore local forests damaged by storm, disease, neglect and development. The joint announcement was made during the celebration of the third annual Dale Earnhardt Day, which coincides with Arbor Day and the late racing legend's birthday. The ceremony featured the planting of seven trees -- symbolizing Earnhardt's seven Winston Cup victories -- in honor of his longstanding commitment to the conservation of natural resources and the start of the American Forests initiative.(PNN Online)(5-4-2004)
Dale Earnhardt Day set for April 29, to feature Daytona 500 trophies and Spirit of Liberty Bell
For the third time in as many years, Dale Earnhardt Day will be celebrated on April 29. DE Day is hosted by Teresa Earnhardt at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as a birthday celebration for the seven-time NASCAR champion, Dale Earnhardt. This year's theme will center around Dale's Legacy at Daytona; his track record of 34 victories, his almost wins and the 1998 Daytona 500 trip to Victory Lane.
For the first time since Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has opened its doors, Dale's 1998 Daytona 500 winning trophy will be on display. Also, a helmet which is signed by his entire crew from that day will be shown. Throughout the day, various videos with fan interviews, Dale's winning moments - and his almost wins - at Daytona will be shown to the gathered crowd. Teresa Earnhardt will be on hand and address the fans on the lawn of our headquarters.
The Harley J. Earl Trophy, which is presented to every Daytona 500 winner, will also be on display. Etched on the permanent trophy, that
stays in Daytona USA year round, are the names of each driver who has won the Great American Race since it's inception in 1959.
In addition to Dale's Daytona 500 trophy from 1998, Dale Earnhardt, Jr's from this year and Michael Waltrip's from 2001 and 2002 will also
be displayed. As part of a special promotion with the American Forests, the Spirit of Liberty Bell will be on hand throughout the day. The bell is an exact replica of the Liberty Bell, was made in the same foundry as the original and even has a crack in it like the original.
Fans will once again be allowed behind the walls of DEI's facility to view various race cars, photos and displays in the Interior Showroom
of DEI. Doors will open at 8:00am/et and the event is set to wind down at 8:00pm/et. There will be a free shuttle between area hotels and our headquarters throughout the day. For more information, coordinating hotels and a schedule of events, log onto www.DaleEarnhardtInc.com and click on the Legacy Section to get the latest updates and event additions.
Proclaimed Dale Earnhardt Day in NC: Gov. Mike Easley proclaimed today as Dale Earnhardt Day in North Carolina to honor the late NASCAR legend. Today would have been Earnhardt’s 53rd birthday. “Dale Earnhardt brought so much joy to fans throughout the world and pride to this great state,” Easley said in a statement issued Wednesday. “He helped elevate NASCAR and the motor sports industry to new heights. As Dale’s legacy continues on, it is appropriate to pay tribute to the life and accomplishments of this outstanding North Carolinian.” Easley signed a state House bill in October 2002 to designate N.C. 136 in Iredell and Cabarrus counties as N.C. 3, the same number as Earnhardt’s racing car. The Dale Earnhardt Highway passes through Mooresville, home of Dale Earnhardt Inc. The highway also passes through and Kannapolis Earnhardt’s hometown. The renamed roadway was dedicated during a March 2003 ceremony. Dale Earnhardt Inc. will host a day long celebration of the racing star’s birthday. Steve Crisp, DEI media spokesman, said he and the rest of the corporation’s staff are honored by Easley’s proclamation. “The impact that Dale Earnhardt had on the state - he’s one of the most recognized sports figures from North Carolina,” Crisp said.(Independent Tribune)(4-29-2004)
Third Annual Dale Earnhardt Day April 29th: For the third time in as many years, Dale Earnhardt Day will be celebrated on April 29. DE Day is hosted by Teresa Earnhardt at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as a birthday celebration for the seven-time NASCAR champion, Dale Earnhardt. This year's theme will center around Dale's Legacy at Daytona; his track record of 34 victories, his almost wins and the 1998 Daytona 500 trip to Victory Lane. For the first time since Dale Earnhardt, Inc. has opened its doors, Dale's 1998 Daytona 500 winning trophy will be on display. Also, the helmet he wore that day, which is signed by his entire crew, will be shown. Throughout the day, various videos with fan interviews, Dale's winning moments – and his almost wins – at Daytona will be shown to the gathered crowd. Teresa Earnhardt will be on hand and address the fans on the lawn of the DEI headquarters. Fans will once again be allowed behind the walls of the DEI facility to view various race cars, photos and displays in the Interior Showroom of DEI. Doors will open at 8:00am/et and the event is set to wind down at 8:00pm/et. There will be a free shuttle between area hotels and our headquarters throughout the day. For more information, log onto www.DaleEarnhardtInc.com and click on the Legacy Section to get the latest updates and event additions.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-13-2004)
Three Years TODAY - Silent Candlelight Tribute set for Wed, Feb. 18: Those wishing to pay tribute and remember Dale Earnhardt on the anniversary date that stunned millions will be able to do so on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at Dale Earnhardt, Inc.[Jayski plans to be there since I live close now]. For the third time in as many years, fans are invited to gather at our corporate headquarters in Mooresville, NC to honor Dale Earnhardt. Fans will come from many miles, states and hours away to gather outside our front doors at dusk. Dale Beaver, minister from Motorsports Outreach, will speak to the gathering at 8:00pm/et. Dale and Dale Earnhardt became friends through the Outreach program and the many Outreach functions that Dale Earnhardt would attend. It was Dale Beaver who spoke at Dale's nationally televised memorial service in 2001. He told the story of how he first met the seven-time NASCAR champion expecting a bear of a man. Instead, he left the hauler knowing he just met a man who was just a concerned father. The relationship has continued between Dale and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as evident by Dale's return to speak at the Silent Candlelight Tribute.
Fans will honor and pay special tribute to its fallen leader on the grounds that Dale created and enjoyed. Each fan will be provided with a candle to hold during the evening in addition to a commemorative decal. The building itself will be closed, but attendees will be able to see a special display dedicated to Dale's seven championships. Just like years past, Teresa Earnhardt is asking fans who are unable to attend the event to light a candle in their homes, wherever you may be, to remember Dale's remarkable spirit. Special 2004 Commemorative Tribute Candles hand-crafted at Dale Earnhardt Inc. are now available for purchase by fans across the country. These 6.5-inch high, 3.5-inch wide aluminum candles have become a very special collectable that pays tribute to Dale Earnhardt permanently.
For more information on how you can order a 2004 Tribute Candle please call 1-877-DEI-ZONE (9663) For our appreciation for your participation, all Tribute Candle's ordered between 2/18 - 3/3 will be at a special price. For more info, see the Silent Candlelight Tribute Page at the DEI website.(DEI Site)(2-17/18-2004)
Earnhardt Inducted into Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame: The late stock car racing legend Dale Earnhardt has been named as one of four inaugural inductees of the Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame. Earnhardt dominated NASCAR tracks around the country for more than two decades, winning seven NASCAR Winston Cup championships and more than $40 million during his career. Joining Earnhardt as the first laureates of the new Greater Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame are three of the Charlotte region's greatest athletes, all of whom competed in the Olympic games and distinguished themselves in their respective sports:
Jim Beatty - 1960 U.S. Olympic team and first man to run the indoor mile in less than 4 minutes (3:58:9).
Jeff Mullins - University of North Carolina at Charlotte head basketball coach.
Floyd "Chunk" Simmons - tailback on the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill football team, but distinguished himself internationally in track and field. Won bronze medals at the 1948 London Olympic Games and the 1952 Helsinki, Finland Olympic games.
The inductees will be honored and officially inducted into the Hall at an induction dinner on April 17, 2004, at the Panthers' Den at Bank of America Stadium in uptown Charlotte. O. Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Lowe's Motor Speedway and Speedway Motorsports, Inc., and Jerry Richardson, founder/owner of the Carolina Panthers are the honorary co-chairmen of the event. The event will benefit the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Senior Centers, Inc. (CMSC). For more information: www.charlotteseniorcenters.org.(LMS PR - for the full PR, see my Hall of Fame/Museum page)(2-17-2004)
ESPN to make Earnhardt movie: ESPN has decided on its third original, made-for-TV movie, and its title begins with the number 3. That's an obvious clue to stock car racing fans, who will get to see a biography of Dale Earnhardt this summer. The show, "3: The Dale Earnhardt Story," will be produced by Orly Adelson, also responsible for "The Junction Boys" and "Playmakers" on ESPN. The cable network has not announced the actor who will portray Earnhardt.(AJC) AND ESPN announced Wednesday it will present a docudrama on Dale Earnhardt in the late summer that explores seminal moments in the racer's life. "It's not a controversial movie. It's an inspirational one," said Ron Semiao, ESPN senior vice president of original entertainment. Shooting on 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story will start in the next two months in Atlanta or Charlotte, N.C., executive producer Orly Adelson said. The title represents the number of Earnhardt's car and the three generations of racers in his family, said writer Robert Eisele. Adelson is starting to cast the film with director Russell Mulcahy. The chronological script will span Earnhardt's life and end with his death at age 49 in the Daytona 500 in 2001. Three actors will portray Earnhardt. His family is not involved in the production, Semiao said. "It touches the important moments of his life, the moments that changed Dale or his career or his relationships," Adelson said. "It gives you a look into the man." She said the inspiration comes from Earnhardt's learning the value of life before he died. "He had built something he hadn't had before," she said. "Those are the things you'd want to see because the racing is obvious." The film will mix authentic racing with re-created scenes. To prepare the script, Eisele said he watched videos, read articles and books and interviewed people in the racing world who knew Earnhardt. "I actually love the character of Dale Earnhardt, and I never knew him," Eisele said. "He's a fascinating individual, the Intimidator. He was loved by fans, feared by his fellow competitors, and some of them didn't like him much because he changed the way that they raced on those tracks."(Orlando Sentinel) AND II: ESPN has accelerated its development of several made-for-TV movies in 2004, including one devoted to the late seven-time Winston Cup champion, Dale Earnhardt. ESPN made the announcement Wednesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Hollywood, Calif. The project, called "3: The Dale Earnhardt Story," will chronicle the life of Earnhardt, who died in a last-lap crash at the 2001 Daytona 500. ESPN hopes the show will be ready by late summer. Casting is expected to begin soon. It will be ESPN's third original long-form production. The 24-hour sports network is also planning movies this year on baseball star Pete Rose; track star Roger Bannister; and the 1997-78 New York Yankees. Negotiations regarding the movie have been ongoing between ESPN and officials with Dale Earnhardt Inc., including owner Teresa Earnhardt.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-8-2004) UPDATE - ESPN doing Earnhardt movie, but without widow's blessing: ESPN officials confirmed Thursday much of the footage of a planned made-for-TV movie devoted to the life of the late NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt could be filmed in Charlotte and Atlanta. Rob Tobias, ESPN's director of media relations, said the network originally had discussions with officials with Dale Earnhardt Inc., including owner Teresa Earnhardt, the driver's widow. "In the end, we couldn't agree on a story line, so we have proceeded on with the project. The script has been given the green light," he said. Tobias said the movie should be ready by late summer. Production is under way and casting decisions will be made soon, he said. DEI officials reached Thursday declined to comment on the movie. A spokesperson at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., said ESPN had not been in touch with the track as yet.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-9-2004)
Update on the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert: Just like Dale Earnhardt used to rack up victories at Daytona International Speedway and bring fans to their feet, his Tribute Concert did the same. Tens of thousand [estimates are about 40,000] of fans packed the infield and trioval grandstands to bond and reconnect their love and devotion of the seven-time Winston Cup Series champion on Saturday, June 28. FOX will telecast two hour primetime special on Thursday, July 10, at 8:00pm/et. The special, hosted by Teresa Earnhardt, will feature highlights from the music and memories of the seven-time Winston Cup champion from the Saturday, June 28th tribute concert at Daytona International Speedway. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Dale Earnhardt Foundation focusing on the charities that Dale championed during his life - children, education and wildlife preservation. The overwhelmingly large crowd at the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert was treated to seven, Grammy Award-winning acts entertaining them on an immense stage. Alabama, Kenny Chesney, the Goo Goo Dolls, Sheryl Crow, Brooks & Dunn, Hootie & he Blowfish and Delbert McClinton echoed their musical talents off the famed grandstands. Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s NASCAR Winston Cup stars Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Michael Waltrip even surprised the fans helping a couple of the headliners as they performed at the start-finish line of the "World Center of Racing," Earnhardt and defending two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip will be performing a bit differently at the historic track this weekend as they will power their Winston Cup cars at speeds over 200mph to in attempts to be the first to cross the hallowed finish line at Daytona International Speedway in the "Pepsi 400". Before Alabama took the stage, Teresa Earnhardt, president and CEO of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. welcomed the crowd. She appeared on stage between each act to pay tribute to her husband with video highlights and to introduce the next artist. When she first appeared, the fans roared a welcome to their hero's wife before she even uttered a word. "Welcome," she said, as the crowd applauded and yelled much like they did during driver introductions for Dale. "It is great to see and have you all here. It is just wonderful to see all of you here to pay tribute to Dale and enjoy the musical guests we have lined up for you to enjoy." To kick off the festivities, four Navy F-14 Tomcats flew over the huge crowd. In honor of the event, the squadron was renamed E03 and Teresa called them in as they soared above in formation.(DEI PR and another article at the DEI site)(7-1-2003)
Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert News: In honor of the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States Of America, Teresa Earnhardt and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation will show their appreciation through a special ticket promotion surrounding the inaugural Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert. On Saturday, May 31st, for one day only and while tickets last, Teresa Earnhardt and the Foundation will match every ticket purchased for the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert, with the donation of a concert ticket to various branches of the Armed Forces. The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert will take place, Saturday, June 28, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Performing at the daylong festival will be superstars Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Sheryl Crow, goo goo dolls and Hootie & The Blowfish, and a special guest appearance by Delbert McClinton. Anyone who purchases a ticket on Saturday, May 31st will be helping in this "Salute To The Troops". Tickets will be distributed to members of each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces through military bases. All profits from ticket sales from the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert will benefit the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, which Teresa Earnhardt established to carry on Dale's name and good works through the charitable causes he championed during his lifetime. Tickets for the concert are available through www.daleearnhardtinc.com, www.ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster charge by phone.(DEI PR) AND - on TV: FOX will present a Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert, an all-star fundraising event, on Thursday, July 10 from 8:00 - 10:00pm/et(FoxSports)(5-29-2003)
Kannapolis receives bids for next phase of Earnhardt tribute site: Finishing the next phase of work on the Dale Earnhardt tribute site in Kannapolis won’t be cheap. The city received bids from two companies and have selected Charlotte-based TK Brown Construction to do the work, officials said. The bid was $149,000, but Parks and Recreation Director Gary Mills said negotiations are continuing with the company and city leaders hope to whittle the cost down. The next phase will include installing an irrigation system, sprucing up the park’s entrances, landscaping and additional brick work. Mills said the site plan calls for elaborate landscaping, including cherry trees, hollies, azaleas, junipers and a variety of other plants and flowers. But even after this round of landscaping, Mills said the park will not be finished. Eventually, large willow oaks will border the outside perimeter of the park and brick pavers will be installed. Dale Earnhardt Incorporated has raised a total of $47,794 for the tribute. But DEI and the city remain in negotiations over trademark issues.(Independent Tribune, plus a article at NBC 14: Kannapolis in rights dispute with DEI)(5-28-2003)
Dale Earnhardt Day: North Carolina Governor Mike Easley has proclaimed April 29, 2003 as Dale Earnhardt Day in North Carolina to honor the former NASCAR driver and Kannapolis native.(NBC 17)(4-29-2003) UPDATE: Taking the lead of North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, several states have proclaimed April 29th "Dale Earnhardt Day", honoring the birthday of the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion who lost his life of the final turn of the 2001 Daytona 500. In addition to North Carolina, four other states passed proclaimations in the past several days. South Carolina, Florida, Texas and Virginia have all joined in honoring the man who rose to worldwide acclaim from humble beginnings.(DEI PR) also the state of Alabama has done the same.(4-29-2003)
Celebrate Dale Earnhardt's Birthday at Dale Earnhardt - Tuesday, April 29th Dale Earnhardt Incorporated will continue the tradition that its co-founder seven time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt started 51 years ago. On April 29th, DEI will celebrate at the company headquarters in Mooresville, NC, the birth day of NASCAR's American hero, Dale Earnhardt. The party starts at 8:00 am with live remote on WKKT 96.9 Kat Country and continues until 9:00 pm with the Tim Clark Band closing the day's event along with many activities throughout the day honoring this special celebration. For only the second time since building the premier racing facility, race fans will be allowed behind the walls of the exclusive building, as Teresa Earnhardt shares some of Dale's private possession including a display of the legends Classic Car Collection. During last years inaugural Dale Earnhardt Day some 12,000 fans toured the property as many of the seven time champions race cars were on display in the interior showroom. This year a new display featuring the Music interest and keep sakes that Dale and Teresa collected over the years from the many friends in the music industry can be seen in the public showroom including guitars, albums, stage outfits, and autographed sheet music, along with special cars in the interior showroom can be seen throughout the day.
Other activities during the day will include:
o Special appearance by Dale Jr. and Steve Park live on stage with FOX's Totally NASCAR at 2:00 pm
o Kerry Earnhardt at 8:30 am on Kat Kountry
o Free one year subscriptions to DaleEarnhardtInc.com's DEInsider will be given away every hour by registering at the DaleEarnhardtInc.com display. Join the DEInsider at DEI during the day and receive a copy of the book from Dale Jr's first season racing in NASCAR. (1999)
o Complimentary 4 x 6 photos taken with the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert Chevrolet that Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove to Victory earlier this month at Talladega Superspeedway.
o Special Appearance by Teresa Earnhardt
o Dale Earnhardt Foundation Raffle for an exclusive Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert Guitar, Concert Tickets and Die Cast Cars.
o Sign the message board to our adopted Troop- 2nd Marine Division /2nd Tank Battalion from Camp Lejeune, NC.
o Watch Dale Earnhardt's past championship videos, along with many commercial and music videos featuring Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver's and team members.
o Food and drinks will be available through Domino's Pizza and Poppa's Hot Dog's.
Free shuttle service will begin at 9:00 am from the Wingate Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites and Fairfield Inn located in Mooresville, NC off of Interstate 77 at exit 36. Come join us at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and be a part of the celebration of our American hero. For further information on the days activities go to www.DaleEarnhardtInc.com.(PR)(4-29-2003)
Billy Ray Cyrus Pays Tribute to Earnhardt UPDATE: Billy Ray Cyrus will pay tribute to the late race car driver Dale Earnhardt in an upcoming episode of "Doc." He said Earnhardt, who was killed in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500 two years ago, was king in his house. Cyrus said his stepfather was such a fan of the Intimidator that he requested in his will to be buried in his Dale Earnhardt T-shirt, something the family honored. The Earnhardt tribute episode, which Cyrus called "emotional" to make, will air in May. He hopes a lot of people who loved Earnhardt tune into the show because it was "an honest effort at paying tribute to the man." "Doc" is on PAX.(Yahoo/AP)(2-28-2003) UPDATE: the show, titled "the checkered flag" airs tonight, April 27th at 8:00pm/et/pt [re-air 9:00pm on May 7th], on PAX, the description: Clint helps stock-car racer Scotty Redfield stay physically healthy to compete, but wonders if he can help him regain his spirit to drive. Everyone worries that Dr. Crane will veto expanding the clinic into the vacant offices next door - but when he decides he loves the idea, it's time to worry even more." More info at the PAX site.(4-27-2003)
Earnhardt Car Cruise Saturday: Organizers say they are expecting thousands to show up Saturday for Kannapolis’ [NC] ‘Remembering Dale Cool Car Cruise and Show.’ The celebration falls on the birthday of Kannapolis native and racing legend Dale Earnhardt. The show opens at 8:00am at Cannon Village with entertainment beginning at 10:00am. More than 200 cars, trucks and motorcycles will be on display from all across the region, said Patti Rader of the Kannapolis Business Council. The business council is promoting the event to raise money for the Dale Earnhardt Tribute site.(Independent Tribune)(4-25-2003)
Second Annual Dale Earnhardt Day is Tuesday, April 29th: Teresa Earnhardt is hosting the second annual Dale Earnhardt Day to take place at the headquarters of their company, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. The day-long event from 8:00am - 9:00pm is in conjunction with Dale's birthday as a celebration of his life and racing accomplishments. Last year, more than 12,000 fans attended the inaugural Dale Earnhardt Day and this year looks to be even bigger. For the second time ever, fans will be allowed behind the walls of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to view race cars and cars from Dale's Classic Car Collection in the Interior Showroom. Some of these have never been seen by the public and are being put on display for this special occasion. Also, there will be a musical display in conjunction with the upcoming Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert at Daytona International Speedway on June 28th. There will be albums, autographed guitars and photos from Dale's personal collection in the Retail Showroom. See what types of music Dale enjoyed and some of the stars he and Teresa met, too.
Fans that make their way to our headquarters will get the chance to win two DEInsider subscriptions for www.daleearnhardtinc.com per hour. Fans will be able to purchase
tickets to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert on the grounds during the day. And, there will be exclusive Dale Earnhardt Day merchandise available, as well. There will be giveaways from our various sponsors and photos with the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert car that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. drove to victory in the Busch Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. A percentage of all Retail Store sales will go the Dale Earnhardt Foundation. Throughout the day, Totally NASCAR will be taping the day's events to use on their show later that night. The Tim Clark Band from South Carolina will perform from 7:00 - 9:00pm/et. The local Mooresville community is readily embracing Dale Earnhardt
Day this year with three hotels offering special room rates and a shuttle service to and from Dale Earnhardt, Inc. for fans staying at the hotels and those who just want to attend the event. All hotels are located at the Mooresville Exit 36 off I-77 located near our headquarters.
Fairfield Inn by Marriott, 704-663-6100
Wingate Inn, 704-664-4900 (nice place, Jayski stayed there in Dec)
Hampton Inn & Suites, 704-660-7700
During the morning, there will be a live, on-site radio broadcast by local country station WKKT 96.9 FM, The Kat. In addition to information about Dale Earnhardt Day; fans traveling to our headquarters will get traffic updates throughout the day from the station, as well. Also, some other Charlotte area radio stations will be taking part in the festive day with live broadcasts and appearances by their on-air personalities.
The following stations will be broadcasting live from our corporate headquarters:
5 - 9 a.m.: WKKT 96.9 (The Kat) - Paul Schadt & Sarah
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.: WWMG Magic 96.1 - Chuck Boozer
3 - 7 p.m.: WEND 106. 5(The END) - Kristen & Jack will be doing the Budweiser Lounge show
The following will be making on-air personality and station appearances:
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.: WRFX 99.7 (The Fox) Wilson from the "Fox at Night"
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.: WFMX 106.7 FM (DEI PR)(4-17-2003)
Dale Earnhardt Plaza is now Kannapolis' newest city park: Kannapolis, NC officially assumed ownership of the 1-acre tribute site in downtown Kannapolis last week. David Murdock, owner of Atlantic American Properties and Cannon Village, donated the land and the statue. The city originally had planned to lease the site from the company for $1 a year, said Jennifer Woodford, Kannapolis public information officer. Now, Kannapolis will have control over the maintenance and development of the area. “It's a good step forward,” she said. Woodford said the city plans to begin landscaping and continue working on the wall and entrances that surround the statue. “We can't thank Mr. Murdock enough for his support and his help,” said City Manager Mike Mahaney in a press release. “His contributions have helped to make our tribute a place that truly honors Dale Earnhardt and a place that our community can be proud of.”(Independent Tribune)(3-29-2003)
Teresa Earnhardt To Unveil First Highway 3 Sign At Dale Earnhardt Inc UPDATE: At 12:00noon/et on Monday, March 3rd, 2003 (03-03-03) in front of Dale Earnhardt Incorporated [DEI] Teresa Earnhardt will unveil the first official NC Highway 3 sign. A ceremony will begin at 12:00 with Teresa Earnhardt and other North Carolina State and local officials attending. Governor Easley signed the bill this past fall to switch NC Highway 136 to NC Highway 3 in honor of NASCAR Champion Dale Earnhardt. Highway 3 (Dale Earnhardt Highway) is a 28 mile highway that runs past Dale Earnhardt Inc headquarters, through Iredell and Cabarrus counties and Kannapolis, NC, the hometown of Earnhardt. Dale Earnhardt Inc, is located at 1675 Dale Earnhardt Highway # 3, Mooresville, North Carolina 28115.(DEI PR)(2-26-2003) UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt's Legacy continues as the first Department of Transportation sign is being unveiled today of North Carolina Highway 3, Dale Earnhardt Highway at the Headquarters of Dale Earnhardt Inc. Teresa Earnhardt, the President and CEO of DEI, was the first to display the NC Highway 3 sign in a ceremony celebrating the legacy of her husband, NASCAR Champion Dale Earnhardt. "This is tremendous to have a state highway named in Dale's honor," stated Teresa "This highway is special to all of us; it runs past our
company headquarters in Iredell County and Cabarrus County. It was with the efforts and support of many State and local officials and
residents that made this name change." North Carolina Governor, Mike Easley, signed legislation designating the North Carolina Highway #3 on October 23rd, 2002 to be known as Dale Earnhardt Highway. "Dale was a caring husband and father, a NASCAR racing legend, an avid outdoorsman and a pillar in his community" said Governor Easley. "We want to show Dale's family, his fans and his friends that North
Carolina remembers and cares. We want to say thank you for everything that you gave us and show our sincere appreciation in this lasting
tribute." Dale Earnhardt Highway is one of many tributes to the legendary racing champion in preserving his legacy to the state of North Carolina and the sport of auto racing. His citizenship to North Carolina was outstanding and the newly established Dale Earnhardt Foundation will continue those efforts with initiatives that perpetuate the Dale Earnhardt Legacy.(DEI PR)(3-3-2003)
image by a reader, taken at the unveiling.
Earnhardt Remebered: Dale Earnhardt fans from near and far gathered Tuesday at Dale Earnhardt Inc. in Mooresville to pay their respects on the second anniversary of the racer's fatal accident at Daytona International Speedway. At dusk, a crowd of about 150 people, many of whom were clad in Earnhardt-related gear, stood outside the front doors of DEI with lighted candles for a quiet time of reflection. Behind the glass doors sat the black #3 Chevrolet which Earnhardt made so famous. Hanging from the ceiling was an oversized photo of the late seven-time Winston Cup champion wearing a tuxedo and sporting his trademark grin.(see full story at the Independent Tribune) AND The “Fire & Ice Ball” held at the old Cabarrus Bank building in Cannon Village Friday netted approximately $3,000 that will go toward the completion of Dale Earnhardt Plaza. The invitation-only event, held in conjunction with the recognition of Valentine's Day, was coordinated through the efforts of the Kannapolis Business Council. “We were able to sell about 85 percent of the tickets,” said Patti Rader, past chairwoman of the business council. “We probably had close to 160 people there.” Tickets were $100 per couple, and a large portion of the money raised went toward the catering, open bar and entertainment. The Jerry Goodman Orchestra, which cost $1,700, had folks dancing the night away with it's horn-driven melodies. The event served as a showing of the council's continued effort to help make Dale Earnhardt Plaza a reality. The Kannapolis Business Council, which serves as a liaison between the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce and businesses in Kannapolis, was founded last March. Through the three events it has held thus far, the council has raised approximately $13,600 for Dale Earnhardt Plaza.(Independent Tribune)(2-19-2003)
A picture taken in front of DEI during the candle light vigil on Feb 18th, 2003 thanks to Debbie for the picture (yes I noticed the '3' on the front of the building)
Dale Earnhardt Memorial Planned AND: Dale Earnhardt Incorporated [DEI] plans to remember the life and career of Dale Earnhardt with a memorial on Tuesday, February 18th. The memorial will begin at dusk at the headquarters of DEI. Mooresville, NC is home to the race shops of the DEI Teams, however on this evening the Earnhardt family of fans will come from all across America. Last year fans signed messages of support and lit candles in his honor while video's of his racing career highlights played in the lobby. Hundreds of fans passed through the Earnhardt complex throughout the day culminating in a memorial candle lighting at dusk.(Stock Car Fans) AND Every February 18th, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. will honor and pay special tribute to its fallen leader by hosting a Silent Candlelight Tribute on the grounds of the facility that Dale and Teresa Earnhardt created and enjoyed. It was two years ago today that we lost Dale on the last lap of the Daytona 500. The outpouring of emotions that followed had fans from all over the country and world paying respect to the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion in the form of flowers, cards and flags flying at half staff around the country. Here at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. on Tuesday, the flag poles looked just like they did two years ago. The American, North Carolina State flag and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. flag are all flying at half staff. And, right under the corporation's flag is a checkered flag to salute Michael Waltrip and the No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy team for their 2003 Daytona 500 victory. This year's Silent Tribute on the corporate ground will begin at dusk where fans remembering Dale will have the chance to get candles and commemorative decals honoring their visit to Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to partake in the ceremony. Each fan will be encouraged to stand in silence on the facility grounds to remember Dale's spirit. Signature boards will also be made available for those who wish to express their feelings in words on this day. At 8:00pm/et, Motorsports Outreach Chaplain Dale Beaver will offer a few words of inspiration before the Silent Tribute ends at 9:00pm/et. For fans that are unable to attend, Teresa Earnhardt has asked they light a candle in their homes, or wherever they are, as their own personal Silent Tribute to remember Dale's remarkable spirit.(DEI PR)(2-18-2003)
Teresa Earnhardt Interview: In an interview aired Friday night on "Dateline NBC," Teresa Earnhardt recounted how she came to find out about the death of her husband, racing legend Dale Earnhardt, and spoke of her efforts to prevent the publication of his autopsy photos and preserve his legacy. Dale Earnhardt, a seven-time Winston Cup champion, was killed in a last-lap wreck in the Daytona 500 two years ago. In the interview, NBC's Katie Couric asked Teresa Earnhardt what she was thinking when her late husband's accident unfolded. Earnhardt said she did not think anything serious at first. "I know the cars are safe," she said. "And in racing, things happen so quick that there's no time to like dwell on anything." Asked why she became so deeply involved in the efforts by the Florida legislature to prevent the publication of her husband's autopsy photos, Earnhardt replied: "I just think it's a privacy issue, and a dignity issue. And it should never have even been an issue. But it was." Earnhardt went on to explain her efforts to preserve her husband's legacy through the creation of a foundation that will work to further causes her husband held dear. "I hate it so bad, feeling bad, that I just turn it off. I mean, I miss him, and I always will," Teresa Earnhardt said. "Just terribly. But I'm not going to feel bad about it. I'm going to feel glad about what I had."(Thatsracin.com) and see a article on MSNBC: Days of thunder with video links. No idea if this will be re-aired.(2-15-2003)
Earnhardt Tribute official criticizes DEI: One member of the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Steering Committee says legal wrangling over the use of the late NASCAR driver's name and image is holding up the progress of the tribute site. Committee member Jack Cuff says he's frustrated with both Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Earnhardt's widow, Teresa. Issues over the use of the trademarked Earnhardt name and likeness have put a kink in the group's ability to raise money and finish the work that still needs to be done, Cuff said. Teresa Earnhardt has asked city leaders to stop using fliers and billboards bearing the race car driver's likeness until the materials have been approved. Among the items in question is a card with Earnhardt's picture on it, used to solicit donations for the tribute.(Independent Tribune)(2-4-2003)
Dale Earnhardt Tribute gets nice donation: The Dale Earnhardt Tribute has received a $50,000 boost from the local tourism authority. The Cabarrus County Convention and Visitor's Bureau board donated the money to the city of Kannapolis -- $30,000 to help put the finishing touches on the site and $20,000 to help create an event centered around the tribute. Most of the $30,000 will go toward finishing the walkways and brick walls that encase the statue, said Jennifer Woodford, Kannapolis public information officer. Some money would also be set aside for landscaping.(Independent Tribune)(1-25-2003)
N.C. 3 road signs honor Earnhardt [North Carolina] N.C. 3 road signs have been received by the N.C. Department of Transportation and are ready to be installed on the section of N.C. 136 between Kannapolis and Mooresville that will be renamed to honor the late Dale Earnhardt. “We do have the signs and we are ready to put them up,” said NCDOT Division Traffic Engineer Thomas Thrower, who is based in Albemarle. “We haven't got a go-date yet.” He did say the signs will be going up in the near future. He said he's heard about Iredell County politicians who are talking about having the signs installed March 3. That's would be 03-03-03, a play on the number that Earnhardt made so famous during his driving days. Between 110 and 115 signs will be posted in Cabarrus County, Thrower said. Currently, he has about 150 of the signs at the NCDOT offices in Albemarle. Once the signs go up, he said there will be a threat that some overzealous fans will try to steal them. However, he said state officials are going to do everything possible to ward off those looking to make the signs into souvenirs. “We're putting locknuts on them,” he said. He acknowledged there will likely will be the need to replace some signs. That's why he has 150. If signs are stolen, it will come at the expense of the state's taxpayers. Thrower said the signs costs about $25 each. However, once materials and the cost of installation are factored in, he said the amount spent to post each sign is approximately $50. Oct. 23, 2002, Gov. Mike Easley signed legislation that designated that the 28-mile stretch of N.C. 136 between Concord, Kannapolis and Mooresville would become known as Dale Earnhardt Highway. Thus the N.C. 3 signs were slated to be developed.(Independent Tribune)(1-22-3003)
Earnhardt street signs safe as DEI drives on with trademark dispute: Street and directional signs leading to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute likely won't appear in ongoing legal discussions between Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Kannapolis officials over trademark issues, say lawyers from both sides. DEI and widow Teresa Earnhardt recently have accused Kannapolis officials of violating the Dale Earnhardt trademark on promotional material and billboards promoting the tribute site by not getting her permission. However, when it comes to naming rights, street and directional signs seem to be in a different category.(Independent Tribune)(1-15-2003)
DEI and Kannapolis at odds over Earnhardt tribute: Dale Earnhardt's widow has asked city officials in Kannapolis to stop using the late driver's name and likeness on materials associated with a statue and park until they get her approval. George Taulbee, an attorney representing Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Inc., said Monday he asked officials with the Dale Earnhardt Tribute to end all use of fund-raising fliers and billboards until the materials have been authorized. "We're hopeful this can be resolved because everybody wants the statue and the park to be an appropriate memorial to Dale," Taulbee said. "But materials that display his name and image require approval before they are used, and that approval has not been obtained." Taulbee, of the Charlotte-based Alston & Bird, said Teresa Earnhardt and DEI support the statue and park but don't want organizers of the tribute using new materials to promote it until she signs off on them. Taulbee most recently expressed the widow's views in a Jan. 6 letter to Kannapolis leaders and Atlantic American Properties, which owns the site where the Dale Earnhardt statue and tribute center are located. At odds are materials such as a card soliciting donations for the planned park that shows a photo of the driver wearing sunglasses and a NASCAR uniform. Billboards along nearby interstate highways also use the Earnhardt image to advertise the tribute. City Manager Mike Mahaney said the city of Kannapolis has hired an attorney to help with the copyright and trademark issues.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(1-13-2003)
Hometown Tribute to Earnhardt More Than A Place to Visit: Cabarrus County, the "racing side of Charlotte," just 15 minutes north of Lowe's Motor Speedway has a new destination with special meaning to Dale Earnhardt, Sr. fans. Earnhardt's hometown of Kannapolis unveiled their 9-foot, 900-pound, bronze statue of Earnhardt and four wall-sized murals by motor sports artist Sam Bass in October 2002. Fans will find that the Kannapolis Tribute is more than just a place to visit. Through participation in the sponsorship program, fans can help build the Tribute. The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Steering Committee and the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau launched the sponsorship program at the same time as the unveilings. Fans can order an engraved brick for a contribution of $75 or sponsor a perimeter garden area for $250, a bench for $500, a welcome column for $750, a legend garden space for $1,000, a section of the seat wall surrounding the statue for $2,000 or a section of the steps leading up to the statue for $5,000. Both elements of the Tribute are located in Cannon Village, Kannapolis' downtown. Dale Earnhardt Plaza is on Main St. The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by Sam Bass is located a block away in the Cannon Village Visitor Center on West Ave. Work on the Kannapolis Tribute began in March 2001 when Kannapolis was visited by thousands of fans after Earnhardt died. They came to Kannapolis to feel a connection with their hero. The decision was made to fund the Tribute through private donations. In all, over $115,000 has been raised and an additional $74,000 in services contributed.(see more at the City of Kannapolis Site)(12-3-2002)
Martha Earnhardt Christmas Parade Grand Marshal: The annual CTC Kannapolis Christmas Parade is coming up Tuesday, Dec 3rd, beginning at 4:00pm/et. Martha Earnhardt, mother of the late racing legend Dale Earnhardt, will be the parade's grand marshal. More than 135 participants will be marching in this year's parade. Floats and other parade participants will be judged in four categories -- church, school, civic and equestrian. A $1,000 prize will be awarded to the best band in honor of Charles A. Cannon. Next year, the winning band will lead the parade.(Independent Tribune)(12-2-2002)
Committee to spin off into a separate nonprofit agency: City officials, who oversaw the development of the city's tribute to the late NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, are spinning off their steering committee into a separate nonprofit agency. The group oversaw the development of the city's tribute to racer, who was killed in the final lap of last year's Daytona 500. A 9-foot-tall bronze statue of Earnhardt was unveiled last month in Dale Earnhardt Plaza in downtown Kannapolis. The plaza is a block away from the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by Sam Bass in Cannon Village's Visitor Center. Operating a nonprofit group will allow the committee to continue fund raising for the sites by soliciting tax-deductible contributions, said city spokeswoman Jennifer Woodford, who has worked closely with the group. The money could be used for maintenance and upkeep of the sites and for other uses, Woodford said, perhaps including a scholarship fund. The committee still is working out what its mission, budget and structure would be as a nonprofit agency. Until now, it has been focused on launching the plaza and tribute center.(Charlotte Observer/ThatsRacin.com)(11-25-2002)
Nice Gesture: New Milwaukee Brewers Manager, Ned Yost, an avid NASCAR fan, will wear #3 in honor of his good friend Dale Earnhardt, who was killed during the final laps of the 2001 Daytona 500.(Atlanta Braves Site)(10-31-2002)
Dead celebrities whose estates produce the most income: For two years, Forbes Magazine has compiled an annual list of the dead celebrities whose estates produce the most income. This year, Elvis remained the king 25 years after his death, with $37 million in income, followed by "Peanuts" comic strip creator Charles Schulz at $28 million. New to the list was NASCAR icon Dale Earnhardt, whose death in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500 stunned race fans across the country. Earnhardt debuted on the Forbes list in a third-place tie with Beatle John Lennon at $20 million. The totals included licensing deals as well as book and record sales during a one-year period ending in June.(AP/South Ben Tribune), thought this came out a few months ago, but..(10-29-2002)
Dale Earnhardt Highway to be official UPDATE: North Carolina Governor Mike Easley will sign legislation that designates a 28-mile stretch of Highway 136 in Iredell and Cabarrus counties as the Dale Earnhardt Highway (State Highway 3) on Wednesday.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-23-2002) UPDATE: Legislation to renumber a state road in Iredell and Cabarrus counties as N.C. 3 in honor of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt was signed into law Wednesday. The 28-mile stretch of road now is N.C. 136, but that number would be swapped with the N.C. 3 now in Currituck County. Earnhardt, who died in a wreck at Daytona International Speedway in 2001, drove a No. 3 Chevrolet. He lived in Cabarrus County and ran his business enterprises in Iredell County.(NASCAR.com/AP)(10-24-2002)
Earnhardt Honored: Three to four thousand people attended the unveiling Monday morning of a 9-foot statue honoring racing legend and Kannapolis, NC native Dale Earnhardt. In the memorial, Earnhardt sports his signature grin and has his arms crossed. He's dressed in Wrangler blue jeans, cowboy boots and a button-down short-sleeved shirt. Members of the Earnhardt family, including widow Teresa and son Dale Jr., uncovered the statue to applause. The statute is at the Dale Earnhardt Plaza, off South Main Street between West A and West B streets. It is open to the public.(Charlotte Observer and another story at the Independent Tribune and a story with images on my Column/Story Links page)(10-15-2002)
Erik Perel Image/Charlotte Observer
Earnhardt Tributes 9-14th UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt’s hometown is ready to unveil the Tribute to the racing legend and hometown hero that has been in development since March 2001. “Kannapolis Celebrates A Legend” begins Wed., Oct. 9 in the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by motorsports artist Sam Bass and concludes Mon., Oct. 14 with the unveiling of the Dale Earnhardt statue by sculptor Clyde Ross Morgan. More info at City of Kannapolis Site.(repost 10-9-2002) OCT 9th: Motorsports artist Sam Bass (www.sambass.com)unveiled several new wall murals Wednesday morning in the Dale Earnhardt Tribute section of Cannon Village Visitors Center. Bass also presented a slide show chronicling his portrayals of Earnhardt throughout the past 20 years to a crowd of approximately 100 people. “All I've ever wanted to do in my life was make Dale Earnhardt proud,” he said. “... This is my Sistine Chapel.” H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president of Lowe's Motor Speedway, said the friendship Bass forged with Earnhardt long ago made him the obvious choice for Kannapolis officials to select to work on the tribute. “This is a great tribute to one of America's greatest athletes,” Wheeler said. “Dale Earnhardt has become one of the most recognized athletes in the history of mankind.” Bass said it was Earnhardt who helped him when he was just another struggling artist looking for a break. For that reason, he said he will always feel indebted. Earnhardt's sister Cathy Watkins said if it wasn't for the numerous works crafted by Bass, many memories of her brother could have easily slipped away as the years passed. At the end of the ceremony, officials in Kannapolis presented Bass with an honorary key to the city.(Independent Tribune)(10-10-2002) MORE plans for the rest of the tribute:
Oct 10th: Dale Earnhardt statue arrives for installation.
Oct 12, 2:00 to 9:00pm. Remembering Dale . . . Cool Car Cruise and Show in Cannon Village. Sponsored by the Kannapolis Business Council. All proceeds from the juried car show will go to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund. There will be a Tribute booth. Call 704-938-6538 for more information about the car show.
Oct 14 at 10:00am Kannapolis Celebrates a Legend: The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Statue Unveiling The 900 pound, nine foot tall, bronze statue of Dale Earnhardt will be unveiled during an hour-long program. Former Winston Cup Champion and NBC racing commentator Benny Parsons will be the master of ceremonies, a Kannapolis Tribute video will be debuted and others who knew Dale Earnhardt will share their memories and thoughts of Dale Earnhardt.(10-10-2002 UPDATE 2: The wait is nearly over, as officials in Kannapolis are set to unveil the highly-anticipated Dale Earnhardt statue downtown in Cannon Village Monday morning. It's been almost 20 months since Earnhardt's death at Daytona International Speedway. The soon-to-be unveiled statue, created by Arizona-based sculptor Clyde Ross Morgan, will be a mark for all time on downtown Kannapolis. Danny Earnhardt, Dale's youngest brother, said it was good to see the plans to build the tribute finally started to take shape several months ago following the $200,000 contribution from L.A. businessman and Kannapolis business owner David Murdock. Fans wanting to get an early glimpse of the statue will have no such luck. Officials at the Kannapolis Police Department said officers will monitor Dale Earnhardt Plaza “24-7” until its unveiling Monday at 10:00am/et.(Independent Tribune)(10-13-2002) TODAY: The statue accompanying the Dale Earnhardt Tribute will be unveiled today at 10 a.m., but get there early because it's expected to be crowded. Festivities will take place at Dale Earnhardt Plaza, formerly Funderburk Park, on Main Street in downtown Kannapolis.(more directions and info at the Independent Tribune)(10-14-2002)
Chevy Donates $666,600 to the Foundation For The Carolinas: Representatives of Chevrolet and Team Monte Carlo presented a check in the amount of $666,600 to the Foundation For The Carolinas as a donation from the sale of the limited edition 2002 Monte Carlo SS Dale Earnhardt Signature Edition. Accepting the check of behalf of the Foundation and the Earnhardt Family Fund it
manages was Teresa Earnhardt, wife of the late seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion who died in February 2001 while competing in the Daytona 500. Also on hand for the ceremony were Bart Landess, representing the Foundation For The Carolinas, and Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and of the #3 Goodwrench Monte Carlo made famous by Dale Earnhardt. The entire production run of 3,333 units was marketed through select Chevrolet dealers with high-volume Monte Carlo sales in the United States and Canada. When introduced, the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the Dale Earnhardt Signature Edition was $29,500, including destination charge.(GM PR)(10-11-2002)
North Carolina Senate OK's road change to honor Earnhardt: The North Carolina state Senate gave its final approval Wednesday to legislation renumbering a state road in Iredell and Cabarrus counties as N.C. 3 in honor of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. The road now is N.C. 136, but that number would be swapped with the N.C. 3 now in Currituck County. Earnhardt, who died in a wreck at Daytona International Speedway in 2001, drove the No. 3 Chevrolet. He lived in Cabarrus County and ran his business enterprises in Iredell County. The bill now returns to the House, which approved an earlier version without the Earnhardt road and must decide whether to accept the changes.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(10-3-2002)
Earnhardt Tribute Scheduled: Dale Earnhardt's hometown is ready to unveil the Tribute to the racing legend and hometown hero that has been in development since March 2001. "Kannapolis Celebrates A Legend" begins Wed., Oct. 9 in the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by motorsports artist Sam Bass and concludes Mon., Oct. 14 with the unveiling of the Dale Earnhardt statue by sculptor Clyde Ross Morgan. The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Center by Sam Bass opened in the Cannon Village Visitor Center, 200 West Ave., in May 2002 with an exhibit of 15 of Bass' most recognized portraits of Earnhardt. On Wed., Oct. 9 at 10 a.m., Bass will unveil three additional paintings of Earnhardt from his collection that he is adding to his Tribute Center exhibit. The additional pieces will be wall size and signify the beginning of a lifetime commitment to developing the Tribute Center into the most comprehensive record of Earnhardt's life and career. Bass' work in the Tribute Center will eventually culminate with a series of original murals that depict Earnhardt from his childhood in Kannapolis to his greatest victories as a driver. Bass was chosen in July 2001 by the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Steering Committee as one of the artists to create the Tribute because of his friendship and professional relationship with Earnhardt. Sculptor Clyde Ross Morgan of Sedona, AZ was also chosen last summer. He created the 900 pound, nine foot tall bronze statue of Earnhardt that will be unveiled on Mon., Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. at Dale Earnhardt Plaza, 164 S. Main St., in Cannon Village, downtown Kannapolis. Morgan designed the statue from the input of Teresa Earnhardt and the Earnahrdt family in Kannapolis and neighboring Mooresville. The unveiling event will focus on the Kannapolis connection to the Earnhardt family and stockcar racing. The event will include a Kannapolis tribute video produced by Time Warner Cable that will showcase photographs donated by fans and the Earnhardt family. Benny Parsons, former Winston Cup Champion, member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and NBC racing commentator will be the master of ceremonies. City of Kannapolis Mayor Ray Moss, Executive Vice President of Lowe's Motor Speedway Doug Stafford, U.S. Congressman Robin Hayes and L.A. businessman and Kannapolis business owner David Murdock, who paid $200,000 for the statue's creation as a contribution to the Tribute, will speak. The Earnhardt family will unveil the statue and Cathy Earnhardt-Watkins, one of Earnhardt's sisters, will speak on behalf of the family. Additional speakers have not yet confirmed. The statue will arrive in Kannapolis on Thurs., Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. There will be a brief program before the statue is installed to thank the companies that volunteered time and materials to prepare the statue site. The statue will remain covered until the unveiling. Site development will continue after the statue is unveiled. Steering Committee members and Morgan will be at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Gate 4 near the main entrance from 3 pm to 7 pm before qualifying for the UAW/Goodwrench Quality 500 to talk with fans about the Tribute. Sat., Oct. 12, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. the
Kannapolis Business Council is sponsoring "Remembering Dale . . .Cool Car Cruise and Show" in Cannon Village. All proceeds from the juried car show will go to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund. Contributions can be made to the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund/City of
Kannapolis, P.O. Box 1199, Kannapolis, N.C. 28082-1199.(City of Kannapolis PR)(10-1-2002)
Earnhardt Tribute Postponed 5 days: The unveiling of the sculpture marking the Dale Earnhardt Tribute has been postponed until Oct. 14, five days later than the original date of Oct. 9. The ceremony, called “Kannapolis Celebrates the Life of a Legend: The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Statue Unveiling,” will begin at 10:00am at Dale Earnhardt Plaza, formerly known as Funderburk Park. During a Tuesday night meeting, the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Steering Committee decided to move the date of the unveiling due to scheduling conflicts with a number of individuals, said Jennifer Woodford, Kannapolis' public information officer. The rescheduling could also affect the possibility of country music star Travis Tritt attending and performing at the ceremony, said John Cox, CEO of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce.(Independent Tribune)(9-12-2002)
Ground Breaking on Earnhardt Tribute, Tritt may sing at unveiling: An unveiling for the sculpture marking the Dale Earnhardt Tribute at Kannapolis' Funderburk Park is tentatively set for Oct. 9, and there's a possibility country music star Travis Tritt will attend and perform. A ground breaking at the site will be held this coming Wednesday at 4 p.m., and members of the Earnhardt family are expected to attend, said City Manager Mike Mahaney. The unveiling was briefly mentioned at Thursday's Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting. Chamber CEO John Cox, who befriended Tritt more than a decade ago when both were living in suburban Atlanta, Ga., said local officials are making every effort to get the country music star to Kannapolis on Oct. 9. City officials plan to release a photo of the 9-foot tall bronze depiction of Earnhardt on Monday, but it will be somewhat vague in an effort to mount suspense, Kannapolis Public Information Officer Jennifer Woodford said.(Independent Tribune)(8-16-2002)
Dale Earnhardt Earns $20 Millon for Estate: Forbes.com says Dale Earnhardt, who died in February 2001 during the running of the Daytona 500, earned $20 million for his estate between June 2001 and June 2002, making him the fourth "richest deceased celebrity." Forbes says four financial reporters interviewed surviving family members, lawyers and estate administrators for deceased musicians, actors, authors and sports figures to help calculate pretax earnings to estates from licensing agreements and book and record sales. Topping the list were Elvis Pressley ($37 million), cartoonist Charles Shultz ($28 million) and former Beatle John Lennon ($20 million).(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(8-13-2002)
The new version of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard has been approved by the N.C. Department of Transportation. Last week, NCDOT officials wrote city leaders and saying the local request could be approved by the department's local division employees rather than the state board of transportation. The current one-mile stretch of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard connects to Centergrove Road. Earlier this month, city council approved a proposal to rename Centergrove and South Loop roads after the late racing legend, extending the boulevard up to the city's West C Street and South Loop Road intersection.(Independent Tribune)(7-30-2002)
City May Have Earnhardt Benefit: Kannapolis leaders are discussing the idea of a fund-raising banquet, possibly at Dale Earnhardt Inc. in Mooresville, to help finance the planned Dale Earnhardt Tribute. The late NASCAR star's widow, Teresa Earnhardt, could become involved in the banquet if an agreement can be reached. The Tribute's steering committee met Thursday night to discuss the specific site location of the sculpture honoring the late racing legend. The statue still will be on Main Street, said Paul Bessent, Kannapolis city councilman and Tribute committee member. Committee members also hope to unveil and dedicate the Earnhardt statue in October, Bessent said.(Independent Tribune)(7-19-2002)
IRS and Earnhardt UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the late Dale Earnhardt is on a list of several businessmen under investigation for "taking advantage of tax shelters" which "may have violated tax laws". The IRS released the list after filing suit against KPMG and BDO Seidman LLP, saying the firms scoffed at tax laws, helping hundreds of companies and individuals avoid billions of dollars in taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported. The release of the list is unusual since the IRS has made a practice of guarding the identities of people who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. None of the people on the list have been accused of violating any tax rules.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-12-2002) UPDATE: California's Republican gubernatorial nominee, movie executives and the late Dale Earnhardt, a former NASCAR champion, are among investors identified by the IRS as participants in tax shelters under federal investigation. Among names made public by the Internal Revenue Service are Bill Simon, the GOP nominee; his late father, former Treasury Secretary William Simon; Gary Winnick, chairman of telecom giant Global Crossing Ltd., which has filed for bankruptcy protection; Bob Shaye, chairman of New Line Cinema; and Earnhardt, who was killed in a February 2001 crash at Daytona Beach, Fla. The disclosure was included in court documents that detail the tax shelters in a legal confrontation with accounting firm KPMG LLP. The Justice Department, acting for the IRS, sued KPMG and tax consulting firm BDO Seidman LLP on Tuesday for information about the tax shelters they have promoted.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(7-13-2002)
Earnhardt may be honored: Kannapolis City [NC] Council will consider a proposal Monday to rename one of the city's major thoroughfares Dale Earnhardt Boulevard. The current one-mile stretch of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard connects to Centergrove Road. The proposal would change the names of Centergrove, Loop and Jackson Park roads as well as Lane Street to make a longer Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, which would loop around the main part of Kannapolis. The proposed boulevard would also connect twice to Interstate 85. If council adopts the proposal, the suggested roadway would then be considered by the N.C. Department of Transportation for final approval. Assistant City Manager Mike Legg said DOT officials seem to be receptive to using one name for Centergrove and South Loop roads. He said state officials, however, are hesitant about continuing the boulevard at the point where North and South Loop Road meet at the West C Street intersection. Local officials could also consider only renaming Centergrove and South Loop Roads as part of a compromise with DOT. Legg said the biggest benefit to having a longer boulevard would be the change from using at least three different names to one name for the roadway. He said the renaming would fit in with the Dale Earnhardt Tribute. Legg also said being located on a road with such name recognition could be good for businesses in that area.(Independent Tribune)(7-7-2002) UPDATE: The Intimidator's reach on his hometown could soon extend farther. The Kannapolis City Council voted 6-1 Monday to push to change the names of two more roads to "Dale Earnhardt Boulevard," adding three miles to the existing 0.9-mile stretch. It will be up to the N.C. Board of Transportation and its road-naming committee to decide whether to change the name. Earnhardt, who won 76 Winston Cup races, was born and reared in Kannapolis. He died in a wreck on the last lap of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, 2001. Under the council's plan, Centergrove Road and South Loop Road would be renamed Dale Earnhardt Boulevard. The existing stretch extends west from Interstate 85. Multiple names for the route into downtown have created confusion for tour-bus drivers and others, said City Manager Mike Mahaney. Officials also hope to help create a sense of identity for the city. City Council member Richard Anderson, the sole opponent, argued the change was being done to benefit the privately owned Cannon Village. City officials' initial proposal had also included North Loop and Jackson Park roads and Lane Street to the route -- creating a loop around the city. Officials say those segments may be considered later. However, the city's fire and police chiefs and the N.C. Department of Transportation traffic engineer expressed concerns because including those three thoroughfares could have caused confusion at some intersections. Dale Earnhardt Boulevard, for example, would have crossed U.S. 29, Main Street and Ridge Avenue in two different places each. Anderson and Mayor Pro Tem Bob Misenheimer said the council should have held a public hearing on the renaming issue. DOT spokesman Bill Jones agreed, saying the N.C. Board of Transportation wants local governments to get public feedback. Jones said the board uses the feedback to judge public support, Jones said. The changes backed by the City Council would affect more than 48 homes and 41 businesses, according to city figures. Jackson Park Road and Lane Street, which were left out of the proposal, have 176 homes.(Charlotte Observer/ThatsRacin.com)(7-11-2002)
The Goat: She's only 4 months old, but this kid has all the makings of a star. Race fans have been flocking to Interlachen [FL] to see Lil' Dale, a 4-month-old goat that sports a No. 3 on her right flank. Meet Lil' Dale, a goat with one heck of a coat that has race fans flocking to this tiny town west of Palatka. The brown, Nubian goat was born with a distinctive white "3" - the number of racing legend Dale Earnhardt - on her right side. So while poised to become the darling of the NASCAR set, Lil' Dale's owners hope this one-of-a-kind kid also can make it in showbiz. Although a Gainesville advertising agency has offered to market Lil' Dale, Pierson is taking a lighthearted approach to the kid's potential celebrity status. But this is new territory for Pierson and his wife, Laura, a retired schoolteacher, who have been raising animals for the past 26 years. Ever since Lil' Dale popped up on a few local newscasts, racing fans and curious onlookers have headed down the narrow road that leads to the Piersons' farm. "It's weird," Pierson said. "I've seen people take pictures and get tears in their eyes." Pierson said there's no painting, shaving or anything else involved in Lil' Dale's signature coat. She was just born that way, he said. The Piersons have no problem with race fans coming to them, just so long as there isn't a caravan of RVs parked alongside the narrow roadway. See a full story and an image of the Goat at the Daytona Beach News Journal.(note: do not email me the image, it'll be discarded) and a AP story at ABC News.(7-3-2002)
Motorsports Hall of Fame for Earnhardt REPOST: Stock car icon Dale Earnhardt, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, drag racing king Eddie Hill and pioneering open-wheel racer Gaston Chevrolet will lead a class of eight racing legends into the Motorsports Hall of Fame when the organization stages its annual enshrinement ceremony, June 12, 2002 at the State Theatre in Detroit. These four, along with racing engine designer Fred Offenhauser, sports car champion Brian Redman, international motorcycle road racing ace Eddie Lawson and air racer and Hollywood stunt pilot Paul Mantz, will join the 122 racers already enshrined in the Motorsports Hall of Fame. The Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame is operated by the Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc., a non-profit
corporation. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is located within the Novi Expo Center, I-96 at Novi Road (Exit162), in the Detroit suburb of Novi, Michigan.(Open Wheel Racing)(1-22/6-11-2002)
Earnhardt Hometown Tribune Gets a Boost: The effort to build the Dale Earnhardt Tribute in downtown Kannapolis has received a major boost, with Atlantic American Properties owner David H. Murdock's agreeing to pay for the $200,000 sculpture. Kannapolis City Manager Mike Mahaney made the announcement Thursday afternoon in the 600 Room of the Speedway Club at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Murdock will also fund renovations for the Cannon Village Visitor's Center to transform 2,000 square feet into a Tribute Center, Mahaney said. Another $300,000 to $400,000 will be required to complete the project. The visitor's center will feature Sam Bass prints of Earnhardt. Over time the collection should change, and will feature seven Bass originals that will illustrate Earnhardt's life story, chronicling his childhood in Kannapolis to his days of NASCAR prominence. Mahaney said the fall unveiling could come to fruition if there aren't any hitches in the project. Arizona-based artist Ross Morgan is in charge of developing the statue, but widow Teresa Earnhardt has the final say on what goes and what doesn't. Contributions for the project can be sent to the City of Kannapolis, care of The Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund, P.O. Box 1199, Kannapolis, NC 28082-1199.(Independent Tribune)(5-17-2002)
Earnhardt's Mother Honored: Martha Earnhardt, wife of the late Ralph Earnhardt, the mother of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, and the grandmother of Kerry, Dale Jr., Kelley and Taylor Earnhardt, is the grand marshal for the May 21 UAW-GM Teamwork Parade in Charlotte. This year’s theme is Racing Legends and is a tribute to those who paved the way for today’s Winston Cup circuit. Among those scheduled to appear in the parade are current and former drivers Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Morgan Shepherd, Rex White, Brett Bodine, Jim Vandiver, Neil “Soapy” Castles, Ken Ragan, Kirk Shelmerdine, Ashton Lewis, Shawna Robinson, and Elliott Sadler; the Earnhardt family; the first Miss Winston Marilyn Chilton Green; Leonard Wood; Neil Bonnett’s daughter Kristen; Fireball Roberts’ daughter Pam; Frances Flock, wife of the late Tim Flock; and Wanda Lund, wife of the late Tiny Lund. The parade is scheduled to begin at 8:00pm/et.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read)(5-16-2002) AND Charlotte's annual celebration of NASCAR gets under way tonight with the UAW-GM Teamwork Parade through the streets of the business district. The parade, which is scheduled to start at 8:00pm/et and end with a fireworks display, is expected to feature NASCAR drivers, show cars, marching bands, clowns, floats and local celebrities. The celebration continues on Thursday when the Food Lion Speed Street is scheduled to open its three-day run, featuring entertainment on three stages, driver appearances, NASCAR show cars and simulators and a variety of vendors.(5-21-2002)
Ripken honoring Earnhardt at game: One of the greatest names in baseball history is going to help the Kannapolis Intimidators celebrate one of the greatest night's in their history. Cal Ripken Jr., baseball's all-time ironman and certain Baseball Hall of Famer, will be part of the ceremonies tonight when the Intimidators officially retire Dale Earnhardt's #3 before Kannapolis' South Atlantic League game with Hagerstown. Earnhardt bought a share of the Intimidators in the fall of 2000, just months before his death in the February 2001 Daytona 500. Ripken Jr. ended a 20-year major league career with the Baltimore Oriole last fall.(Independent Tribune)(5-15-2002)
Earnhardt Statue and Paintings/Prints: Ross Morgan, the Arizona-based sculptor selected to build the Dale Earnhardt Tribute, has officially signed on to the project and will be in Kannapolis for the next few days. Jennifer Woodford, Kannapolis' public information officer, said the cost of the project is still to be determined. She said working out the details of the deal is one of the main reasons Morgan is in town. "This morning (Thursday) he signed a contract, so he is officially commissioned," Woodford said. More than $20,000 has been raised for the project, and Woodford has said that should cover the cost of having the concept developed. Woodford said once Morgan completes the concept, planners should have a better idea of what the finished project will cost. The recent decision to place the statue downtown in Funderburk Park will cut down a lot on the final price of the project, Woodford said. Original plans had the statue being erected in Village Park, where the tribute was projected to cost upwards of $700,000. Morgan's visit also allows him to check out the project's new site. Funderburk Park, which likely will be renamed Dale Earnhardt Tribute Park, measures 140 by 207 feet. It's off South Main Street between West A and West B Streets. Morgan said Funderburk Park works well with the mental concept he's already developed. Woodford said among those Morgan met with were Earnhardt's mother, Martha Earnhardt, and sister, Cathy Watkins, who is serving on a steering committee that is planning the project. Woodford said Morgan has not met with Earnhardt's widow, Teresa Earnhardt. Ultimately the project's concept will have to be approved by her. AND Other news: Phyllis Beaver, marketing director for Cannon Village, said NASCAR artist Sam Bass is hoping to get some of his artwork featuring Earnhardt to the visitors center prior to May's NASCAR events at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Bass is planning to paint a mural that will be housed inside the visitors center. The painting should coincide somewhat with Morgan's statue.(Independent Tribune) AND In a small town on the Choptank River, On Maryland's Eastern Shore; lives an artist whose expressions are not only a labor of love, but also a daily struggle. Renowned artist George Wright recently unveiled his latest creation to the world: a chronicle of the life and times of the greatest NASCAR racer of all time-Dale Earnhardt. The print traces his life from childhood to the days before the tragedy that took him from us forever. This is a joint project between Wright and Tom Brown, founder of Tom Brown's Rookie League; a non-profit instructional youth-sports program in Salisbury, MD. The Dale Earnhardt print was recently finished and is generating a lot of attention in the collector's world. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the prints will benefit The Rookie League and it's great work with teaching young children the fundamentals of sports while instilling sportsmanship and fair-play. A portion of the proceeds will also benefit the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund in Kannapolis, NC. More info on this print and others by white can be found at l-nsports.com.(3-29-2002)
More on DEI case UPDATE 2 DEI wins: Testimony in the civil lawsuit between Boiling Springs resident Gray London and Dale Earnhardt Inc. is nearing an end. London's former business associate, Rocky Wagner, and Dale Earnhardt's brother, Randy, took the stand Wednesday. DEI lawyers are expected to call five more witnesses, including Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, before sending the case to the jury. At issue in the trial is a die cast, produced by Action Performance Co., of the car Earnhardt drove in 1974 to his first win on an asphalt track. London contends the car, which he co-owned with members of the Earnhardt family in the Earnhardt Racing Team, was a 1965 Chevelle while DEI claims it was a 1964 model. London and his company, Driver on a Mission, had a 1999 contract with DEI under which the company would receive $550,000 from the sale of the die-cast car and have the opportunity to produce other Earnhardt souvenirs. Randy Earnhardt told jury members the car Earnhardt drove was a 1964 model and carried Doc's Cycle Center as its sponsor. London contends his company, Dainty Maid Foods, was on the side of the car when Earnhardt won. DEI filed a countersuit against London for producing souvenirs without permission. AND London’s lawsuit against Dale Earnhardt Inc. will resume Monday [today] when the jury is expected to begin deliberating. Superior Court Judge Richard D. Boner said he was prepared to wait out a verdict on Friday, but a unanimous vote from the jury will carry the trial through the weekend. Attorneys gave their closing arguments Friday after spending most of the morning helping the judge hammer out the details of his final instructions to the jury.(Gastonia Gazette and the Shelby Star).(3-25-2002) UPDATE: The jury in the Dale Earnhardt trial has ruled in favor of Dale Earnhardt Inc., awarding the company $10,000 in damages. More later when full story is posted.(Shelby Star)(3-25-2002) UPDATE 2: Not only did Boiling Springs resident Gray London lose his lawsuit against the Dale Earnhardt empire, he must pay Dale Earnhardt Inc. $10,000 for breach of contract, a jury ruled Monday. After about three hours of deliberations, the jury found that London breached the 1999 contract with DEI when he sublicensed to a third party the right to use Dale Earnhardt’s name. The 1999 agreement released Earnhardt from the now defunct Earnhardt Racing Team, which London and Earnhardt formed with members of the Earnhardt family in 1974. London granted the release in exchange for $550,000 from the sale of a die-cast car made of one of the cars Earnhardt drove early in his career. DEI paid London $450,000. The remaining $100,000 was withheld by DEI because London filed a lawsuit against the company. Speaking for London, attorney Rob Deaton said, “I know that Gray is happy that the jury answered yes to question three, giving him the right in the future without limitations to make souvenirs, except for die-cast cars.” Question three allows London to make and sell souvenirs (other than die-cast cars) with Dale Earnhardt’s name on one or more of the three cars in connection with the Driver on a Mission logo on a souvenir such as a mug or T-shirt. The jury also found that on the night of July 19, 1974, when Dale Earnhardt won his first race on an asphalt track, he was not driving the No. 8 Chevelle with “Dainty Maid” on it as the sponsor, as claimed during earlier testimony by London.(Shelby Star)(3-26-2002)
Earnhardts sued by former associate UPDATE: Gray London says he helped finance "The Intimidator’s" successful career. Now, he’s suing the multi-million dollar racing empire Dale Earnhardt Inc. to get a return on his 28-year-old investment. Jury selection took up the entire Cleveland County Court [NC] session on Monday. Juror after juror was excused from the trial after attorneys had trouble finding any who weren’t fans of Earnhardt or his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Winston Cup champion car owner Rick Hendrick was in Shelby on Monday for the trial. Teresa Earnhardt, Earnhardt’s widow and head of DEI, as well as legendary driver Harry Gant could also make appearances as witnesses, possibly as early as today. In his complaint filed in the summer of 2000 Gray London of Boiling Springs alleges he entered an agreement in 1999 with DEI to release Earnhardt from the defunct racing team the two men formed in 1974. London granted the release in exchange for $550,000 and the rights to make collectibles of three of Earnhardt’s first cars through his company, Driver on a Mission. The complaint alleges DEI violated the agreement and "used its economic clout within the racing souvenir industry to pressure individuals and businesses to refrain from or to stop doing business with DOM." The complaint says DEI told London’s prospective business partners they would "suffer if they do business with Mr. London or DOM." London claims that in 1974 he and Earnhardt formed the Earnhardt Racing Team, with each man putting up half of the money. "He helped Dale Earnhardt get started in 1974 after Dale’s father died. He put up the money for him to get started in racing," said London’s attorney Irving Brenner. "Over the years, Mr. London and Dale Earnhardt talked about settling up on their agreement and in January of 1999 they did. There was an agreement between Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Mr. London," said Brenner. London filed a lawsuit against DEI because, Brenner said, the agreement between the two men was broken by DEI. "The dispute is over not paying him the money the agreement calls for," Brenner said. London claims DEI owes him $100,000 through Action Performance, a racing souvenir company, under the 1999 agreement and alleges his company was not allowed to sell Earnhardt collectibles, which was also provided for under the agreement. DEI filed a countersuit claiming London breached the contract. Both the suit and countersuit ask for unspecified monetary amounts. "Basically, Mr. London knew Dale and his family and they had a racing team and it went under in two years," said attorney Judson Graves, who represented the Earnhardts last year in a Florida courtroom to restrict access to Earnhardt’s autopsy photos. "London came back looking for something out of the old days and threatened a suit. DEI lived up to their agreement and they (London) didn’t," said Graves. He said neither side disputes the existence of the 1999 contract between London and DEI.(in part from the Gaston Gazette, a short term link is gone)(3-12-2002) UPDATE: Lawyers for Dale Earnhardt Inc. opened their case against Boiling Springs resident Gray London on Tuesday with testimony from one of London’s former employees. Dale Earnhardt’s mother, Martha, and racing legend Harry Gant gave their testimony during Tuesday’s proceedings. London alleges in his complaint he entered an agreement in 1999 with DEI to release Earnhardt from the defunct racing team the two men formed in 1974. London granted the release in exchange for $550,000 and the rights to make collectibles of three of Earnhardt’s first cars through his company Driver on a Mission. His complaint claims DEI violated the agreement and "used its economic clout within the racing souvenir industry to pressure individuals and businesses to refrain from or to stop doing business with DOM." Sharon Miller testified Tuesday she was told by London to pass someone else’s work off as her own while employed at his company Driver on a Mission. DEI called Gant to testify about the car Earnhardt drove to his first victory on asphalt. The car was co-owned by London and the Earnhardt family, and was purchased from Gant, who built the car. London contends the car was a 1965 Chevelle, while DEI says the car was a 1964 model. Graves said Gant testified Tuesday the car was a ’64 model. Die cast models of a 1964 Chevelle were manufactured and distributed by Action Performance, while London marketed the car as a 1965 model. Also in dispute is the sponsor of the car at the time Earnhardt captured his first asphalt win on July 19, 1974, at Metrolina Speedway. London claims his company, Dainty Maid Foods, was on the car at the time of the win, while DEI says Doc’s Cycle Center was the car’s sponsor in victory lane that night. Marshall Brooks, former owner of Doc’s Cycle Center and one of Earnhardt’s old "drinking buddies," said his company sponsored the car the night Earnhardt took his first checkered flag on pavement.(in part from the Gaston Gazette, a one day link then a paid archive)(3-20-2002)
Dale Earnhardt tribute update: A committee planning a Dale Earnhardt tribute in Kannapolis, N.C., has approved a new tribute site. The Earnhardt tribute, in the planning stages for nearly a year, is now expected to be built in Kannapolis' downtown. A statue and brick plaza area will be built on the new site, informally known as Funderburk Park in Cannon Village, committee members said. Atlantic American Properties, the owners of Cannon Village, offered the site last month. The company is also donating and volunteering to renovate a portion of the Cannon Village Visitors Center as a tribute center that will house a commemorative wall to honor Earnhardt's life. Motorsports artist Sam Bass is expected design the wall. AAP has agreed to lease the new site for $1 a year for 99 years and assist with site preparation, insurance, maintenance, security and landscaping. A racing memorabilia auction, similar to a fund-raiser held in December, is tentatively scheduled for the summer. The Tribute fund so far totals $22,486.57. Contributions can be sent to the City of Kannapolis, c/o the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund, P.O. Box 1199, Kannapolis, NC 28082-1199. (ThatsRacin.com), more info at the Dale Earnhardt Memorial Tribute Fund page(2-28-2002)
Earnhardt Tribute: About 350 people attended a candlelight vigil outside Dale Earnhardt Inc's museum and shop Monday evening, and about 1,000 people visited the site during the day. The fans came from as far away as Kentucky and Minnesota, and they filled 24 message boards with prayers and promises that they would never forget their favorite driver. Some fans said they still watch racing, and many cheer for Earnhardt's son, Dale Jr., but others say they have lost interest. Earnhardt was killed a year ago Monday on the final lap of the Daytona 500.(ESPN/AP)(2-19-2002)
Earnhardt Tribute on Monday: Dale Earnhardt Inc. is hosting a silent candlelight tribute to the late Dale Earnhardt from 7 p.m. to midnight on Monday at the company headquarters in Mooresville, NC. Feb. 18 marks the one-year anniversary of Earnhardt’s death. He was killed in a last-lap wreck in last season’s Daytona 500. “Please take the time, wherever you are, to think of Dale on this day, and remember his remarkable spirit,” said Earnhardt’s widow, Teresa. Each fan will be given a candle and encouraged to stand in silence on the lawn of the DEI building. Fans will also have the opportunity to leave their signature on a unique signature board, which will become a part of the complex. In the hours following Earnhardt’s death last season, DEI’s corporate offices were visited by thousands of race fans. Over the course of the 2001 season, more than 350,000 people visited DEI’s public showroom. The showroom will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.(ThatsRacin.com), Teresa Earnhardt is asking fans who cannot attend the North Carolina ceremony to light a candle in their homes on Monday. "Please take the time, wherever you are, to think of Dale on this day, and remember his remarkable spirit," she said.(2-14/18-2002)
Earnhardt Statue Unveiling UPDATE: The Dale Earnhardt Statue will be unveiled at Daytona USA on Thursday (today) Feb 7th at 1:15pm/et. Bill France Jr, Chairman/CEO, International Speedway Corporation and NASCAR, will be joined by Teresa Earnhardt and officials from Daytona International Speedway to unveil the Dale Earnhardt Statue.(DIS PR).(2-7-2002) UPDATE: Teresa Earnhardt was joined by Bill France Jr. today in unveiling the Dale Earnhardt statue at Daytona International Speedway. Soeme Facts: The statue, including the base, is 9 ft. tall and weighs approximately 1,200 lbs. The figures of Dale Earnhardt and the No. 3 are made of cast silicon bronze with a patina finish. The pedestal is constructed of concrete and the checkered board base, which represents Victory Lane, is made of two-tone black granite. Earnhardt’s racing gloves, made of cast silicon bronze, sit on the wall behind the statue. Alongside Earnhardt’s racing gloves is a penny, made of cast silicon bronze, which represents the penny given to Earnhardt by a young fan for “luck” the day he captured his first and only win in the Daytona 500 in 1998. See the DIS Site for more info and an image, and see NASCAR.com for another image of the statue(2-7-2002)
Wrangler Chevy to be auctioned UPDATE - SOLD:Dale Earnhardt's blue-and-yellow Monte Carlo [#3 Wrangler], (which comes with a crash helmet signed by Earnhardt) is going on the auction block along with some 850 other collector cars at the 2002 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Classic Car Auction to be held from January 17th through the 20th at the WestWorld resort in Scottsdale, AZ. Also for sale is the Richard Petty 50th anniversary Limited Edition Pontiac Grand Prix concept car. For more info see the Barrett-Jackson site (12-24-2001) UPDATE: heard that the Earnhardt car and matching autographed helmet went for $90,000, also hear a unrestored 1990 Jeff Gordon #1 Baby Ruth BGN Ford Thunderbid went for $28,000(1-30-2002)
A pre Earnhardt plaque look at the new pedestrian bridge at Daytona International Speedway.
Taken during the first week of Cup testing, thanks to Joe Secka for the image
(click on image for a look at the larger version)
Could be an Dale Earnhardt Memorial Bridge? UPDATE Bridge named for Earnhardt on the City Commission Meeting Agenda (Daytona Beach) for 7:00pm on Jan 23rd - A-1 Pedestrian Overpass Dedication – Resolution naming the Pedestrian Overpass which spans International Speedway Boulevard “The Dale Earnhardt Memorial Bridge.”(City of Daytona Beach Site)(1-23-2002) UPDATE: The new pedestrian overpass built to provide safe passage for fans attending events at Daytona International Speedway has been named to honor racing icon Dale Earnhardt. City commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday naming the overpass that spans International Speedway Boulevard The Dale Earnhardt Memorial Bridge. Construction of the $4.2 million pedestrian overpass should be completed by Friday, said Stan Lemke, the city's Public Works director. The overpass was criticized by some who objected to $3.2 million in state money devoted to the project. The Speedway also contributed land valued at $1 million. Mayor Bud Asher announced that Daytona International Speedway officials agreed to pay the cost of putting plaques at both ends of the bridge to honor Earnhardt.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-24-2002) - image (1-26-2002)
The Dale Earnhardt Statue foundation in front of DIS, thanks Barney
Daytona to name 'something' for Earnhardt UPDATE 4: Daytona International Speedway is going name something after Dale [Earnhardt] -- they just aren't saying what it will be. It's already been decided and it has the blessings of the Earnhardt family, as well. "After considerable input from fans and competitors, and with the support of the Earnhardt family, we have chosen a special way to celebrate the life and legend of Dale Earnhardt. It is our intention to make the announcement regarding our tribute during Speedweeks 2002." David Talley, Director Corporate Communications, ISC(NASCAR.com)(12-16-2001) UPDATE: Rumor has it Daytona International Speedway may be planning to remember the late Dale Earnhardt with some type of permanent memorial -- perhaps a statue -- before this year's Daytona 500. The permanent display was said to be, according to a source, "something all fans would have access to." The official word is expected sometime next week with the ceremony possibly taking place the week leading up to the Feb. 17 race. Earnhardt is the winningest driver at Daytona, with more than 30 trips to Victory Lane when you add up wins in Winston Cup, Busch, Shootout and IROC events.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(1-15-2002) UPDATE 2: Nobody’s talking about it, but a currently active construction site adjacent to the entrance to Daytona USA, the interactive motorsports attraction located outside Turn 4 of Daytona International Speedway, has all the potential earmarks of the rumored “Dale Earnhardt Memorial” that may be unveiled during Speedweeks 2002. A circular set of footers about eight feet in diameter are located within the center of the construction zone and might be the pedestal for a rumored statue of Earnhardt. (NASCAR.com Buzz). NOTE: many readers have mentioned being at Daytona and seeing the construction and have heard that the site will be the Earnhardt tribute area.(1-20-2002) UPDATE 3: a few readers report that News Channel 2 daytona reported that the construction site will be an Earnhardt tribute and that they interviewed Glyn Johnson with the speedway. While sketchy on the details he said it would be "a larger than life, bronze statue, surrounded by a fountain, much like the one that sits in front of Daytona USA that honors the France's". Teresa Earnhardt was invovled in the planning of the tribute and it will be unveiled during Speedweeks(1-21-2002) UPDATE 4: The statue is being designed by John Lajba, the same sculptor who cast the bronze likeness of Bill and Anne France in 1994 that stands in front of Daytona USA. And a public document reveals a morsel more of details. Last month, the Speedway paid the city of Daytona Beach $375 for a building permit for a sculpture. On it, the sculpture is valued at $60,000.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-23-2002)
Motorsports Hall of Fame for Earnhardt: Stock car icon Dale Earnhardt, two-time Indy 500 champion Gordon Johncock, drag racing king Eddie Hill and pioneering open-wheel racer Gaston Chevrolet will lead a class of eight racing legends into the Motorsports Hall of Fame when the organization stages its annual enshrinement ceremony, June 12, 2002 at the State Theatre in Detroit. These four, along with racing engine designer Fred Offenhauser, sports car champion Brian Redman, international motorcycle road racing ace Eddie Lawson and air racer and Hollywood stunt pilot Paul Mantz, will join the 122 racers already enshrined in the Motorsports Hall of Fame. The Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame is operated by the Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc., a non-profit
corporation. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America is located within the Novi Expo Center, I-96 at Novi Road (Exit162), in the Detroit suburb of Novi, Michigan.(Open Wheel Racing)(1-22-2002)
Earnhardt Tribute: The Brooklyn Cowboys' new CD project, The Other Man in Black (The Ballad of Dale Earnhardt), holds a winning combination, featuring a fuel-injected tribute to the late-great Dale Earnhardt, is due to hit the stores on Feb 12th, 2002(Business Wire)(12-10-2001)
Earnhardt Honor: Seven time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, fatally injured in an accident at Daytona International Speedway in February, will be inducted into the Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Hall of Fame. Earnhardt, known as "The Intimidator," was the most high profile driver in NASCAR Winston Cup racing and his death brought a great deal of attention to the sport. The winner of 78 [actually 76] Winston Cup races made it to the EMPA Hall of Fame the first time his name has appeared on the voting ballot. In addition former Indianapolis car racer and three-time United Racing Club sprint car driving champion Mike Magill will join Earnhardt in the Hall. Nicknamed "Iron Mike," he was a successful Modified and Midget racer in the 1940s and 50s. Also being inducted into the EMPA Hall of Fame will be three-time USAC Sprint Car champion Larry Dickson. He also made eight appearances in the Indianapolis 500 with his best finish being ninth in 1969. Dickson was a top talent with the United Racing Club and American Racing Drivers Club in the early part of his career. And Bobby Gerhart Sr., winner of 41 modified stock car features at the old Reading, PA Fairgrounds Speedway, will have his name added to the Hall of Fame. Gerhart was also the Modified champion at Reading in 1969 and 1970. His son, Bobby, is currently a driver in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. Eleven time National Hot Rod Association Funny Car champion John Force was been named the Al Holbert Memorial/EMPA Driver of the Year. The award is named in honor of the late Al Holbert who was an outstanding sports car and Indianapolis car racer who made his home in Warrington, PA. Ted Christopher, NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series National Champion, has earned the Northeast Driver of the Year honors for the second year in a row. Christopher was also the Stafford Motor Speedway SK Modified champion. More than 200 members, media covering motorsports of all types on a regular basis, took part in the voting. The induction ceremonies will take place at the annual Winston Hall of Fame Awards Dinner which is part of the Eastern Motorsport Press Association Convention, January 18-20, at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Trevose, PA. The 31st Annual Eastern Motorsport Press Association Convention will have support from Winston, NHRA, IRL, NASCAR, Hooters Tour, United Racing Club, Pocono Raceway, Goodyear, Grandview Speedway, Valvoline, Leading Edge Motorsports, 76, and Performance Racing Industry magazine.(12-10-2001)
Earnhardt Tribute Auction: The first fundraising event for the Dale Earnhardt Tribute to be erected in Earnhardt's hometown of Kannapolis, NC surpassed its goal of $10,000. Live and silent auctions pushed the count to over $11,000. Monies raised from other activities at the event have yet to be totaled. More than 80 race items and donations from Kannapolis businesses were auctioned.
(That's Racin'), more info at: Dale Earnhardt Tribute Fund Page(12-9-2001)
Earnhardt Will: Dale Earnhardt willed his estate to his wife, including everything from his NASCAR race teams to the rights to his name and "Intimidator" trademark. Teresa Earnhardt also inherited her husband's numerous business interests, such as his Catawba County Chevrolet dealership, numerous boats and cars and their $300,000 Iredell County home, according to Earnhardt's will on file in Iredell County Superior Court.(Charlote Observer)(12-5-2001)
Voting Over Most Popular - UPDATE 3 - IT IS DALE EARNHARDT and the Award to be named after Elliott: the voting for NASCAR's "Most Popular Driver" award is over. When I hear, it'll be posted, nothing has been announced yet, usually is around the time of the Winston Cup Banquet, which is Nov 30th(see above for info)(11-21-2001) UPDATE: from a RacingOne column by Monte Dutton - "What could be more emblematic of his legacy than the fact he was named the Winston Cup Series’ Most Popular Driver more than nine months after his life had ended?", hmmm...sounds like Earnhardt won?(11-29-2001) UPDATE 2: It was announced that NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award will be named for Bill Elliott, a 15-time winner, after he retires. Elliott took himself out of the running this year in the fan vote in order to make sure somebody else was able to win the honor.(That's Racin'), no OFFICIAL word on the winner of the 2001 Most Popular Driver yet(11-30-2001) UPDATE 3: it was announced during the banquet and within Teresa Earnhardt's appearance and speach, Dale Earnhardt was named MOST POPULAR DRIVER for 2001 and from That's Racin': Earnhardt was named the winner of the National Motorsports Press Association's Most Popular Driver Award, getting more than 56 percent of nearly 400,000 votes cast online on or via the mail. Jeff Gordon, with 14 percent of the votes, was second in the balloting.(no futher results posted)(11-30-2001)
Earnhardt Honored: Dale Earnhardt was named winner of the Myers Brothers Award by the National Motorsports Press Association. The award, named for two of NASCAR's pioneers and presented annually to a person or organization making an outstanding contribution to the sport, was accepted by Dale Earnhardt Jr.(That's Racin')(11-30-2001)
#3 Memorial Decal: has been removed from the site per request of Dale Earnhardt Inc (DEI). These decals will NOT be sold to the public
Travis Tritt Honor: A year ago, a NASCAR fan gave country singer Travis Tritt a black Sam Bass guitar with Dale Earnhardt's likeness on the front. Tritt added it to his collection, but didn't intend to play it. Last week, he decided to begin each performance of his tour by strapping on the guitar and singing a song in memory of Earnhardt, who was killed in a crash at the Daytona 500. He reworked the lyrics to his opening number, "Put Some Drive in Your Country." The final line: "I miss Dale Earnhardt; I wish he was still alive." "Dale's death was extremely disturbing to me and my family," Tritt said after a performance last week. "I met Dale years ago when he called me to tell me that my song 'I'm Going to be Somebody' was a huge inspiration to both him and his son. "I felt that using the special guitar was a wonderful way to honor the memory of my friend."(Charlotte.com/AP)(3-7-2001)
this tribute page(now pages) - covers a lot and has grown quite large. Includes: a Jayski comment; message from the President of the United States; Memorial Services; NASCAR Statement; Official Reactions(teams, drivers, tracks, etc); hundreds of Column/Story Links; Images Tributes/Pages; News on the accident/death; Links to Dale Earnhardt pages, fan pages, sponsors; other driver tribute links.
All in an effort to help the NASCAR Community easily find information about our beloved late hero, Dale Earnhardt....
Jayski Note: one of the few times I will give an opinion - as I have not been a 'fan' of an particular driver since Ernie Irvan retired in 1999, I have since dedicated myself as being a fan of all the drivers and not having a 'favorite' driver. When I started this site over four years ago, I had much more clear cut 'likes' and 'dislikes' for some drivers. As this site grew and I talked with and conversed with team members from just about all the NASCAR teams out there, my 'like' and 'dislike' grew into total respect for ALL the drivers and I can honestly say I like each driver for whatever qualities they possess and don't worry about their bad side too much as we all have a bad day. Before my involvement with NASCAR teams and the start of this site, I didn't care for Dale Earnhardt. I thought he was just some bully redneck on the track. But once I started the site and found out what a neat guy he was, my respect grew for him and all the other drivers too. The thing that impressed me the most about him, was the way he handled himself in the lean years in 1995-1997 when he didn't win much and had the Darlington incident. He showed a lot of class and character and I respected how he handled the 'hard' times. I will fully admit I balled my eyes out when he won the Daytona 500 and I shed tears last night when he was killed. Anyhow, they are my thoughts on the situation, Dale Earnhardt will be missed, by all. One last comment, anyone who blames Sterling Marlin for the accident is, simply, an idiot.
Hall of Fame: Dale Earnhardt must wait five years for consideration by the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, like every other driver. "He’ll be eligible for induction in 2006, and he’ll obviously get in on the first ballot," Hall of Fame executive director Jim Freeman said Tuesday. "But our feeling was that to waive the five-year rule would, in a sense, downgrade all the other people we made wait five years. It’s not something we wanted to do." The Hall of Fame is near Talladega, Ala., and honors drivers from all sides of racing, not just the stock car circuits. More than 80 drivers have been inducted into the Hall, which holds a ceremony each year to add new honorees. Freeman received numerous calls asking that Earnhardt be enshrined immediately, given his stature as one of the top drivers in NASCAR history. The Hall of Fame board met Monday to discuss the issue, and decided not to stray from its original guidelines(Gaston Gazette)(2-21-2001)
SOME CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
1975: First career Winston Cup start came in World 600 on May 25. He finished 22nd.
1979: First career Winston Cup victory came on April 1 at Bristol; named Winston Cup rookie of year.
1980: In only his second full season, won first of seven career Winston Cup titles.
1986: Won second Winston Cup points title.
1987: Won third Winston Cup title after finishing first in 11 races.
1990: Won fourth Winston Cup title.
1991: Won fifth Winston Cup title.
1997: Failed to win a race for the first time in 15 years.
1998: In his 20th attempt, captured Daytona 500 for first time.
1999: Competed against son, Dale Jr., for the first time in a Winston Cup race on May 30 at Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. Earnhardt Sr. finished sixth; his son was 16th.
2000: Picked up last win, taking the Winston 500 at Talladega on Oct. 15.
An Earnhardt Honor by Chevy: Chevrolet has decided to honour racing legend Dale Earnhardt, and has done so by creating a limited edition Monte Carlo in his name. The 2002 Monte Carlo SS Dale Earnhardt Signature Edition makes its debut this month at select high-volume Monte Carlo dealers in the US and Canada, and only 3,333 units will be made.(AutoNet)(10-18-2001)
Earnhardt Tribute in hometown UPDATE: A memorial to racing legend Dale Earnhardt may be in the near future for his hometown. City Council established the Dale Earnhardt Memorial Fund during Monday night's meeting. The memorial will be located in Village Park. It will feature a statue of Earnhardt and a commemorative wall highlighting the Kannapolis native's career. Sam Bass, a motorsports artist, will design the wall. City officials hope to raise $700,000 for the memorial. During Monday's meeting, somecouncil members suggested promoting the fund during race week at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord. Earnhardt grew up in Kannapolis, son of Martha Earnhardt and the late Ralph Earnhardt, an outstanding dirt track track driver. The mayor will head a steering committee which is scheduled to be in place within a week. The committee will oversee the fund-raising effort, select a sculptor for the statue and communicate with the Earnhardt family. Some council members said the Earnhardt family is supportive of the memorial. Contributions can be sent to the City of Kannapolis, c/o the Dale Earnhardt Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1199, Kannapolis, N.C. 28082-1199. All contributions are tax deductible.(Independent News and Charlotte Observer)(5-16-2001) UPDATE: City officials plan to build a memorial that both honors the man who put Kannapolis on the map and provides a place for fans to gather, celebrate and remember the legendary driver. Over the summer, an advisory group selected an Arizona sculptor to create a statue, which will be situated in a 16-acre park downtown. Motorsports artist Sam Bass will design a commemorative wall. City officials estimate the cost at $700,000, which they hope to raise through contributions from Earnhardt's racing fans. Organizers had planned to launch a festive fundraiser during this weekend's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in nearby Concord. But after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, they are toning down efforts. Racing fans will find fliers throughout Kannapolis and at spots around the track, including souvenir trailers.(USA Today)(10-4-2001)
The Earnhardt Memorial Service: was done quite professionally by Fox Sports Net. The one hour show before the service was excellent. Mike Joy and Ken Squier did a great and touching tribute, thanks to both. Fox for the most part showed the service as if the viewer was in the seats at the Cavalry Church. Didn't pan thru the crowd with the exception of showing the crowd as a whole, didn't go for the sensationalism side. The service was shown on Fox Sports Net, TBS, CNN, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News and Fox News Channel. The Memorial Service will NOT be re-aired again, it was just the live airing.(That's Racin' and NASCAR Online)(2-22-2001)
Members of Dale Earnhardt's family had no clue what they were starting when they asked fans to make a charitable donation rather than send flowers to the NASCAR star's funeral. The Foundation For The Carolinas, which oversees the Earnhardt Family Fund, has had to add as many as six temporary staff members to handle the flood of donations since Earnhardt's death Feb. 18. As of Monday, more than 4,260 pieces of mail had been received with cash and checks, as well as 606 donations made by credit card, foundation officials said. No total for money raised has been released yet. All monies donated to the fund will be given to charities recommended by the Earnhardt family. See below for ways to donate(3-7-2001)
Atlanta radio station Eagle 106.7-FM has had more than 13,000 downloads over the last two days on its Web site for three tribute songs to Earnhardt. Every time a person clicks on one of the songs on www.EAGLE1067FM.com, it generates cash that will be turned over to the Carolina's Foundation in Dale's name(2-24-2001)
Michael Waltrip spoke during NASCAR's Press Conference at 3:00pm/et and mentioned instead of flowers, it is requested that donations be sent to: Foundation For The Carolinas
in honor of Dale Earnhardt
PO Box 34769
Charlotte, NC 28234-4769
Racing fans who wish to honor Dale Earnhardt in a very worthwhile and permanent way are invited to make donations for the purchase of new books for the Appalachian State University Library (Norh Carolina) stock car racing collection. The collection is open to both fans and scholars. The books will contain gift plates saying "Donated by (name of donor) in memory of Dale Earnhardt." Gifts in any amount are welcomed. Make checks payable to "Friends of the Library" and mail them to Suzanne Wise, Stock Car Racing Collection, Appalachian State University, Belk Library, Boone, NC 28608-2026. For more information, contact Suzanne Wise at email@example.com
The Lowe's Motor Speedway gift shop is donating all the money it makes on the sale of Earnhardt merchandise to Speedway Children's Charities, which distributes money to about 40 local groups, from the Boy Scouts to children's hospitals.(2-20-2001)
Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
1675 Coddle Creek Highway
Mooresville, NC 28115
Richard Childress Racing
PO Box 1189
236 Industrial Drive
Welcome, NC 27374
Earnhardt Bios: Following the tragic death of Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt on February 18, the Earnhardt organization has found itself quite busy, trying to keep facts straight on the life of the legendary driver. The most recent controversy stems from a number of unauthorized biographies, most of which contain erroneous or false information. While Earnhardt's family and friends feel that no malicious attack was intended, the false information is misleading and contradictory to many of the facts surrounding Earnhardt's life and colorful career. Financial gain has prompted several writers to exploit this American hero. Some have even resorted to creating fictional events to enhance their book's appeal.
Dale Earnhardt Inc. commented on the unauthorized biographies and the potential damage they could do to the Earnhardt legend. The majority of the unauthorized works contain ludicrous content. The primary concern with that is the fact that the fans, who purchase
these books looking to learn more about Dale, are not getting accurate information.
There is a lot of second, third and even fourth-hand information that has been manipulated and dramatized for the sake of generating more sales. DEI management has talked about the issue of these books and the way a great deal of the information is presented. While the number of mistakes in some of these stories is unbelievable, the fact remains that they are just plain wrong. People who were close to him are being upset by some of these tales. The majority of Earnhardt's family and close friends have yet to reflect publicly on the man who influenced the lives of those around him.
Dale's fans are handing over their hard-earned money and being taken advantage of. We all want to remember Dale and share our thoughts on him, and we will when the time comes. In the meantime, we want to make sure the stories surrounding him are correct. So far, there's only a handful of people who have their facts straight and are interested in telling the truth. Our hopes are that the fans remember Dale's commitment to personal integrity and DEI's commitment to accurate and authorized materials and consider that as part of their purchasing practices.(Falgren PR)(11-22-2001)
RCR Sues: Richard Childress Racing, the owner of the late Dale Earnhardt's Winston Cup team, has filed suit in federal court accusing a Charlotte-based company of stealing the design of Earnhardt's former car number and profiting from his Feb. 18 death in a last-lap wreck at the Daytona 500. Barry Baker and Billi Jo McCall Baker and their Heavenly Designs of N.C. Inc. company are named in the lawsuit filed Sept. 13 and reported Friday by Bloomberg News. Earnhardt won six of his seven Winston cup titles while driving for Childress and since 1980 competed in cars bearing a slanted No. 3. The lawsuit accuses the Bakers of selling memorabilia with the number combined with wings and a halo to symbolize Earnhardt's death. "We're going to do what we have to do to protect our rights," Childress said Sunday. "We do have the trademark and the service marks on the stylized 3. We'll do what we have to do to protect that. We've had an unbelievable amount of illegal stuff being made. What we usually do is have a cease-and-desist (order) and that pretty much stops it. We're just trying to protect what Dale and I have built over the years." After being told to stop selling the items, the suit contends, the Bakers modified the design and then incorporated Heavenly Designs on July 11 to continue selling items. "As a result of these unlawful activities, defendants have received substantial profits to which they are not entitled, resulting in corresponding losses to RCR," the lawsuit contends. RCR is seeking a court order recalling infringing items from shelves and blocking future sales, along with any profits, damages and court fees. The racing group also asks that the Bakers be held personally liable for the infringements, saying they set up Heavenly Designs to protect themselves from a lawsuit. No court date has been set to hear the case.(That's Racin')(9-23-2001)
NASCAR Report - August 21st? UPDATE 5 The Location of the Announcement?: The NASCAR report on Dale Earnhardt's fatal accident is expected to be released the week after the Aug. 19 Winston Cup race at Michigan. Word in the garage is that the investigation has been concluded, and the official announcement of findings will be Aug. 21 in Atlanta.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(8-5-2001) UPDATE: NASCAR officials said reports that they planned to announce the results of their Dale Earnhardt investigation in a press conference Aug. 21 in Atlanta might be premature, that they had more tests to run(Winston Salem Journal)(8-6-2001) UPDATE 2: NASCAR will release its report on the crash that killed Dale Earnhardt on Aug. 21 and experts who took part in the investigation will be there to answer questions, a source within the organization has confirmed. A NASCAR source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed on Thursday the news conference will be held in Atlanta at a site still to be determined. Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap crash during the Feb. 18 Daytona 500 and NASCAR hired experts to do an in-depth investigation. NASCAR president Mike Helton has said as many as 54 people have been working on the report. The source said the investigation has helped NASCAR develop a computer model of the Earnhardt crash. The report will also include information from the investigations into the deaths of Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin Jr. and Tony Roper. Among other things, the report is expected to address whether a lap belt was torn, as NASCAR officials have said, and if that contributed to Earnhardt's death. The question has lingered since Earnhardt's widow, Teresa Earnhardt, won a court order sealing the autopsy photos.(That's Racin'/AP)(8-9-2001) UPDATE 3: NASCAR's investigation into the death of driver Dale Earnhardt reveals safety problems in the design of the race cars, according to reliable sources close to the investigation. The sources also said the investigators essentially confirm the findings of the court-appointed independent expert who determined Earnhardt died of a sudden head-whip action when his car hit the wall Feb. 18 in the Daytona 500. The four-month investigation has been the most far-reaching independent inquiry in NASCAR's 52-year history. Multiple sources closely tied to the investigation have revealed some of the findings to the Orlando Sentinel but have requested anonymity. Here are three key points, according to the sources: 1) NASCAR race cars lack sufficient crush resistance in the front ends; 2) Earnhardt's fatal basilar skull fracture will not be blamed on a broken seat belt; and 3) Emergency medical technician Tommy Propst might have incorrectly concluded that Earnhardt's lap belt was intact when he arrived at the crash scene. The two major organizations spearheading the investigation, sources say, are Biodynamic Research Corp. of San Antonio and the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Both groups are outside the immediate NASCAR family of racing teams and suppliers.(Orlando Sentinel)(8-10-2001) UPDATE 4: Our investigation is on schedule and we will discuss the results at a press conference once it is complete. Speculation prior to that time serves no useful purpose. We believe that this investigation is one of the most thorough and comprehensive in the history of motorsports and we are confident that the results will speak for themselves.(NASCAR PR) UPDATE 5: hearing the announcment/press conference will be held at the CNN Center in Atlanta OR the Hyatt downtown near the CNN Center(8-11/12-2001)
Dale Jr Believes Broken Seat Belt UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. says in an interview in the September issue of "Playboy" magazine that he believes his father's seat belt broke in the crash that killed Dale Earnhardt in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. "He had an impact with the steering wheel," Earnhardt Jr. says. "That means the seat belt had broken, or he couldn't have been that far forward. That's a long way - you could hit your chin on the wheel, maybe, but not your chest. He had broken ribs from the wheel and that has to mean a broken belt." Earnhardt's autopsy showed broken ribs on his left side, but questions about a separated seat belt's role in his crash on the final lap in this season's first race have been argued since that day. NASCAR is expected to issue its report on the crash sometime next month(That's Racin')(7-27-2001) UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains convinced that a broken seat belt led to the injuries that killed his father, seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, in the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. "Three days after the accident, I was already sure of what was going on," Earnhardt Jr. said Saturday, one day after the Orlando Sentinel published a story in which its sources speculated on the contents of NASCAR's investigation into the tragedy.(That's Racin')(8-12-2001)
Earnhardt Honored: The Legislature honored the family of Dale Earnhardt on Tuesday by approving a resolution praising the late NASCAR driver and his contributions to his home state of North Carolina. Earnhardt's mother, Martha, and daughter, Kelly, sat in the House and Senate galleries as lawmakers heaped praise upon the seven-time Winston Cup champion killed Feb. 18 in a crash during the Daytona 500(News and Observer/AP)(7-11-2001)
Paramedic Convinced Seatbelt Broke: The paramedic who crawled into Dale Earnhardt's car after his fatal crash at the Daytona 500 is convinced of a seat-belt failure -- most likely upon the car's impact with the concrete wall -- after participating in a re-enactment of the crash scene. Patti Dobler said she reached her conclusion after meeting with experts retained by NASCAR in Hickory, N.C., for the re-enactment. (See full story at the CNN/SI Site)(7-7-2001)
#3 Will Not be Retired: Despite overwhelming public sentiment, it is unlikely NASCAR Winston Cup series car number ``3'' ever will be retired. The number synonymous with the late Dale Earnhardt currently belongs to Richard Childress, whose team included Earnhardt's trademark black Chevrolet. As long as No. 3 remains in Childress' possession, it almost certainly will be directly associated only with the Earnhardt name. NASCAR owns all of the numbers and determines on a yearly basis which teams will use them. The only imaginable scenario involving the appearance of No. 3 on a Winston Cup car would be if Dale Earnhardt Jr. some day drove for Childress. Undoubtedly, if NASCAR wanted to retire the number as a tribute, Childress would be open to the idea. But it is doubtful NASCAR will make such a decision; the famous No. 43 of Richard Petty, for example, remains active and owned by Petty. NASCAR's policy is to not retire numbers. For now, ``3'' safely is in Childress' possession and, with NASCAR's approval, was placed in moratorium for a year. ``We will never run a No. 3 black Goodwrench [car] again,'' Childress said. ``We may run a No. 3 car again some day.''(Tampa Tribune)(7-3-2001)
Earnhardt Accident Investigation on Schedule: As the Winston Cup series prepares to make its first appearance Saturday at Daytona International Speedway since the death of star Dale Earnhardt in the season-opening Daytona 500, NASCAR President Mike Helton said Tuesday the sanctioning body's investigation into Earnhardt's accident remains on schedule for completion in August.(That's Racin')(7-3-2001)
Earnhardt's Seat Belt UPDATE: The lap belt worn by Dale Earnhardt when he crashed on the final lap of the Daytona 500 was torn, a police report said Friday. After the crash Feb. 18, NASCAR said a broken seat belt was discovered in the car and might have played a role in the death of the seven-time Winston Cup champion. Investigators told The News-Journal of Daytona Beach they examined Earnhardt's wrecked Chevrolet and its belt system on May 29 just outside Charlotte, N.C., where NASCAR took the car for safe-keeping while the probe continued. Detective Sgt. Steve Szabo said he found the original lap belt in two pieces with torn fibers. He said NASCAR president Mike Helton then used a pocket knife to cut another belt that was the same model, manufactured by Simpson Performance Products. Szabo examined both belts. "The cut belt did not have any similarity to the belt ends that were involved in the crash," Szabo wrote in a report obtained by the newspaper. Szabo determined Earnhardt's belt had torn in the area where it is adjusted for tightness.(That's Racin')(6-9-2001)
Kerry Wins: Kerry Earnhardt, oldest son of the late Dale Earnhardt won the ARCA race at Michigan. ''This means a lot to me,'' Kerry Earnhardt said of his second career ARCA victory. ''I think Dad was right here with me.'' After crossing the finish line in his black #2 Chevrolet, Earnhardt turned his car around for a backward victory lap and raised three fingers out the window to honor his father, who was killed in an accident on the final turn of the Daytona 500 in February(AJC)(6-10-2001)
Earnhardt's Helmet: A doctor who tried to save Dale Earnhardt's life testified this week that he wanted to inspect the stock-car driver's helmet to help get the "big picture" of how he died but NASCAR officials said they didn't have it. Dr. Steve Bohannon, an emergency room doctor who works part-time at Daytona International Speedway, also said no one asked him to look at Earnhardt's autopsy photos. But after going to see them, he reported his findings to NASCAR President Mike Helton. Bohannon said he was paid $3,200 to cover lost hospital wages during a trip to North Carolina where he viewed Earnhardt's car -- four days after the driver's death Feb. 18 during the Daytona 500. He said NASCAR showed him a "very stretched and stressed" seatbelt in the car. One day later, he attended a press conference where NASCAR officials said the belt had failed.(Orlando Sentinel)(6-9-2001)
Counterfeit Earnhardt Story: Almost four months have passed since Dale Earnhardt was killed at Daytona, and Joe Hedrick and Chris Williams are busy fending off bootleggers, folks quick to make a buck pushing unauthorized Earnhardt stuff. Hedrick is director of licensing for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI). Williams oversees track sales for Action Performance Companies, which holds trademark and merchandising rights to more than 20 of NASCAR's leading drivers -- including Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon. See Full story at CNN/SI: Bootleg breakdown - Fight to curb counterfeit Earnhardt goods a daunting task. ANDWhat can you do? If you want to avoid buying counterfeit Dale Earnhardt or other NASCAR goods, it's probably best to shop traditional outlets and official trailers at the racetrack. Also, check the "Officially Licensed'' hang tags and taglines. On apparel such as hats, jackets and sweats, Chase Authentics and Competitors View are the brands primarily endorsed by top drivers. Specific unauthorized Earnhardt products on the market include: T-shirts, plaques, stickers and other items with "1951-2001" scripted on them. If you have any questions or think you may have bought a knock-off item, you can call 1-888-863-7283.(6-4-2001)
Reenactment of Accident? UPDATE 3: hearing that NASCAR did a reinactment of Dale Earnhardt's crash Tuesday, that is all I know at present(5-30-2001) UPDATE: word is that a recreation of the accident was done, speculation has it that it was done using computer models but there has been no confirmation about the tests. PRN reports that Sled testing has already been done simulating the crash force Dale Earnhardt hit the wall at Daytona. Lap belts were configured per the seat belt manufacturer instructions and didn't break, but did tear when in a variation used by many drivers(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(6-1-2001) UPDATE 2: CNNSI.com has learned NASCAR investigators conducted a re-enactment of the scene of the crash that killed Dale Earnhardt. They did so despite the absence of paramedic Tommy Propst, who said Earnhardt’s lap belt wasn't broken in the wreck. The other paramedics participated in the re-enactment within the past two weeks(CNN/SI)(6-2-2001) UPDATE 3: NASCAR has released no details of its testing at Hickory Speedway last Tuesday and Wednesday, at which it tried to recreate some aspects of Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash at Daytona. NASCAR has also released no information about any computer simulations of the Earnhardt crash as based on its GPS data from the car.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-5-2001)
Earnhardt Crash Investigation: The accident that killed Dale Earnhardt did not justify a more thorough investigation, Police Chief Kenneth Small says, acknowledging the controversy surrounding the death of the NASCAR racing legend. Small said his Daytona Beach department was far too busy dealing with serious crimes to devote more resources to an accident investigation. Asked whether his department's investigation of the Feb. 18 accident on the last turn of the Daytona 500 should have been more thorough, Small's answer was an emphatic, "No."(much more to the story at the Orlando Sentinel)(5-29-2001)
Lawsuit? The likelihood of Dale Earnhardt's family filing a wrongful death lawsuit against NASCAR is doubtful, because the driver signed an entry form before the Daytona 500 stating that he knew and understood the risks of racing. The form, signed by all race participants when they enter the tracks, protects NASCAR and track owners from legal action in the case of injury or death. Teresa Earnhardt, Dale's widow, has given no indication that she's considering a lawsuit. But on Tuesday, an attorney for the University of Florida's student newspaper suggested that NASCAR officials may have convinced her to have autopsy photos sealed to protect the sanctioning body from legal action. NASCAR has been sued at least twice in recent years over deaths on the tracks, but in both cases the sanctioning body prevailed in court. J.D. McDuffie's widow filed a $4.25 million suit after McDuffie was killed in a race at Watkins Glen in 1991. A U.S. district judge in New York threw out the suit, saying McDuffie, "was well aware of the dangers associated with auto racing." The family of Rick Baldwin, who was fatally injured in practice for a Winston Cup race at Michigan Speedway in 1986, sued NASCAR for $150 million. They alleged that NASCAR was negligent because the window net on Baldwin's car did not prevent his head from hitting the wall when the car crashed. A jury decided in NASCAR's favor.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(5-18-2001)
Seatbelt News: An Orange County(FL) firefighter will not recreate his efforts to unlatch Dale Earnhardt's seat belt at the Daytona 500 because NASCAR would not allow it to be videotaped, his lawyer said Thursday. NASCAR lawyers had asked firefighter Tommy Propst to participate in the recreation after he disclosed that Earnhardt's seat belt appeared to be intact after the driver hit a wall at the Daytona International Speedway. The racing organization, which is investigating the fatal accident, contends that Earnhardt's left lap belt broke during the Feb. 18 crash. NASCAR has not displayed the belt publicly, however.(Orlando Sentinel)(5-11-2001)
more Investigation Controversy: Two months ago, a Daytona Beach judge appointed Barry Myers, a Duke University biomechanical engineer, to study autopsy photos and render an independent report on what killed Earnhardt. Now, some medical and legal experts question Myers' theory that Earnhardt died of a violent whiplash that cracked his skull. And they say the expert's ties to General Motors, sponsor of Earnhardt's #3 Chevrolet, impaired his ability to appear independent. GM and other car makers have retained Myers as an expert witness to defend lawsuits. Myers declined to be interviewed but said in a written statement he stood by the independence and accuracy of his report. GM also said in a statement it is not a party to the debate(That's Racin')(5-10-2001)
No Coverup: NASCAR president Mike Helton issued a statement to the media Friday at Richmond, following a meeting with Winston Cup drivers and team owners to answer their questions about the on-going investigation into Dale Earnahrdt's death in a crash at Daytona on Feb. 18.(That's Racin')(5-4-2001)
NASCAR Lawyers meet with firefighter: NASCAR attorneys met Thursday with an Orange County firefighter who says the driver’s seat belt did not break during a crash at the Daytona 500. During a 75-minute meeting at the firehouse where he works, Tommy Propst continued to insist that he found Earnhardt’s seat belts intact after the #3 Chevy hit the concrete wall of Daytona International Speedway. "He was interrogated, and he told the exact same story he has always told," said his attorney, Elizabeth Faiella of Winter Park. "They believe Tommy is telling the truth, but that he’s mistaken that the belt is not severed." Controversy about the belt and whether it broke occupied NASCAR lawyers in Orlando and Daytona Beach on Thursday. While two interrogated Propst, another blocked an attempt by seat-belt maker Bill Simpson to win an apology from NASCAR officials he accuses of maligning his product.(Orlando Sentinel)(5-4-2001)
NASCAR Invetigation: According to an insider, NASCAR is putting together the structure of its four-month investigation into the crash that killed seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt and what can be done to prevent future fatalities. Much of the scientific research is being done by the three manufacturers that participate in the Winston Cup Series: General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler. One of the manufacturers is concentrating on front-chassis rigidity, another is working on new protective measures in the driver compartment, and the third is concentrating on the field of side impacts.(Gaston Gazette)(4-22-2001)
Seat Belt Cut? on Friday's RPM 2Night(ESPN2) and the ESPN Site, it is being reported that - Bill Simpson claims a fan has come forward with video showing Earnhardt being cut from his seat belt. Simpson, founder and chairman of Simpson Performance Products, which made the seat belt Earnhardt was wearing during his deadly crash at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, told ESPN radio's Jack Arute that a fan sent him the video of the crash. According to Simpson, he believes the video shows that an EMT cut the seat belt. "Since this whole thing has surfaced and since NASCAR did their press conference, there's a spectator that has come foward with videotape and it clearly shows an EMT getting into the car with a knife – and that's what it looked like to me – like it had been cut," said Simpson. "I have a copy of it now and it's out being enhanced at the moment." After Dale Earnhardt died at Daytona, NASCAR reported that a broken seat belt was discovered in Earnhardt's car. But, earlier this week, an independent doctor who viewed autopsy photos made the claim that a broken seat belt did not cause Earnhardt's death.(ESPN)(4-14-2001)
More Seat Belt News: The physician who said a faulty seat belt might have been responsible for Dale Earnhardt's death at the Daytona 500 admits that he was quick in blaming the restraint system. "I was trying to answer the questions the media and the public had to the best of my ability and I think I speculated more than I should have," Dr. Steve Bohannon told The News-Journal of Daytona Beach on Wednesday. "Sometimes you should just say it's too early to speculate." Bohannon, the director of emergency medical services at Daytona International Speedway, withdrew his assumption after a court-appointed medical expert said restraint failure didn't play a role in Earnhardt's death Feb. 18.(That's Racin'/AP)(4-12-2001)
Earnhardt Crash Info UPDATE 3 - Ford to Join: NASCAR remains tight-lipped about the progress of its investigation of the Daytona 500 crash which killed legend Dale Earnhardt. NASCAR officials say the matter is complex, and that definite answers may be a couple months off(SpeedVision)(4-8-2001) UPDATE: NASCAR officials are expected to release an update on the Dale Earnhardt crash this week, possibly today(Richmond Times Dispatch) UPDATE 2: In a Monday afternoon teleconference, NASCAR officials announced their investigation of the Feb. 18 Daytona 500 crash that took Dale Earnhardt's life included a reconstruction of the accident and would likely last until August.(That's Racin')(4-9-2001) UPDATE 3: At least one automobile manufacturer, Ford, apparently will participate in the "comprehensive accident-reconstruction review" proposed by NASCAR in its "safety update" Monday.(SpeedVision)(4-11-2001)
President Bush meets with the Earnahrdts: To a round of cheers, President Bush arrived on Air Force One at the North Carolina Air National Guard terminal near Charlotte/Douglas International Airport about 10:15 Wednesday morning, the first president to visit Charlotte in five years. Bush stepped off the presidential jet alone, and met briefly with the family of late NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt. He kissed and embraced Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, and shook the hands of Dale Jr., Kerry and daughters Kelley and Taylor. The Earnhardts were given a tour of Air Force One after Bush spent 13 minutes shaking hands and signing autographs for about 100 Air National Guard personnel and their families. The Earnhardt family spent about 50 minutes touring Air Force One. At one point, family members were seen inside the plane's cockpit, sitting in the pilot's seat. As they emerged, the family posed for pictures with crew members and Air National Guard members(That's Racin')(4-11-2001)
Questions on the Earnhardt probe: More than a month after Dale Earnhardt died at Daytona, the detective leading the death investigation knows little more about how Earnhardt died than he did Feb. 18. From Day 1 of the case, according to the lead investigator, Robert Walker, Daytona Beach police have abandoned previous procedures and blocked detectives from making routine inquiries about the death of Earnhardt. Some points noted in the story: Walke was ordered by a supervisor on the night Earnhardt died not to attend the driver's autopsy or to inspect and photograph the racer's wrecked car; Earnhardt's helmet and racing suit went to his family and have never been examined by police or the Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office; NASCAR never told Walker about the broken seat belt it later blamed for Earnhardt's fatal head injury; Police have done more thorough investigations of previous racing deaths at Daytona. For example, after the 1994 death of racer Rodney Orr at Daytona, Walker attended the autopsy and examined the car.(That's Racin')(3-27-2001)
Earnahrdt Tribute Hats and Decals UPDATE: been asked a ton on this and had no answers - Officials with Richard Childress Racing say the Dale Earnhardt hats worn by drivers and crew members on race day at Rockingham last month were provided by Action Performance. Fans can contact Action Performance about the hats' availability by visiting their Web site for merchandise sales, www.goracing.com, or by calling (800) 342-7612, Monday through Friday, 6:00am to 6:00pm/et. Team spokesman David Hart said there are no plans to reprint the memorial decals that were displayed on the cars during the race at Rockingham(That's Racin')(3-17-2001) Sites: been told of many sites offering the hats, see my Collectible Links Page for links to many, many Collectible/Apparel Sites(3-18-2001) UPDATE: For the first time since the tragic accident in the closing lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. is addressing the issue of souvenirs and merchandise that bear the likeness of seven-time Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt and the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet. As the winningest active driver in the series, Earnhardt led the sport's merchandising efforts by single-handedly commanding 30% of the collectible market. Unfortunately, as witnessed in the untimely demise of other fallen heroes, tragedy can often trigger immoral behavior in the souvenir industry. Joe Hedrick, Director of Licensing at Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI) stated, "We would like to think at a time like this, the souvenir business would be the last thing on anyone's mind. Unfortunately, we've been forced to address this issue and bring it to the attention of the many Dale Earnhardt fans across the country who are being exploited by those who are merely trying to profit from this tragic situation. We want to assure the fans of Dale Earnhardt and Richard Childress Racing that there will be an adequate supply of Official Licensed souvenirs and collectible in the future. Dale Earnhardt, Inc is looking forward to honoring his life and career and will do it in a very honorable way. That is what Dale would want", stated Hedrick. In the mean time, DEI is urging fans to be very selective in what they purchase and what is being offered for sale. At this point in time, there are no official products "In Memorial" to Dale. Any products that promote or memorialize his passing are not the wishes of the family and have not been authorized. Specific unauthorized products that have been witnessed for sale are: T-shirts, Plaques, Stickers, and other various items that have placed the "1951-2001" script somewhere on the item. DEI would also like to inform fans to be very discriminating on purchasing autographed items. "We have witnessed many forgeries on some of the larger auction sites on the Internet," added Hedrick. "To help fans determine what is officially licensed, they should look for "Officially Licensed" hangtags and taglines. On apparel, Chase Authentics and Competitors View are the only brands endorsed by Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. To help police any unauthorized activity, fans may call 1-877-337-3600 (corrected) to report any manufactures or retailers that might be involved with this appalling behavior. Hedrick went on to conclude, "Dale Earnhardt took all the necessary measures before his death to protect his rights now and for many years to come. DEI is going to keep those rights intact and will continue enforcing those rights in a manner that would make Dale proud".(Champion Sports PR)(3-20-2001)
#3 to Return? NASCAR.com Buzz for today reports that Richard Childress said Tuesday that he was unsure about the future of the black No. 3 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, as driven by the late Dale Earnhardt. The car, arguably the most beloved number and paint scheme in NASCAR history, won't be run the rest of this year, but Childress hasn't ruled out running it in the future(NASCAR.com)(3-20-2001)
Seat Belt Blamed: Steve Hmiel, team manager for Dale Earnhardt Inc., has seen the car and the broken seat belts from Dale Earnhardt's car at Daytona and says he believes the broken belt led to the death of his boss(Dale Earnhardt)(SpeedVision)(3-18-2001)
Seat Belt News: NASCAR may be close to solving the mystery of Dale Earnhardt's broken seat belt, but officials have provided no new information amid widespread speculation about what killed its biggest star. Earnhardt was killed in a crash on the last lap of the Feb. 18 Daytona 500 when his car slammed nose-first into the turn-four wall. Five days later, NASCAR officials revealed that they found a broken seat belt in Earnhardt's car. They said only that the belt came apart, however, and have refused to divulge further details or speculate on what might have caused the belt to break. Though sources say NASCAR is having the lap belt analyzed by an outside consulting firm, NASCAR President Mike Helton declined to confirm or deny that March 2. Helton said NASCAR still has Earnhardt's car and continues to investigate the crash. He said it has no time table for concluding its investigation.(Winston Cup Scene/need subscription to read)(3-8-2001)
Some Earnhardt Publishing News: Late last week, Broadway Books won the auction to pay Sports Illustrated senior writer Leigh Montville $200,000 for a bio on the late Dale Earnhardt due out in the fall. Sports Illustrated found that its Feb. 26 issue was selling out - even in the Southeast, where it cranked out an extra 126,000 copies. The 3.2-million mag usually sells an average of 89,393 newsstand copies a week, but the Earnhardt issue could easily end up tripling that amount. SI also put out 900,000 copies of a special Dale Earnhardt commemorative issue that went back on press for another 536,000(NY Post)(3-7-2001)
a Horse: The tributes continue for Earnhardt. Mark Toothaker and Frank Newman of Van Buren, Ark., have registered a yearling colt with The Jockey Club and named him D E Intimidator. "I listened to or watched all of Dale Earnhardt's races, and he was always my favorite driver," Toothaker says. "We just thought this would be a nice way to pay tribute to him."(USA Today)(3-9-2001)
A BIG 3: When Dale Earnhardt died, race fans congregated by the thousands -- in person and in cyberspace -- to share in the grieving process. They wrote songs, poems and talked of their first-hand encounters with The Intimidator. Fifty-four-year-old Jim Hunt of Cocoa, Fla., went into his back yard to do something "selfish."
Hunt, a self-employed insurance repair contractor who entertains NASCAR race team members each year during Speedweeks at Daytona, tilled a 353-foot "3" in a low-lying grassy area of his property with the help of two employees.(3-6-2001)
Earnhardt #6 on Forbes: Dale Earnhardt, killed two weeks ago in the Daytona 500, came in sixth on the Forbes Magazine's list of the highest paid athletes for the year 2000 with $24.5 million. First was Formula One driving champion Michael Schumacher with $59 million in earnings. the other top five: Tiger Woods(golf), Mike Tyson(boxing), Michael Jordan(retired-NBA) and Grant Hill(NBA)(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-2-2001)
Lap Belt Broken UPDATE 5 another driver hurt?: The lap belt in Dale Earnhardt's #3 Chevy was broken when examined after the Daytona 500 crash that took the seven-time champion's life, NASCAR officials said Friday. NASCAR president Mike Helton said threads on the left side of Earnhardt's lap belt were separated. "We don't know how, when or where, yet. We will continue our investigation," he said. Dr. Steve Bohannon, one of the doctors examining Earnhardt on Sunday, said the broken belt could have caused Earnhardt's body to be thrown forward and to the right, sending him flying into the steering wheel. Bohannon said Earnhardt might have hit his face on the steering wheel, causing the major head injury that killed him. The doctor said he was not sure if the HANS restraint device would have helped prevent the injuries. But, he said, a full-face helmet might have been beneficial. Earnhardt wore an open-face model(That's Racin') UPDATE: an updated story at CNN/SI - According to Earnhardt's car owner Richard Childress, who was also present Friday morning, both the car and the seat belt were virtually brand new, built last November. According to Helton and Nelson, as well as officials at the belt company, last Sunday's failure was the first example of any such event in the 52-year history of NASCAR. Both Helton and Nelson refused to offer any ideas whatsoever as to what could possibly cause such an event(can also watch the Press Conferences there via your PC)(CNN/SI)(2-23-2001) UPDATE 2: The New York Daily News reports: Dale Earnhardt altered the seat belt in his #3 Chevy during last week's Daytona 500, possibly playing a hand in his death on the final lap of the race. NASCAR officials said yesterday that Earnhardt was found with a broken seat belt after the wreck in which he was killed instantly. However, one source who saw the car after the wreck told the Daily News the seat belt failure was because of alterations to the safety harness ordered by Earnhardt, not because of a design flaw or failure of the mechanism(NY Daily News) from CNN/SI: Defending their belt - Belt manufacturer: NASCAR shifting blame(2-24-2001) UPDATE 3: Mike Helton said there was no additional conclusive information about the "separated" seat belt found in Earnhardt's car after the wreck at Daytona. But the issue continues to create speculation around the garage area. Rusty Wallace, one of the drivers who has seen the separated belt and Earnhardt's wrecked car, told reporters that he believes the problem was not in the belt itself but in how it was installed(That's Racin')(2-25-2001) UPDATE 4 Lap Belt Inspection: NASCAR officials confirmed Monday they sent Dale Earnhardt's seat belt out for expert analysis to figure out why the belt separated during the Feb 18th Daytona 500. NASCAR will announce the results of the analysis perhaps by week's end, officials said.(That's Racin')(2-27-2001) UPDATE 5 David Hutchins, 29, is still recovering from an accident he was in at the Seekonk Speedway on June 17. He believes he was hurt so badly in the accident because his seat belt, made by the same manufacturer(Simpson) as the one Earnhardt used, broke. Hutchins said the seat belt gave way over his left leg, the same place NASCAR officials said Earnhardt’s seat belt came apart. As a result, he said, the force from the accident caused him to move forward, trapping him beneath the dash and throwing some of his body into the steering wheel. Brian Cunha and Associates have filed a lawsuit against Simpson Performance Products Inc., the Texas company that makes the seat belts, on Hutchins’ behalf. The suit was mailed to the U.S. District Court in Boston on Tuesday. See the full story at the Herald News: Race tragedy might have been avoidedAND from the Providence Journal: A safety harness nearly identical to the one that Dale Earnhardt was wearing when he was killed in the Daytona 500 allegedly failed during a collision at Seekonk Speedway last June. The driver in the Seekonk crash, Dave Hutchins, filed a suit Tuesday against the harness manufacturer, claiming that he suffered fractures in both legs because the waist belt's nylon webbing snapped when his car hit the wall at Seekonk Speedway(in Massachusetts a 1/3 mile asphalt track)(3-1-2001)
Movie Rights? A column by Liz Smith reports that actor Tom Cruise is rumored interested in snapping up movie rights to the life of Dale Earnhardt, recently killed in a crash at the Daytona 500(Page 6)(3-1-2001)
Donna Walker, owner of Team Walker Motorsports, and her team will pay tribute to Dale Earnhardt in the NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway's Bullring on Wednesday, February 28th with a car painted in Earnhardt's signature color and style. The #45 Ringers, Ron's Rear Ends, NAPA Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston West Series driven by Sean Woodside will be painted black especially for this event, and will be lettered using the same style as Earnhardt's race car. The NAPA Auto Parts 300 will be televised tape delayed on Fox Sports Net,
time and date to be determined.(2-23-2001)
Earnhardt Postage Stamp? How active are Dale Earnhardt fans on the Web? A site that exists for creating and hosting petitions lists six for Earnhardt among its top 25 (three in the top 10). They include retiring Earnhardt's #3, putting #3 on the pace car, placing Earnhardt's likeness on a postage stamp and renaming a section of Tennessee's Route 11 East, which leads to Bristol Motor Speedway, after Earnhardt. Other petitions on the site call for a congressional investigation into the actions of the submarine USS Greenville and an international protection force for Palestinians. The top two Earnhardt items rank No. 1 and No. 2 on the list(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(2-27-2001)
Earnhardt License Plate News: On the morning of Dale Earnhardt's death on the last lap of the Daytona 500, the racing legend's staff and West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles officials were finalizing details for filming a March promotional video, featuring the NASCAR icon and Gov. Bob Wise. The March shooting appearance was to take place at Earnhardt's Charlotte, N.C., racing headquarters. A 30-second television spot was planned to boost sales for the DMV's NASCAR series of custom license plates and collectors' plates, and a similar, minutelong tape was to be played on video monitors in DMV customer services offices. Following Earnhardt's death, DMV officials contacted the racing legend's business partners and family members at Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Richard Childress Racing, to determine the most appropriate course to take concerning the sale of the plate. See more at the Charleston Gazette: Earnhardt plates still available (2-25-2001)
Retire #3? UPDATE 2: Fox Sports Net National Sports Night reported that NASCAR is considering retiring the #3 of Dale Earnhardt(2-19-2001) UPDATE: #3 Team Owner, Richard Childress announced that, with NASCAR's cooperation, the #3 that he owns would be placed on a "one year moratorium" but that a black #3 GM Goodwrench car would never again appear in competition. A NASCAR official said the #3's car owner points from the 2000 season, which are used in the first four races this year to determine provisional starting positions, would transfer to the #29 car. The points Earnhardt earned for RCR in the Daytona 500, where he finished 11th would transfer to the 29 as well(NOL)(2-23-2001) UPDATE 2: Richard Childress Racing will not run a #3 race car for the remainder of the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series and will never again run a #3 black race car. "We're going to put the number "3" under a one-year moratorium and not run the number "3" on anything," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing Enterprises, Inc. "We will never run a black #3 car again. We may run another "3" car again some day because we have 28 years invested in it at RCR but we will never run a black #3 car again. "Junior Johnson made the number "3" famous in his day and Ray Fox made the number famous before that. NASCAR does not retire numbers. They would like to see us keep the number and will work with us to make that happen."(RCR PR)(2-24-2001)
Childress to take a lap? UPDATE 2 No: Rumor has it in the garage that Cup team owners (#3 and #'s 29,30,31) Richard Childress could take a lap in the black #3 Chevy at some point this weekend(NASCAR Online Buzz)(2-23-2001) UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt's black #3 Chevrolet will make its final lap around the race track before being retired. According to Earnhardt team sponsor and "Realtree Outdoors" owner Bill Jordan, the trademark black car driven by "The Intimidator" will make its final appearance at Rockingham, NC, this weekend. The car will be driven for one final tribute lap around the track prior to Sunday's DuraLube 400. Childress would like to drive the car himself. But if the emotion of driving it becomes too much, he'll have driver Dave Marcis of the Realtree team handle it. Earnhardt's black car color scheme is to be retired after the tribute lap(Charleston Gazette) UPDATE 2: it was decided not to run the #3 car on a parade lap around Rockingham as the Earnhardt family didn't feel they were ready to see it on the track so soon(ESPN2's RPM 2Day)(2-25-2001)
Dale Jr will race at the Rock as will Stewart: Dale Earnhardt Jr., still coping with the death of his father in last Sunday's Daytona 500, will race this weekend at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC, the Dale Earnhardt Inc. team announced Tuesday. Tony Stewart, who suffered a mild concussion and a bruised left shoulder in a 19-car accident earlier in the race, also will race a spokesman for Stewart said.(ESPN)(2-20-2001)
Earnahrdt Killed UPDATE 2 - AUTOPSY: Seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, 49, was killed in a last-lap wreck involving Ken Schrader on the backstretch while a car that he owned, driven by Michael Waltrip, won the race. He was pronounced dead at Halaifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. UPDATE AUTOPSY: An autopsy on race car legend Dale Earnhardt conducted Monday morning revealed he died of blunt force trauma to the head, county officials said. Dave Byron of the Volusia County Communication Division said Earnhardt's death was being treated as a "motor vehicle accident." Byron said toxicology was not expected to be involved.(CNN/SI)(2-19-2001) UPDATE 2: more results from the Autopsy - Monday, Earnhardt's body was taken to the medical examiner's office for a routine autopsy after he was pronounced dead at the hospital. His personal belongings - a pair of black socks, a racing suit, black gloves, his helmet, underwear and racing boots - were returned to his wife, Teresa. The report showed that when his race car smashed into a concrete wall at an estimated 180 mph, it broke eight ribs, his left ankle and his breastbone. There were several scrapes on his body. He had blood in his ears and chest and partially collapsed lungs(That's Racin') and Earnhardt had a skull fracture that ran from the front to the back of his head, according to the autopsy. The impact also fractured his sternum, eight ribs on the left side and his left ankle. The report said there was a blow to the back of the head, but did not indicate any broken neck vertebrae. The final autopsy report will not be available for several weeks, pending the completion of routine blood and toxicology tests. Earnhardt's body was released to the family on Monday afternoon after going to a local funeral home(AJC)(2-20-2001)
SAD NEWS - Dale Earnhardt Dies at Daytona: from the AP/MSNBC - Seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt died from injuries suffered in a crash on the final lap of Daytona 500 on Sunday. He was 49.
from That's Racin': Seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, 49, was killed in a last-lap wreck involving Ken Schrader on the backstretch while a car that he owned, driven by Michael Waltrip, won the race. He was pronounced dead at Halaifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. Waltrip's win was his first in 463 Winston Cup starts. Dale Earnhardt Jr.finished second. And see a story at: NASCAR Online - The announcement was made at 7:00pm/et by NASCAR President Mike Helton.(That's Racin') and SpeedVision. Earnhardt is survived by his wife, Teresa; two sons, Dale Jr. and Kerry, and two daughters, Kelly and Taylor Nicole. Condolences go out to Earnhardt's family, friends and fans(2-18-2001)
The initial Reports of the accident: from NASCAR Online - Dale Earnhardt reportedly was unconscious when he was cut from his #3 Chevy after an accident in the Daytona 500 with less than two laps remaining. He was immediately transported to Halifax, less than one-mile from the speedway. There was no official update on Earnhardt’s condition at 5:15pm/et, otherwise, no word on Dale Earnahrdt's condition, will post if/when I hear something(2-18-2001 - 5:50pm/et) UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt was taken to the hospital after a crash Sunday on the final lap of Daytona 500 and believed to be badly hurt. "It's serious," said NASCAR spokeswoman Danielle Humphrey, who had no further details on the condition of the 49-year-old driver.(That's Racin'/AP)(2-18-2001 - 6:35pm/et)