Tribute To Dale Earnhardt

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorJunior High, 9th grade April 2001

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When people think of great sports figure numbers, the numbers, 23, 66, 21, and a few other pop up. When I think of a sports number, mine is 3. If you know anything about NASCAR racing this number is anywhere you go. Dale Earnhardt was killed on the last turn of the last lap of the Daytona 500 on Sunday. How it happened was he was running the block for both his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his other car that he owned driven by Michael Waltrip. This incident was very ironic because Earnhardt is the type of person who always goes for the victory. In this case, he gave Waltrip his first victory in 463 starts on the NASCAR circuit. Earnhardt was the most colorful driver in NASCAR history. With 7 Winston Championships, 34 victories and Daytona, and 76 all time wins, he is a figure that will never be forgotten.

I was born in 1979, the same year that Earnhardt started in NASCAR, and ever since I can remember, he was always my favorite driver. I used to sit with my dad every Sunday and watch the races with him.

Earnhardt was more than a driver; he was an artist. Watching him draft cars and then slingshot them going around the last turn to take the checkered flag is one of the most amazing things I have ever saw. He was known as the intimidator, he drove a black Chevrolet Monte Carlo and when you saw him coming, you knew something was going to happen.

Coming from a racing family, I have witnessed many types of accidents both at Drag Races and NASCAR races. Many times the drivers walk away unharmed but there are the few times that they don't. Earnhardt's death has put a hole in my heart that I will never forget. He died how he lived, doing what brought him happiness, racing a stock car.

In closing, I would like to use a saying that NASCAR drivers live and die by: When in doubt, stand on it. That's the way he did it. Always. Goodbye Dale Earnhardt, even though you are gone, you will never be forgotten.