February 18, 2001 – Dale Earnhardt dies at Daytona 500

It was the final lap of the February 18, 2001 Daytona 500. Michael Waltrip would cross the finish line followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr, just seconds after the elder Earnhardt made contact with Sterling Marlin, causing him to collide with Ken Schrader and subsequently sending the number 3 car head on into the outside wall of Daytona International Speedway. One of NASCAR’s greatest drivers to ever live would be pronounced dead hours later. During an autopsy it was found that Dale Earnhardt Sr. died instantly due to blunt force trauma. Dale Sr., born Ralph Dale Earnhardt Sr., began his NASCAR career at the 1975 World 600. Throughout his career he would win a total of 76 races and seven Winston Cup Championships, tying him for first place in for most championships won with Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson. Earnhardt in the No. 3 car By Darryl Moran – originally posted to Flickr as Dale Earnhardt: Nascar Photography By Darryl Moran, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10235308 Dale Earnhardt 10th Anniversary Daytona 500 win Chevy Impala COT – By Freewheeling Daredevil https://flic.kr/p/4s7uk5 CC2.0

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