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KLJ
02-18-01, 05:25 PM
well, i was rooting for number 3... it appears he may be hurt seriously.. i have to say the race wasn't that great.. i know there were a lot of lead changes which is always good, but i thought the action lacked until that massive wipeout.. waltrip ran a great race and deserves to win..

hell, anybody deserves to win over that d*** jeff gordon..

#1PaFan
02-18-01, 05:44 PM
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt was taken to the hospital after a crash Sunday on the final lap of the 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.

Earnhardt, considered the greatest star of his era and the biggest fan attraction in NASCAR history, had to be cut out of the car.

Earnhardt's son, Dale Jr., left Daytona International Speedway to be with him immediately after teammate Michael Waltrip won the race. The elder Earnhardt owns both cars.

"My heart is hurting right now," Waltrip said in his postrace interview. "I would rather be any place right this moment than here.

"I want to be with him to try to help. It's so painful."

He said he learned of the accident from driver Ken Schrader, a close friend and hunting companion of Earnhardt.

"He came to Victory Lane to give me a heads-up, and that's all I know," Waltrip said before quickly ending his interview. "I haven't been able to find out anything more than Schrader told me.

"I have to go."

The accident happened a half-mile from the finish of the NASCAR season opener when Earnhardt, running fourth, hit Sterling Marlin, hit the wall in the high-banked fourth turn and was smacked hard by Schrader.

"We were three deep and he hit me," Marlin said. "Then he turned around."

It was the second major wreck in five years in the race for Earnhardt. He flipped wildly on the backstretch near the end of the race in 1997 but was not seriously hurt. He came back to win the race the next year on his 20th try.

Earnhardt is the leader among active Winston Cup drivers with 76 career victories.

The crash was not as spectacular as a wreck 25 laps earlier that took out 18 cars. Tony Stewart was injured in that accident, but the track said he did not have life-threatening injuries. Stewart suffered a concussion.

Earnhardt was a factor in the race throughout, and spent the final laps in close proximity to his son and Waltrip, trying to block Marlin. The Dodge driver had just passed Earnhardt, who was trying to get back by him on the low side of the track when there was slight contact that sent his Chevrolet spinning up the 31-degree banking.

It turned to the right and hit the wall, and Schrader could not avoid hitting it.

Both cars slowly began to slide down the banking to the bottom of the track as the rest of the field raced by, but there was no further contact.

Earnhardt Jr. quickly left the postrace celebration for Waltrip, and sprinted to the infield care center to be with his father. It took several minutes to get the elder Earnhardt out of the car, and he was quickly taken to Halifax Hospital.

With his crewmen chanting "DEI, DEI," for Dale Earnhardt Inc., which owns the cars, Waltrip was not immediately aware his boss was injured.

"I think Dale Sr. might have been in an accident," he said. "I hope he's not hurt."

The winner's circle celebration, which usually lasts 30 minutes, was quickly curtailed.

"He wasn't there in Victory Lane, and I didn't know he was hurt," Waltrip said later."

Earnhardt was doing what he does best throughout the race, being the crowd favorite, bumping and drafting throughout the race.

Two days earlier, he nearly crashed during an IROC all-star race, being pushed down into the infield grass by Eddie Cheever.

The race was the season-opening event for NASCAR, which had three driver deaths last year.

Busch Series driver Adam Petty, the grandson of stock-car great Richard Petty, was killed in May in Loudon, N.H., in May. Two months later, Winston Cup driver Kenny Irwin also was killed at New Hampshire International Speedway.

NASCAR truck series driver Tony Roper was killed in October at Texas Motor Speedway.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/slead.htm

KLJ
02-18-01, 06:01 PM
earnhardt has just died.. i don't know what to say..

flyankgrrrl
02-18-01, 06:02 PM
Dale Earnhardt has died.
This is exactly why I hate car racing. No one should have to die for a sport...:(

MrJack
02-18-01, 06:18 PM
I'm not a NASCAR fan, but I hate to see any sports icon die so suddenly......Truly a tragedy. :(

patrick.o
02-18-01, 06:21 PM
Wow. I just saw the news on ESPN.com. I don't follow racing, but as a sports fan, I knew who drove the #3 car.

Condolances to the Earnhardt family, and to everyone who is suffering from this tragic loss.

bxny
02-18-01, 06:25 PM
That's terrible news, he'll be missed.....

silverdsl
02-18-01, 06:55 PM
This is horrible news. I was watching the race on TV and seeing the crash was absolutely awful because it was pretty clear right away how serious it was. I feel so bad for his family. A very sad day. :(

-Deborah

allybear
02-18-01, 07:26 PM
JP is a huge Earnhardt fan, we have been in a state of shock all evening. I asked him if he wanted to sell our Pocono tickets, but he said no, he wants to go and honor his memory by being there and wearing all his Earnhardt stuff. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children, and his fans throughout the world. I can't even imagine what his fellow drivers felt, all the other guys involved in the accident were old-timers like him, and knew him for most if not all of his career. And his poor son, to come in second and Michael Waltrip to win in a car he owns...my heart goes out to all involved in any way. :(

Lady Jade
02-18-01, 07:40 PM
What a terrible loss!! RIP Dale SR, you will be missed!! My condolences to Dale's family, friends and fans.

Jaycee593
02-18-01, 07:48 PM
Horrible, horrible news! My condolences go to Dale's family and friends. I'm not a big NASCAR fan either, but I knew who he was, and he was truly a legend. He will be missed. :(

Butnud
02-18-01, 08:43 PM
I use to root for Dale. or was it his song? Whatever the case I give all my love and support to the family. They should invest in baseball instead of car car driving. Haven't they learned there lesson yet?

We love you Dale Sr, JR! We will all miss you!

WindRavenX
02-18-01, 08:46 PM
This is why I don't like racing- it's too risky...
What a loss of life :(

#1YankeeLover
02-18-01, 09:30 PM
I'm not a racing fan, but this is awful ... :(:(:(:(:(

-#1YankeeLover

Nome
02-19-01, 07:22 AM
Dale was a very young 49. He was so alive and full of warmth, except when he had a driver in front of him in his sights.

It truly is a tragedy and it will have bad repercussions for the sport. There will be changes. After the 20 car pileup, one driver was visibly angry and lashed out at "those drivers who always cause crashes, they are the same ones time and time again. Something has to be done about them"

Perhaps it is time to have a panel of racing peers to look at bad drivers and then to put them on notice. I am not sure but some action will need to be done.

I will be also at the June Pocono race and the July 7th Pepsi 400 at Daytona. I just ordered those tickets this past weekend. I know that the entire croud at those events will be there with heavy hearts.

JeanC
02-19-01, 10:21 AM
RIP Dale. JP you have my sympathies. What a sad day for Racefans this is.

Ive been a race fan, but Ive been a Yankeefan longer.

My Hubby is a Hoosier so it comes natural to him.

We at one time owned a 95 TBird. Mark Martin at one time was driving one. He's my Favorite Nascar Driver. He was in the 18 car pileup unhurt yesterday.

I was soo excited yesterday I was taping the Race. I told my Hubby this is the Best Way to Start to get out of the Baseball Depressive Offseason! To Welcome the New 2001 Yankee season in. Then this tragedy happened
'
Now its another Sad Day. I just hope the Yankees Brighten it up with the start of Spring Training.

Ya know I got to thinking...That Dale knew his boys were winning so he was kinda of protecting them.. He was having the best time in his life when he left us.. isnt that the way to Go? Yet Sooo Hard for Us to Understand...

The Earnhardt Family Has Our Sympathies

Jeanne (&Gary) C

KLJ
02-19-01, 10:31 AM
he was protecting his flock.. i'm sure he was having the time of his life when he left this world.. i did all of my crying last night and i don't want to start again.. just want to say that earnhardt was a great man and a great driver.. he was like the yankees in many respects... he was the sport..

MrJack
02-19-01, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by KLJ
he was like the yankees in many respects... he was the sport..
I wouldn't be surprised if the aftermath was similar to the post-Michael Jordan NBA hangover.....It's very difficult to overcome the loss of the person that is synonymous with the sport itself.

Butnud
02-19-01, 12:49 PM
Like I said before. He is/was a great man and will be missed.

harley
02-20-01, 10:46 AM
I turned off the race right before it happened ... I am a novice when it comes to NASCAR ... but even I knew who he was ... and that car ... it is an icon ... he is missed. Terribly.

Butnud
02-20-01, 12:37 PM
But then again, the business could msot likely careless about how his family feels. To them it is only a business, but to the family it is a lifetime of dreams and hopes to one day have a member of the family doing something porfessional that he loves to be doing.

Jen!!!
02-20-01, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by JeanC
Ya know I got to thinking...That Dale knew his boys were winning so he was kinda of protecting them.. He was having the best time in his life when he left us.. isnt that the way to Go? Yet Sooo Hard for Us to Understand...

Jeanne (&Gary) C

That's it in a nutshell, Jean...It's not tragic to die doing what you love.

Nome
02-20-01, 02:05 PM
Butnus,

Of all the professional sports, NASCAR is more of a family than any of them. I think you are being unfair and totally incorrect when you say that the heads of NASCAR could care less about Dale's family. From my experience, you couldn't be more wrong.

Yes racing is a business but it is a family that realizes there is a risk, and they do care.

Nome
02-21-01, 08:19 AM
I was quite distressed to read in today's paper that Sterling Martin has been getting a lot of death threats since the accident that cost Dale's life.

Dale was a great competitor and you had to respect him but the accident appeared to have resulted from Dale's attempt to keep the rest of the field from passing him. He was in third place and just coming down from the outside lane to the inside lane when his left read side clipped Marlin's front right causing Dale to spin. Dale then lost control and the car steered towards the wall at almost a right angle directly in front of Kenny Schraeder who couldn't do anything except hit Dale. Kenny's hit caused Dale to hit the wall at about a 60 degree angle instead of a 90 degree angle, either of which would have had the same results.

This was an accident and will happen when you race at 180-200 mph. It was an accident, no one was at fault. If anything Dale himself was the causative effect. No one should be blamed least of all Marlin or Schraeder.

What is WRONG with people who send death threats to Marlin?? I can't understand their thinking.

orangemom
02-23-01, 06:15 AM
I haven't come near this topic because the pain was too horrible. I've been a Dale Earnhardt fan for at least 15 years. One of my most prized possesions is a plaque that I bought from QVC one night when he was on. He was talking about how he was up til 4 AM the morning he signed them, because he and his family had just come back from vacation. There's a little black dot in the middle of the 3 on the roof of the car that looks like he dropped his pen while he was signing it. Someone told my husband we should sell it now, it's worth a fortune. It has far more value to me than any amount of money anyone could give me for it.

I've read the comments about racing being too risky, but that's one of the things that makes the drivers do it. They love the thrill. They, and their families know the dangers, they accept them, and they do the best they can to avoid them. Every once in a while though, it simply isn't possible. No one should blame Sterling Marlin. He was racing. It happens. I have also heard that Rusty Wallace has a lot of doubts about what role he may have played in the whole mess, since he was in the middle of it. I'd like to tell them not to worry. Dale died a happy man, doing what he loved doing more than anything in the world. When he was forced to get out of the car in Indianapolis a couple years ago because of an injury, a very devastated Dale told a reporter, "racing is my life." He died trying to keep the rest of the pack behind him, so that either his son or the man who was like a brother to him could win. I can't think of a more fitting end.

I watched the memorial service on Fox Sports yesterday, and it, like all services of their type, gave me a sense of peace. I could never thank his family enough for allowing his fans to say good-bye, even from hundreds of miles away. I know that Dale is fishing with Neil Bonnett up in heaven now. And I know he's happy. We will miss you Dale. Rest in peace.

KLJ
02-23-01, 12:13 PM
well said.. i am still fighting back tears when i read that..

harley
02-23-01, 12:27 PM
I am having a hard time accepting the news today of the broken seatbelt ... I don't blame Sterling Marlin or anyone for that matter, it is a part of racing , but the seatbelt ???

orangemom
02-23-01, 02:05 PM
I'm with you Harley. That seatbelt thing really bothers me.

silverdsl
02-23-01, 02:18 PM
The seatbelt thing really gets me too. What happened there? All the drivers have the same kind of seatbelt system I would assume. I hope that they'll all be inspected prior to this weekend's race.

-Deborah

Nome
02-26-01, 08:07 AM
I don't know if we will ever know how the seat belt came apart. The manufacture has had decades of trouble free experience and I am sure Dales team installed them correctly. Sometimes it is just a case of Murphey's Law or "Sh-t Happens".

Man wasn't that crash on the first lap improbable? Dale Jr hit the wall on the NASCAR lap after his Dad did, and at about the same place and angle. He was going only about 150mph as compared to his Dad's 180, but strange things happen.

KLJ
02-26-01, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by Nome

Man wasn't that crash on the first lap improbable? Dale Jr hit the wall on the NASCAR lap after his Dad did, and at about the same place and angle.



i got chills when that happened.. couldn't believe it.. since his father died, jr. has become my favorite driver.. i need to stop watching if my drivers keep slamming into the walls..

just glad he walked away unharmed

harley
02-26-01, 12:21 PM
that crash was unreal .. thank god Dale Jr walked away from that ... I can't imagine what he must have been going through ... not to mention the family ...

Nome
02-27-01, 07:52 AM
It was good to see a Dale Earnhard owned car win when Steve Park took the checkered flag yesterday. The last lap was one Dale would have been proud of,

Winger03
02-27-01, 08:41 AM
Kind of a poetic ending to yesterday's race.....

KLJ
02-27-01, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by Winger03
Kind of a poetic ending to yesterday's race.....


it sure was.. although i think it's great anytime someone wins other then that fruit gordon.. can't stand him

CalYankeeFan
02-27-01, 05:56 PM
I've been a racing fan long before I was a Winston Cup fan. I became a Terry Labonte fan in 1982 when I met him at Pocono Raceway. I always respected Dale Earnhardt, but I wouldn't say I was a fan.

Even at that, I was saddened by his death, and was a little misty eyed at the start of the race at Rockingham. I hope that some good comes of it. They need to make the cars "softer", anybody who has been following the sport for a long time, particularly in the Northeast will remember losing modified drivers in the 1980s, including Richie Evans and Charlie Jarzombek. They need to find a way to make soft-wall technology work, and institute some type of restraint device to protect the drivers. But, the drivers also have to take responsibility for their own actions and not place it solely in NASCAR's lap.

I can tell you that auto racing is a family sport, from the local level all the way up to the big leagues. While the drivers on the top level aren't as accessible as they were when I first started going, I really think they give back more than any other athlete in any professional sport. That is why this tragedy has effected fans the way it has.

orangemom
02-27-01, 08:40 PM
CalYankeeFan you're right about safety. We have lost too many NASCAR drivers in the past few years. I know that racing is a very dangerous sport, and there are always going to be risks, but every driver and every team has to make sure that that car is as safe as they can make it before they get into it. I loved Dale, but I know that he was resistive to changes in such things as helmets and seat belts. It may have cost him his life, and that saddens me beyond belief.

Incidentally, Richie Evans is buried in the same cemetary as my father, almost directly behind him. On the rare occasions that I can force myself to visit my father's grave, I always take a minute to go over and say hi to Richie.