DALE EARNHARDT Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr.                                                           
Born: 29 April 1951 Kannapolis, North Carolina                                             
Died: February 18, 2001 (aged 49)                                                         
Cause of Death: Massive head trauma from crash in Turn 4 on the final lap of               
2001 Daytona 500                                                                           
Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (April 29, 1951 – February 18, 2001) was an American           
race car driver, best known for his career driving stock cars in NASCAR's top             
division. Earnhardt had four children, Kerry, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, Dale Jr.,         
and Taylor Earnhardt. His widow, Teresa Earnhardt (whom he married in 1982) is             
the owner of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., the race team and merchandising corporation             
Earnhardt founded with her in February of 1980.                                           
Earnhardt is known for his success in the Winston Cup Series, now known as the             
Sprint Cup Series. He won seventy-six races (including his only Daytona 500               
victory in 1998), and his seven championships are tied for most all-time with             
Richard Petty. His highly aggressive driving style made him a fan favorite and             
earned him the nicknames "Ironhead", "Mr. Restrictor Plate", "The Man in Black"           
and most famously, "The Intimidator."                                                     
Earnhardt died in a last-lap crash during the 2001 Daytona 500, the fourth                 
NASCAR driver to die in the nine months prior, the first being Adam Petty in May           
2000. Due in large part to overwhelming fan outcry, NASCAR began an intensive             
focus on safety that has seen the organization begin to require the use of head-and-neck   
restraints (currently, only the HANS device is approved for competition),                 
oversee the installation of SAFER barriers at all oval tracks, set rigorous new           
rules for seat-belt and seat inspection, develop a roof-hatch escape system (used         
briefly, but later eliminated), and develop a next-generation race car built               
with extra driver safety in mind, dubbed the Car of Tomorrow.