Dale Earnhardt : biography
Richard Childress Racing entered the number 3 in the Daytona Truck race on 13 February 2010 painted identically to when Earnhardt drove it, but with Bass Pro Shops as a sponsor. It was driven by Austin Dillon. Oddly, the number 3 was involved in a wreck almost identical to that which took the life of Earnhardt: being spun out, colliding with another vehicle and being turned into the outside wall in turn number four.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT_EIWs5k-0|Watch 0:13 Dillon again returned to a number 3 marked racecar when he started 5th in the 2012 Daytona Nationwide Series opener in an Advocare sponsored black Chevrolet Impala.
Only the former International Race of Champions actually retired the No. 3, which they did in a rule change effective in 2004. Until the series folded in 2007, anyone wishing to use the No. 3 again had to use No. 03 instead.
In the movie Zombieland, Woody Harrelson’s character, Tallahassee, draws a 3 on his car doors. He does this to pay homage to Earnhardt.
Earnhardt has a street in his hometown of Kannapolis named after him. Dale Earnhardt Boulevard (originally Earnhardt Road) is marked as Exit 60 off Interstate 85, northeast of Charlotte. Dale Earnhardt Drive is also the start of The Dale Journey Trail, a self-guided driving tour of landmarks in the lives of Dale and his family. A road between Kannapolis and Mooresville, near the headquarters of DEI, formerly NC 136, was switched by the North Carolina Department of Transportation with State Highway 3 which was in Currituck County. In addition, Exit 73 off Interstate 35W, one of the entrances to Texas Motor Speedway, is named "Dale Earnhardt Way".
In 2000, shortly before his death, Earnhardt became a part-owner of the minor league baseball team in Kannapolis, and the team was renamed the Kannapolis Intimidators shortly thereafter. After his death, the team retired the jersey number 3 in Earnhardt’s honor, and a "3" flag flies beyond the left field wall during every game.
Atlanta Braves assistant coach Ned Yost was a friend of Earnhardt, and Richard Childress. When Yost was named Milwaukee Brewers manager, he changed jersey numbers, from No. 5 to No. 3 in Earnhardt’s honor. (#3 is retired by the Braves in honor of outfielder Dale Murphy, so Yost could not make the change while in Atlanta.) When Yost was named Kansas City Royals assistant coach, he wore No. 2 for the 2010 season, even when he was named manager in May 2010, but for the 2011 season, he switched back to #3.
Between the 2004 and 2005 JGTC (subsequently renamed Super GT from 2005) season, Hasemi Sport competed in the series with a sole black G’Zox sponsored Nissan 350Z with the same number and letterset as Earnhardt on the roof.
During the April 29, 2006 – May 1, 2006 NASCAR weekend races at Talladega Superspeedway, the Dale Earnhardt Inc cars competed in identical special black paint schemes on Dale Earnhardt Day, held annually on his birthday, April 29. Martin Truex Jr won the Aaron’s 312 in the black car, painted to reflect Earnhardt’s Intimidating Black No. 3 NASCAR Busch Grand National series car. In the Nextel Cup race on May 1, No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 1 Martin Truex Jr., and No. 15 Paul Menard competed in cars with the same type of paint scheme.
On June 18, 2006 at Michigan for the 3M Performance 400 Dale Earnhardt Jr ran a special vintage Budweiser car to honor his father and his grandfather Ralph Earnhardt. He finished 3rd after rain caused the race to be cut short. The car was painted to resemble Ralph’s 1956 dirt cars, and carried 1956-era Budweiser logos to complete the throwback look.
In the summer of 2007, Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI) with the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, announced it will fund an annual undergraduate scholarship at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina for students interested in motorsports and automotive engineering. Scholarship winners are also eligible to work at DEI in internships."DEI partners with Clemson motorsports. Clemson World. Fall 2007. p. 5. The first winner was William Bostic, a senior at Clemson majoring in mechanical engineering."Earnhardt Motorsports Scholar". Clemson World. Fall 2007. p. 31.
"Earnhardt Tower", a seating section at Daytona International Speedway, the track where Earnhardt was killed, was opened and named in his honor shortly before his death.
In 2008, on the 50th anniversary of the first Daytona 500 race, DEI and RCR teamed up to make a special COT sporting Earnhardt’s 1998 Daytona 500 paint scheme to honor the tenth anniversary of his Daytona 500 victory. In a tribute to all previous Daytona 500 winners, the winning drivers appeared in a lineup on stage, in chronological order. The throwback No. 3 car stood in the infield, in the approximate position Earnhardt would have taken in the processional. The throwback car featured the authentic 1998-era design on a current-era car, a concept similar to modern throwback jerseys in other sports. The car was later sold in 1:64 and 1:24 scale models.
The Intimidator 305 roller coaster has been up and running since April 2010 at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia. Named after Earnhardt, the ride’s trains will be modeled after Dale Earnhardt’s black-and-red Chevrolet.
Another Intimidator was built at Carowinds, in Charlotte, NC.
During the third lap of the 2011 Daytona 500 (a decade since Earnhardt’s death), the commentators on FOX fell silent while fans each raised three fingers in a similar fashion to the tributes throughout 2001.
The north entrance to New Avondale City Center in Arizona will bear the name Dale Earnhardt Drive. Avondale is where Earnhardt won a Cup race in 1990.http://www.phoenixraceway.com/Articles/2011/02/Dale-Earnhardt-Road.aspx