Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (April 29, 1951 – February 18, 2001) was an American NASCAR driver. He is the father of race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. He started Dale Earnhardt, Inc., also called DEI. Earnhardt died in a crash during the Daytona 500 in 2001. The accident happened a few seconds before his own son came second in that race, and a DEI car driven by Michael Waltrip won the race. He died because he was trying to hold everybody back so his son (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) could maybe win the race. While he was trying to do that, someone bumped his car, he lost control and crashed into the wall. After that they took him to the hospital and he died.
Dale Earnhardt respected his father, who quit school in sixth grade, His father worked hard and started driving for NASCAR, eventually entering the NASCAR Hall-of-Fame.
- "Dale Earnhardt." (2009) Notable Sports Figures. Detroit: Gale Publising.
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