At the 2001 Daytona 500, 7-time Sprint Cup champion Dale Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap crash, this year marks the 10th anniversary of this somber occasion.
Earnhardt remains only 1 of 2 drivers that have won 7 Cup Championships, and ranks among the top 10 in Wins (76).
While the sport has changed very much since Earnhardt's death, most of it has been for the better. Expecially the new safety innovations that the sport has put in.
The Safer Barriers= which help reduce the impact of a full speed race car hitting the wall at high speed.
Head & Neck Restraing= since Earnhardt's death, now it is mandatory for drivers to wear the HANS device, to help keep the drivers neck from snapping in a hard impact crash
Seat= Every year, newer and better seats come out to help keep the drivers body protected in the event of a high-impact crash.
Drivers in NASCAR have never been safer, and while the sport still presents danger and the threat of injury, times are much more safer for drivers. Wrecks that in previous years would have meant instant death, now drivers can walk away from.
While all racing fans miss Earnhardt's presence, in reality his presence never left, it simply changed. The man may be gone, but his legacy lives on.
- His son, Dale Earnhardt Jr remains the sports most popular driver
- His team, Dale Earnhardt Inc, remains active in cup racing, now merged with Ganassi Racing to form Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
- His grandson, Jeffrey Earnhardt, is an up-and-coming driver now driving in the Camping World Truck Seris
- His oldest daughter, Kelly Earnhardt, remains one of the most prominent business women in NASCAR, serving as a founding member of JR MOTORSPORTS with her brother Dale Jr
- His boss, Richard Childress, remains one of the top NASCAR owners in Sprint Cup
- His team, now with Kevin Harvick as the featured driver, finished 3rd in the 2010 final points standings
The Racing Family