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1951 ~ 2001

 

It is with a heavy heart that we returned home from Daytona
on Sunday the 18th. Hardly able to breathe, grasping at straws
hoping there had been some kind of mistake. This wasn't
supposed to happen! Ironhead was 10 feet tall and bullet proof!
He'd walked away from tougher scrapes than this in Talladega,
so he just HAD to pull through. But before we left the infield,
the news came that he was gone. His head injuries too severe.

Waynes parents had joined us on this trip for their first ever
racing experience, and they had really enjoyed themselves. It
was all fresh and new to them, and they were as impressed with
Dales driving style as we were. For the Daytona 500 we ALL had
matching brand new Dale T-shirts, featuring the 3 car, and the
Oreo cookie. By the end of Speedweek they were looking like
seasoned racin veterans.

Then the news came that Dale was gone. I couldn't hold back
the tears. It was too horrible to believe! My precious 5 year
old was so upset by the fact that Mommy and Daddy were
crying, that he brought me his new Dale Earnhardt Teddy Bear
keychain that he had begged for at the merchandise trailers.
He wanted to cheer us up. But when Grandma explained to him
that Dale Earnhardt was in a bad accident, and he had died,
all he wanted to know was "If he's up there with God, why
can't God send him back??" "If God is GOD, He can make
him better, can't he?" Then we had to explain to our son that
when God calls somebody home, he means for them to stay
there. And someday, we will join them on the other side when
our time comes.

Dale Earnhardt taught me how to fight, dig, and claw my way
back to the top, when I was down. He showed me through his
own actions. When people were getting me down, he taught me
to stand tall, and "consider the source". And hold my head high.
Just keep on moving.

As a fan of Dales, I was more eager to learn about the Racing
Roots of NASCAR, and took the time to learn it's rich history.
Through his mischievous grin, and daring driving style, he
taught me to appreciate and utilize the phrase,
"Age and Treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm"

The only comfort I can find, is that Dale didn't suffer.
His death was instantaneous, and he died doing the only thing
he ever wanted to do in his life. Racing. He held back the pack
of cars for almost 8 laps, to keep Mikey and Dale Jr heading
toward that checkered flag. He gave Mike Waltrip that Victory
that had eluded him for 462 starts.

After all these years, Dale is now reunited with his Father.
Revving up the 3 Car, and heading through the Pearly Gates and
around the corner on two tires, to greet his Dad, as a Seven
Time Winston Cup Champion. I know Ralph Earnhardt must be
so proud of his son. All Dale ever wished for, was that his Dad
could know how much he had finally accomplished in his lifetime.

And he's finally able to go fishin with Neil Bonnett again.
There never was a truer friendship. He's missed Neil since
1994, and I'm sure they're checking out the best fishin holes,
and looking for lucky buckeyes. Nobody understood him like
Neil. What a tragic irony that Neil also lost his life in the
same turn, during Speedweek practice in 1994.

When he gets to Heavens Raceway, I can see Tim Richmond
leaning up against the fence near the garage, munchin on an
apple, with a sly grin and the eagerness to continue the bump
and grind racing where they left off. Harry Hyde will already
be fussing and grumbling about all the wasted sheet metal.

Poor Elmo Langley is about to have his Pace Car dented
in the rear, and donuts put on his doors, when Dale starts
leading the pack of those who have gone on before him.

And finally, those that have heard the jokes about Davey
and Alan getting up to Heaven, and seeing their cars waiting
for them in the garage.. seeing the #3 car, and being told
it was Gods' car he liked to drive on Sundays. Heard that one?

Well...God's just gonna hafta get him another car for racin
on Sundays. Cause there's a new Champion on Heavens Raceway,
and he's comin to claim his Black Goodwrench Chevy. Show em'
how it's done, Dale...Until the time we can meet in the
Grandstands or the Infield of Heavens Raceway...
Rubbin's STILL RACIN as far as we're concerned!

Dale was part of our family. I saw him more than I've ever
gotten to see my own family.We shared our livingroom with him
every Sunday, and as far as we were concerned, in our eyes the
sun rose and set on Dale Earnhardt each raceday. He endeared
himself to us even more when he showed such open pride and
love for his sons Kerry and Dale Jr, and their accomplishments.
Yeah, he was tough on the kids, but you expected it from
someone nicknamed "Ironhead".

Our hearts go out to Teresa, Kerry, Kelly,
Dale Jr, and Taylor .
How hard it must be to take a step into the future without
someone as strong and vibrant as Dale. The continued strength
of DEI, as well as many other projects are at this point
unknown. We pray God will give the family the strength and
peace needed to handle what will be difficult decisions.

There will never be another Driver like Dale Earnhardt. He
was a Legend, and did more single handedly for the sport of
Stock Car Racing than any other driver. Winston Cup will not
be the same, and I really think NASCAR will suffer from
the loss. You see, Earnhardt fans don't "switch" to other
drivers. Earnhardt fans are loyal, and protective of
Ol' Ironhead. They loved him and his driving style
"warts and all". We took the good with the bad, and never
once apologized for our decision to back the Man in Black.
Anyone else just seems to be diluted, after the years we've
cheered for the industrial strength of Ironhead. After all,
where do you go, when you've already known the best?

In our home, the Earnhardt T-shirts will still be worn, but
probably with a little more reverance. Our winter coats will
have a special meaning, as we proudly display the 3. And we
will continue to display that #3 Goodwrench Flag, and fly it
proudly with our precious memories. Because he will live on
in our hearts as the true Champion he was. NO ONE can take
his place. It will be hard to find any driver to measure
up to our expectations, after all these years with Dale.

The pain of our loss will never really go away. It will just
dim, and become a part of our daily lives. He touched our
hearts and our lives with his style, talent, and tenacity. As time
goes on, I'm sure the memories will be sweeter, the antics on
and off the track will bring a smile to our face. And we'll
always wonder just what would Dale do in a situation. He was
unique. An Original. Truly one of a kind. He left an indelible
imprint on our Racing Hearts that no one will ever be able
to compete with. He will be terribly missed.
©Wizards
Our experiences in whole or in part of the tragedy of February 18,2001 and the loss of
Dale Earnhardt are copyrighted, and not to be used without permission from those of us
here at Wizards. Our page reflects our pain and our family experience with the loss of the
Intimidator on that day in the Daytona Infield with our son.

If that day stands out in YOUR mind, and you want to share it with others, we encourage
you to write and share your own page and your own memories. Do not cut and paste this
one, to save time or effort as we've found out others have done.

Dale Earnhardt deserves the best you can give him. Not a copy. He was one of a kind.
If you can't give that back to his memory, then don't bother.
He was an original.
Wizards
Wayne and Dena

Great photo...  Harvicks Polish Victory Lap in Atlanta. Thanks, Rick!
Email to Rick Seymour, or visit his collection of photos HERE!
Super teamwork by Rick for his photographic talents, and John Nassif
for his computer graphics talents. Email to John Nassif
I think this photo says what we all feel. Dale's all around racin, still looking
over us at EVERY track, and still bigger than life. To ME it's one of the most
comforting photo/graphic enhancements I've seen of all the Memorial ones
done. Even those in the stands holding up 3 fingers, look like they're holding
them up and pointing at "Big E", who's looking over them. Kewl!



Dale Earnhardt Photo Gallery ~ Page One

Dale Earnhardt Photo Gallery ~ Page Two

Earnhardt Memorial Cartoons
Unfortunately, we cannot control the broken links that may be found
on the Cartoon site, sorry.
Heavens Raceway

A Mothers Love

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Below ~ Fan Contributions

From Deb Willis
Truly Black Sunday ~ In Memoriam
Dale Earnhardt
April 29, 1951 ~ February 18, 2001
Click here
 

My Hero
By Barb Kerr
The greatest man I never met, has run his final race
The pain I feel is showing, in the tears upon my face
With the love of a father, and that of a friend
He protected Mike and Junior, right to the end
In that special ,unselfish move, for all the world to see
He showed why we love that BLACK#3
We have lost the heart of racing, it will never be the same
But he was far more than just a racing name
His skill in driving was beyond compare
But it was the man himself that made me care
Those steel blue eyes, that sly dawg grin
The way he cared , all part of him
The loving husband,the faithful friend
The proud father, memories that will never end
He lived for Sundays,the race to win
To beat the odds, was life to him
To hear those engines roar to life
Was second only to God and his wife

Strapped into the number 3, after Teresa's kiss
Calm, relaxed, ready to race.Nothing was amiss
As he made that final turn, in the number 3
I wonder if it was more than air, the MAN IN BLACK could see
Did he see his daddy, and Neil Bonnet standing there
And all of heaven angels, when all we saw was air
I think that God was standing there to meet the elder E
The one that he's been waiting for to drive Heaven's #3

I do not know how long this ache, will tear apart my heart
It may never happen, it may never start
No one can replace him, in our hearts or on the track
Rest in peace my hero, I'll always love the Man in Black

Email to Barb Kerr
02/19/01


Thanks, Kenny      Email to Kenny

The Final Lap
A thrill was in the air that day
As the number three flashed past
Shouts and cheers rose on the wind
As his car sped by so fast.
The race had been so thrilling
The finish line just ahead
The thought did not occur to us
We'd see tragedy instead.
The final lap came all to soon
For a hero we held dear
Little did we know that day
That the end for him was near.
Our hearts are filled with sadness
Our hero had to leave
To race across the Heavens now
While we are left to grieve.
The gates of Heaven opened
His final trophy gleaming bright
He slowly gunned his engine
As he drove into the light
Dale Earnhardt
April 29, 1951---February 18. 2001
By Charlotte Anselmo

DALE EARNHARDT

A fine Daytona afternoon, the season just begun,
My boys were runnning one and two, and I was having fun.

I probably could have won the thing, but something held me back.
I was busy watching Dale and Mike-and holding off the pack.

I was looking toward the front  and not really to the rear,
Something tapped me on my bumper, but still I felt  no fear.

I thought it might be Sterling - I knew he was nearby, When
Sterling smells the checkerd flag, I'll tell you, he ain't shy.

I slipped a bit, I turned the wheel, I sensed something very odd.
It wasn't Sterling's tap I felt. It was the tap of God.

"Not Now", I said. "I'm racing hard. There's work still here to do"
"Your time is up" He whispered low, "So say a quick adieu"

I wasn't ready, but I didn't have a choice.
He'd tapped me on the bumper and I'd heard His hallowed voice.

So I did as He instructed, I just packed it in and left.
I guess it can't be helped that I left some of you breft.

Did you see those birds upon the wall as they scattered in the breeze?
Will it make it easier to know that they were really me?

There  was also Davey, Dad and Neil and some other guys I've known.
And they all came to Daytona just to escort me on home.

Hey - congratulations, Mike!! You made a worthy run.
I wish you many, many more. Your wins have just begun.

All that fun you had in Victory Lane, I was proud as proud can be.
Did you see a seagull flying low? Yeah, Mikey, that was me.

So, friends and fans and family, don't mourn me for too long.
Get on with life- take care of things- be brave and proud and strong.

I'll surely miss you every one.  About that I will not lie.
But as long as you remember me- I didn't really die.

Bethany Coulter
Bardstown, KY


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2001 was truly a year with too many losses. It will take a long time for
the wounds to heal, but with the renewed Faith in our God, Country,
and Fellow Americans....nothing is impossible!
Wizards