One of NASCAR's most famous and popular drivers, Dale Earnhardt Sr, made very important contributions to the popularity of NASCAR racing. We will discuss the rise, the success, and the fall of our North Carolina hero. This is the life story of Dale Earnhardt, and how he made it from the bottom up and became the most famous driver in NASCAR history.
Dale Ralph Earnhardt was born on April 29th, 1951 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. He had an interest in cars since he was a child, as he grew up around the sport from an early age (Mortiary, 10-11). Throughout Dale's childhood he traveled with his father, Ralph, who also raced in NACAR; this is where he learned first hand how the car performed (Barber, 12). Dale wasn't a very good student and he dropped out when he was in the eighth grade to begin working (Latford, 178). He worked mainly in the cotton mills, as that is what Kannapolis was known for during his childhood. He first started his driving career by working on the family farm, as his dad converted an old barn into a garage (Mortiary, 12). Eventually he started racing in the hobby class when he was a teenager with his family, friends, and neighbors help (Barber, 7). The Earnhardt family didn't have much money, as his father more raced for a hobby and could barely afford to race. This made Dale's racing career hard to start out in the beginning, as he wanted to race for a career but could barely afford the car. One rumor is that his first car was actually given to him by a friend, and the family worked on it weekly so he could win the following race to make money. On September 27, 1973 tragedy struck Dale when he entered the garage and saw his dad slumped over steering wheel, later it was found out he died from a heart attack (Mortiary, 13). This affected Dale a lot, everyone would be shocked and upset with their father passing, his his father was his hero, and he taught Dale everything he knew about racing. Dale, being the fighter that he is, in 1974,...
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