Jul 13, 2019 update on johnadam111's 2014 All Sports car

The Earnhardts’ Racing History: Seven Decades

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It’s unlikely that there’s another family as involved in a sport as the Earhnardts are as vested in stock car racing. The name is symbolic for the US racing industry and shows the dedication of the Earnhardts to keep alive the family legacy, which has its beginnings over half a century ago. Here’s the brief history of the family that has NASCAR racing through its veins.

Ralph Lee Earnhardt (1928-1973)

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The Earnhardt stock car racing family history starts 70 years ago with Ralph Lee Earnhardt, who would be the first of four generations of Earhardts to race cars.

The legend was born in 1928, in North Carolina, to a farmer’s family and, consistent with the times, he started working at a factory at a young age. However, Ralph’s occupation there was poorly paid he found relief in his passion—race cars.

Using the family garage to build vehicles that would become his tools of the trade, Ralph went on to become a racer in 1949, turning pro four years later. Within two years, the racer debuted at NASCAR where he finished second and won the NASCAR Sportsman Championship the same year.

Throughout his career, Ralph earned a host of recognitions, such as being on the list of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers and being inducted to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. On its website, the organization calls Ralph Earnhardt, “the epitome of a race driver.”

The racer is still remembered today for his impeccable approach to conditioning his cars, and for pioneering the use of different-sized left and right tires (a.k.a “tire stagger”).

Ralph Dale Earnhardt Sr. (1951-2001)

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Another Earnhardt-named racing legend is Ralph’s son - Ralph Dale Earnhardt Sr. who went by the name Dale Earnhardt Sr. Following in his father’s steps, but also against his advice, Dale turned his back to school and got into racing, becoming one of the most coveted racers of all time.

Dale’s journey began in 1975 at the World 600, within four years he would claim his first major win—a triumph at the Southeastern 500.

Throughout his career, spanning from 1979 until a crash that cost him his life in 2001, Dale Earnhardt Sr. claimed 21 wins in the Xfinity Series and 76 wins in the Monster Energy Series of NASCAR. Seven times Winston Cup Series Champion, four times Winston 500 Winner, a place on the NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers list, and inductions in the Motorsports Hall of Fame, International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and https://www.nascarhall.com/">NASCAR Hall of Fame all grace his biography.

Throughout most of his career, Dale raced for Richard Childress Racing. Nicknamed “The Intimidator,” his driving style was aggressive and made him one of the most attractive drivers to watch.

Dale’s life came to an end during a crash at the Daytona 500, a race that was won by Michale Waltrip with Dale’s son - Dale Earnhardt Jr. - finishing second. Both were racing for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. - the team found by Dale Sr. himself. The fatal collision led NASCAR to implement more stringent safety regulations, while Dale Sr.’s name and favorite No. 3 still live on as some of NASCAR’s most recognizable symbols.

Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. continued to carry the family torch until 2017, when he announced his retirement from full-time racing.

He began his preparation for a star career at 17, with sister Kelley also showing fondness for the races.

During his active racing days, which spanned for nearly three decades, Dale Jr. won the Xfinity NASCAR Series 24 times and the Monster Energy Cup NASCAR Series 26 times. Among his other achievements are two triumphs from Daytona 500 and five wins as a team owner at the Xfinity Series. He co-owns JR Motorsports together with Kelley.

The two of them have a half-brother, Kerry Dale Earnhardt, who is also a former NASCAR driver and father of racer Jeffrey Earnhardt.

Recently the Washington Post ran a story on Dale Earnhardt Jr. where the driver recalled exciting moments from the negotiations that took place between him, David Snyder and ex-NFL coach Joe Gibbs. The owner and former coach of the Washington Redskins, who led them to win https://www.oddschecker.com/us/football/nfl/super-bowl-liv/winner">the most coveted trophy in NFL - the Superbowl - a total of three times, was set on attracting Earnhardt Jr. to Joe Gibbs Racing. Despite a lucrative offer and also being a fan of the Redskins, Dale picked a different team.

Dale Jr. continues to race occasionally, with his latest appearance happening last year at the Xfinity race at Richmond. He is also an analyst for NASCAR on NBC and was a commentator for this year’s edition of Indy 500.

Bobby Dale Earnhardt and Jeffrey Earnhardt

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The youngest Earnhardts to race are brothers Bobby Dale and Jeffrey Earnhardt, who are sons of Kerry Earnhardt.

Bobby is currently competing at the Xfinity Series and ARCA Racing Series, before that having raced at the ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series. Jeffrey Earnhardt is also racing at the Xfinity series among other competitions, and throughout his career has partaken in various minor NASCAR series.

At thе Xfinity series, Jeffrey races for Joe Gibbs Racing and XCI Racing. It was for the latter team that he was supposed to race for at the Daytona Xfinity on July 5th, but announced he “won’t be running” at the event.

In March, Jeffrey appeared on his uncle’s podcast Dale Jr. Download, where he talked about the family racing tradition and the reason why he’s driving a Toyota. During the interview, the two also talked about living with the Earnhardt legacy, with Jeffrey saying: “Obviously, expectations are high, and people automatically assume just because of your last name, you’re going to win races”, adding that he is learning how to cope with the pressure.

From building cars in the backyard garage to claiming tens of triumphs, and being named among NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, the Earnhardts have won it all. Of course, none of it came as a gift, and it is only the people at the heart of it who know what it takes to live with the responsibility of keeping alive a tradition that is approaching a century.

 

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