Richard Childress says...
"I knew I wanted him to drive my car the first time I saw him drive somebody
else's," Earnhardt's car owner and long-time friend Richard Childress says. "His
desire and sheer determination to be the best at what he does is amazing. I've
always thought he was the best, even when I raced against him."
Desire. That's the common denominator.
"There's Earnhardt and then there's everybody else," says Bud Moore, for
whom Earnhardt drove in 1982 and '83 and who has fielded cars at one time or
another for 12 different drivers who received votes in the survey. "The biggest thing
about Earnhardt is his desire. When he slides down in that race car, he is going
to go to the front if it's at all possible. He'll find a way to get there.
"He's looking up ahead all the time, figuring out his next move. When he goes
into a turn, he knows what he's going to do when he gets there. He's going to go
high or he's going to go low, but he knows. He doesn't get there and then say,
`What do I do now?' Talent is talent, then or now. And he's got the talent."
"The Intimidator" says he was born to race. And he wouldn't have it any other
"I just want to win," Earnhardt says. That's the way he does most things, to
the point. Shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Straight driving.
"Shoot, in the beginning, you just wanted to race," he says. "That's what you
wanted to do, and you wanted it so bad that was all you worked for. You didn't
think about what you're going to accomplish or what you could accomplish, you
just wanted to race.
"You go to the race and you see other guys race, the Pettys and Pearsons
and Allisons and Yarboroughs, and then you get the opportunity to be in the
same race with them one day and that's just astounding to you. That's the way it
was with me."
It's hard to imagine Earnhardt astounded by anything. But his voice lowers and
raises, first with admiration of other drivers, and then with pride for his own
accomplishments -- including being called the greatest by a group of his peers.
"A racer wants to race and win," he says. "Imagining having the opportunity to
do that for a living, and then to be successful, and then to be considered one of
the greatest drivers that ever raced - especially by a group of peers - is one of the
greatest honors a driver could ever receive."
And Earnhardt is a driver who has a trophy case full of honors.
He won his first NASCAR Winston Cup race in just his 16th start, at Bristol,
Tenn. Fourteen years later, a street he used to get in trouble for drag racing down
was renamed Dale Earnhardt Boulevard.
"I want to do the best I can every race," Earnhardt says. "I don't like it when I
don't. When I sit down in that race car, that's it. There's nothing else on my mind.
There are a bunch of guys heading for the finish line and I want to get there first. I
want to win."
He's won more races (28) at Daytona International Speedway than any other
driver, in three different divisions. He's won more than $28 million - more than any
other driver. Of the 18 race tracks on the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup schedule,
Earnhardt has won at least one race at 16 of them - missing only Loudon, N.H.,
and Watkins Glen (where he owns three career poles and the track qualifying
record). In the 18 years since he hit the circuit full time, he has won at least one
race in 17 of those years.
"I still want to win, I still have that desire," Earnhardt says, using the word
more as an attitude than a description. "That's the thing that keeps me going. I've
had a great career. If it ended tomorrow, I'd have no regrets."
Does Earnhardt see his "great career" coming to an end anytime soon?
"Not even close," Earnhardt says with a grin. That grin that has become
recognizable world-wide, along with a scowl when necessary.
Along with the respect that comes with being considered, at least by some,
the greatest driver of all time.
So whether it's in the eyes or in the mind or it's inborn. It's there.
Oh boy, is it there.
"The will to want to win hasn't diminished," says Earnhardt. "There's one thing
on my mind when a race starts: How am I going to get to the front?"
Click on the pictures below for a Full Size View:Use your browser back button to RETURN
The one and only DALE EARNHARDT....The greatest driver ever in Nascar.There will never be another.
Did you know his first car was PINK?
I think it was pretty cool!!!!
Hometown Hero 'Dale Earnhardt Day' October 5, 1993 in Kannapolis,NC
that's racin' (phrase): Expresses frustration or emotion. 1. When a
small part costing just a few dollars fails and stops a $150,000 race car, that's
racin'. 2. When you race a competitor for 500 miles and lose to him by just a
few feet, that's racin'. 3. When a hot dog wrapper blows out of the stands,
gets caught across the air vent on the front of your car and causes your engine
to overheat, that's racin'.