Sixty two years ago today a sporting legend was born. Not the type that would hit 500 home runs over a career, or rush for over 10,000 yards. He was not a legend that was known for his monstrous drives off the tee or his vicious right hook. He was one of the most influential people in a sport that now ranks among the most popular in the United States. Dale Ernhardt Sr. would grow to be known as one of the greatest racers in the sport and would also be part of one of the most beloved bloodlines in racing.
In a career full of ups and downs and plenty of drama, his no nonsense attitude headlined a sport full of tough guys and renegades. A racing legend was lost in February of 2001 in a freak accident that shocked a nation. Ernhardt Sr. was known as the “Intimidator” and “The Man in Black” in a sport that features 3400lb vehicles eclipsing 150mph. It doesn’t get much more badass than that.
Read on for Junior’s perspective about how one man changed the sport, and was also one of the greatest teachers of all time.