What exactly was it that made Nascar fans hate on Dale Sr.? After all he brought a rough and a take no prisoners’ type of racing to Nascar? Because most of the fans of old wanted to see some good hard nosed racing. Not like some fans today who just want to see a demolition derby. What Dale did leave in the wake of most of the races that he ran in was a lot of carnage on each and every track. He went out and won races in any way that he could. Most of the time it was his own skill and driving style that gave him anyone of his 76 race wins. But then of course there were also the ones where he would just straight out knock someone out of a race.
For no other reason then to live up to his nickname. "The Intimidator" And he was very intimidating. Talk to any driver of old. And the first thing that they would tell is that the last person that they wanted to see in their mirror was Earnhardt. He was a very unpredictable driver. The only thing that you could predict. Was that if he was going for the win and you were anywhere next to him. Watch out. This is what made him a very unique driver. You either hated him or you loved him. It all depended on what kind of a race fan that you were. He had a huge fan base. A fan base that very well exceeded that of King Richard.
Even the fans that hated him still talk about what an awesome driver that he was. He had the type of driving skills that didn't require him to leave some doubting why he would intentionally go after a driver. He could have easily won all of those races without any controversy. But that's who he was. One way or another he was going to make headlines. Even in defeat he still made headlines. Fans from all over used to flock to the race tracks whenever he was racing. Because they all knew that as long as Earnhardt was out on the track. Anything could and usually did happen.
As far as his accomplishments away from his rough style of driving. They are those that all of the young guns are trying to achieve. To be able to not only win 7 championships. But to have the impact on the sport that he had. To be the reason why most people went to watch Nascar. Dale had a way of bringing fans young and old out to a sport that was run once a week and usually back east somewhere. His impact was so dominating. That when Nascar finally decided to come to National T.V. in 2001. They went straight to him to help promote the sport on a wider range. To not only make Nascar a household name. But to also promote it is as one of the last family orientated sports where people of all ages could come out and enjoy.
Dale was an icon and always willing to help wherever needed. Away from the track he did so much for the sport. A lot of his fans didn't find out what an impact he had until after his death. Because Dale didn't do it for publicity. But he did it because he loved to help those that were less unfortunate. One story that surfaced was when his church needed a new parking lot. They started a fund raising event. The day of the fund raiser. Dale went to the pastor and gave him a check to cover the expenses for the parking lot. But he also told the pastor. If you tell anyone that I gave you this check. I will personally get a bulldozer and tear this parking lot out myself. He never did anything to get recognition. But he did it because he wanted to give back to a sport that treated him so well. There are plenty more stories of people he has helped that went unnoticed to the media. That was the type of man he was away from the track.
Dale always lived by the phrase. When the fans stop booing me. Then I have to step back and see what I am doing wrong, loosely paraphrased. As long as he was getting some kind of fan reaction whether good or bad. Then he knew that he was still in the spotlight. Now the man is legend status. Because that's what legends are made of. And I am sure that if he was still with us. That he would be thanking those who loved as well as hated him. Because what he did on the track was truly awesome.
Dale was the best at what he did. And it shows in all of his accomplishments. Whether you loved him or hated him. Dale will always live forever in the hearts of those who followed his career. Dale left behind a legacy. A legacy that will be hard to follow. Dale Earnhardt Sr. the Man in Black. The Intimidator. The Legend. I’m Out