It was 13 years ago today — Feb. 18, 2001 — after a fatal crash in the final turn of the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 that NASCAR President Mike Helton had to stand up in front of a crowd of journalists and make the statement, “We’ve lost Dale Earnhardt.”
Earnhardt, a seven-time NASCAR Cup level champion and Hall of Famer, changed the face of the sport in both life and death. His life, be it directly or indirectly, influenced pretty much every aspect of NASCAR, from safety to how things were run from a business standpoint.
In honor of “The Intimidator,” here are some words of wisdom from NASCAR’s fallen unofficial leader. Some may pertain to racing only, while others are good advice for life, in general:
“You win some, lose some, and wreck some.”
“You can’t let one bad moment spoil a bunch of good ones.”
“I taught you everything you know, but I didn’t teach you everything I know.”
“You go back to the start of time. One cave guy was fighting another cave guy because his club was bigger than his or his woman had longer hair. That’s competition.”
“Second Place is just the first-place loser.”
“When he was young, I told Dale Jr. that hunting and racing are a lot alike. Holding that steering wheel and holding that rifle bloth mean you better be responsible.”
“Two of my favorite things are my steering wheel and my Remington rifle.”
“It’s a never-ending battle of making your cars better and also trying to be better yourself.”
“I don’t want to argue with my wife about her car or my driving.”
“The winner ain’t the one with the fastest car; it’s the one who refuses to lose.”
What are some of your favorite Dale Earnhardt quote and/or memories? Share them with us on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner.
But, before you go, enjoy this Dale Earnhardt photo gallery (photos courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR):